Body shops and electric cars

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by mtd, Nov 13, 2023.

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  1. You might say this is a continuation of some of my earlier posts here, where my Kona was at a dealer's for 66 days because it wouldn't charge.

    As my luck would have it, while it was sitting on a dealer's lot waiting for parts, a major hailstorm came through central Ohio. I didn't notice anything wrong until a few days after bringing the car home, when I noticed a dent in the middle of the hood. Closer and careful inspection, eventually with an insurance adjuster, revealed about two dozen small dents on the hood, roof and right side of the car.

    After a few complications, including the fact that everyone was booked up for hail damage repairs there and I couldn't get the work done before making my seasonal return to Maryland, I had another shop with a major collision repair chain take a look at it. Upon realizing that the Kona was electric, they told me that they couldn't do the repairs because it was likely they'd have to do some paint work, particularly on the roof (despite previous assumptions that the repair would be paintless) and their paint booth would run at a temperature that would damage the car's battery.

    This was of course the first I'd heard of this, with no previous mention from the insurance company nor the first shop I took it to. I since did some looking around to find out that exposing an EV to temperatures higher than about 150 F / 60 C was not recommended.

    Fortunately I did find one chain of body shops (CollisionRight) that makes it clear that they work on EV's and I have an appointment set up with them tomorrow.

    I'm posting here both to let other drivers know that if they need body work for their EV this may be an issue, and to ask others what their experiences have been having collision or hail repairs done on their Kona Electric.
    JoeS likes this.
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  3. How long might it sit at that temp in a paint booth? This LG spec which was for the cells used in the recalled pack, shows the effect at 60°C.

    12 weeks at 60°C to go from 100% SoH to 90% SoH if at 60% SoC.

    If the SOC is left low and the time is short, like under a day, you're not going to see a measurable change.

    In fact if the time were under an hour I doubt the pack would even reach thermal equilibrium.

    JoeS and Keith Smith like this.
  4. I suspect some of this may be driven by potential liability concerns more than anything, that battery failure or worse would be blamed on the shop. This wasn't an issue and wasn't mentioned by the first shop I went to, the second shop of the same body shop chain refused to do the work, another I called to ask about working on an EV likewise turned me down. So it seems to either have changed or been a different policy depending on where I went.
  5. 22kona

    22kona New Member

    I can see a whole new set of rules and regulations being written about working on E.V's and I'm an electrician so I'm just reading between the lines, dealing with 400v and 800v associated with a 100KW battery and possible electrocution and fault current issues.

    But getting back to leaving the car sitting, I just went on a 5 week holiday and thought stuff it I will just lock and leave the car at 80% charge, after 5 weeks I remotely unlocked the car and started it.
    It was still showing 80% charge and the lead acid battery is working fine, now I need to sell the 12v 9 stage trickle charger, I bought to leave on while I was away. :D
  6. Manufacturers document the tools required and safety procedures for servicing any of the orange HV wiring or components.
    The battery potential is isolated from chassis at all times and that is checked before the pack contactors are closed.
    There's the safety disconnect under the back seat which opens the series connection of the cells inside the pack, and a 12V cut-link under the hood to break the contactor coil circuit.

    No doubt the big safety issue will be when independent shops start to refurbish battery packs.
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  8. I had to get my hood replaced/painted on my old Kona EV. Had the discussion with the owner of my preferred body shop and he had no problem problems with repairs. They have options to run paint booths at low or no heat by adjusting to how quickly a clear coat dries with different temperature sensitive paint reducers, and other additives. Also if its a removable body panel being painted like a hood a skilled painter can often sufficiently color match the part off the vehicle without the need for blending other panels. It really depends on how much effort you want to put into the problem. I am sure the OP's body guy was fully aware of these options but just did not want to bother.
    electriceddy likes this.
  9. In hindsight the impression I have is that they just didn't want the business. All the shops I've dealt with have more work than they can handle and there are backlogs because of parts delays and lack of or sick staff. I ended up at a shop owned by one of the local dealerships and they did a wonderful job, nothing more than lots of paintless dent repair (at least two dozen dents) and they supplementally billed insurance for an extra $800. But my Kona now looks like it just rolled off the dealer's lot.

    Plug for the shop, they're in the Baltimore/Washington region. They took the car in sight unseen, no questions asked.
    JoeS and electriceddy like this.

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