Rivian’s owner was a Fender Bender. The bill was $42,000.

Rivian’s owner was a Fender Bender.  The bill was $42,000.

One Rivian owner said he got a $42,000 repair bill after bending the fender, according to a report from The New York Times.
Brian Casella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

  • Rivian’s owner said it cost $42,000 in repairs to his R1T after the fender was bent, according to the New York Times.
  • The Times reported that a repair shop had to dismantle the car’s interior roof.
  • Daily maintenance can be less expensive for electric vehicles, but collisions and insurance can be expensive.

One Rivian owner said his R1T electric pickup truck cost about $42,000 to repair after crashing into a stop sign earlier this year, according to a New York Times report.

Chris Apfelstadt told the publication that while he expected the repair would not be cheap, it was a “shocking number.”

The accident, which occurred in February in Columbus, Ohio, was initially thought to be fairly minor, according to the Times report, which said the other driver’s insurance company had offered to pay about $1,600. But after taking the electric car to a repair shop certified to work with Rivian products, the cost jumped to $42,000, the newspaper reported.

The repair cost is more than half the initial price of the car. One of the main reasons for the high price is that the accident affected a panel extending from the back of the vehicle to the front roof pillars of the truck, and repairing the panel required service workers to remove the roof and windshield, the Times said.

The publication also attributed the cost to the lack of repair shops for the Rivian R1T and the cost of repairing electric vehicles that rely on more high-tech parts. Like Tesla, Rivian does not use dealers. The company has certified about 200 repair shops in North America, and Apfelstadt only had three stores to choose from in Ohio, according to the Times. The company also has about 34 of its own service centers only.

A Rivian spokesperson told Insider: “The nature of the repair, parts and labor required in this specific case meant that this bill was higher than we would expect for the average customer. We will certainly take this case into consideration as we continually strive to enhance our product and quality of service.”

Meanwhile, Rivian’s vice president of service operations, Noe Mejia, told the Times that while the company’s smaller size makes it easier for it to work more closely with customers and provide better service, it’s also “a challenge because we’re newer to the market.”

While daily maintenance is much cheaper for electric vehicles, repairing and insuring the vehicles can be more expensive. Last year, a study by CCC Intelligent Solutions found that electric vehicle repairs cost more on average than repairs for gas-powered vehicles. Another report from Mitchell cited by the Times found that electric vehicle repairs last year cost about $2,400 more than repairs for vehicles with conventional combustion engines.

Likewise, Alexa St. Insider’s John previously stated that electric vehicles are more expensive to insure. For example, the national average cost of car insurance is about $2,148 per year, while the cost of insuring a Tesla Model S is about $4,066, Insider reports.

However, the higher costs may be short-lived. The cost of insuring and repairing electric vehicles is expected to decrease as more people and businesses switch to fully electric vehicles.

Apfelstadt isn’t the first Rivian owner to detail issues with his electric pickup truck. Insider’s Nora Naughton previously reported that a Rivian customer who waited three years for an R1S saw the car break down just days after returning home.

Read the full Times story on its website.

Do you own an electric car or are you on a waiting list to buy one? We want to hear from you. Contact the reporter at: gkay@insider.com

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