Replacing A Tesla Model X Windshield Could Cost More Than You Think

Tesla electric vehicles may be known for many things, but inexpensiveness isn't one of them. These EVs, fresh after a price increase in March, cost no less than $45k, and that number can skyrocket — the most expensive Tesla Model X Tri Motor can cost up to $138,990. Expensive cars most commonly equal expensive parts, so it's no wonder that replacing the windshield on a Tesla Model X comes with an added premium. But did you know that it might actually be three times more expensive than it would be on many non-electric vehicles?

The unhappy news comes straight from the owner of a Tesla Model X from 2018, who shared their experience on a Tesla Motors Club forum. The repairs, performed by Safelite AutoGlass in Scottsdale, Arizona, were efficient and quick, but by no means cheap. Furthermore, the forum user described that getting the replacement windshield was a long story all on its own, so while the actual replacement only took a short while, waiting for parts took over a month. Of course, this may vary based on your location — it's possible that the stock in Arizona was low at the time and may have improved since.

According to the user, at the time of the repairs, Tesla wanted a $1,500 upfront payment in order to replace the windshield. Paying out of pocket means that the Tesla owner would then have to go through their auto insurance provider in order to get reimbursed. This is why they chose to go down the Safelite route, but the savings were relatively small — all due to the cost of the windshield itself.

Windshield replacement is much cheaper in a standard car

The total bill for the repairs done to the Tesla Model X was $1,597. This amounts to $1,311 for the part, $181 for the labor, and $105 for sales tax. Considering that replacing the windshield requires up to four people — two to remove the previous windshield and four to install the new one — the labor can be considered pretty inexpensive. However, the windshield itself is really not. Let's compare the prices to the average non-electric vehicle.

According to Auto Glass Locator, the average cost of windshield replacement without insurance is around $375 in the United States. This applies to your average, standard vehicle. Of course, the price will vary based on many factors, ranging from your car make and model to how old it is, where you're based, and what's readily available. AutoGuide puts the average at anywhere between $200 and $401, based on data from various RepairPal car repair estimates. All things considered, even the high averages are much, much cheaper than replacing the windshield on a Tesla Model X.

Repair costs skyrocket once you're working with a new vehicle with parts that aren't particularly common. When you have a vehicle that's sold well and proven itself to be reliable enough that it's a viable candidate for the secondary market, supply will (ideally) meet the demand for replacement parts.

Why Tesla repairs are expensive, and where we go from here

Why are Tesla repairs so expensive in comparison? Tesla is a relatively new brand, which means there'll be some time before the average vehicle repair specialist has all the knowledge they need to fix any Tesla issue with relative ease. Tesla vehicles aren't nearly as abundant as their competitors, and as such, secondary sources for parts that work in and on Tesla vehicles aren't quite so readily available as they are for the bigger, more established brands.

In the case of the windshield, the quality of the glass certainly contributes to the end cost. Some Tesla windshields are double-layered, as explained by Electric Car Pledge. The Cybertruck is also allegedly bulletproof, although as seen in the above video, the test conducted by Elon Musk in front of a live audience wasn't very successful — the glass broke right away. Time — and Tesla's success over the next few years — will tell where prices for repairs to these vehicles will go from here.

It'll also be interesting to see whether Tesla vehicles are eventually regarded like any other classic car once they reach a certain age. It may be, one day, that you'll need to go to a local collectible car convention, flea market, or scrapyard in order to find parts for your Tesla vehicle. At that point, prices for repairs might not only be potentially expensive, they could become impossible. In any case, it's not likely that Tesla windshield repair or replacement will be rendered inexpensive any time soon, so be extra careful!