Tesla Model 3 owner catches a body shop replacing his car parts after renting it on Turo (video)



A new video of a Tesla Model 3 has emerged on the video hosting platform TikTok that shows the owner of the car paying a surprise visit to a body shop only to find out his rented out car with a replaced bumper and opened front trunk (frunk).

Frank Valdez who is a realtor, investor, and TikToker rented out his red Tesla Model 3 on Turo. Later on, when he started getting various notifications on his Tesla mobile app, he checked what is happening to his car remotely. Thanks to the live Sentry Mode camera access remotely on the mobile feature, he saw that something is not right.

After locating his car via the Tesla mobile app’s GPS system, he reached the place where it was being parked, only to find out it was a body shop. Looking further, he found out that the original bumper of his Tesla Model 3 was removed and an aftermarket un-colored bumper was installed on the car (video below).

Upon confronting the body shop staff about what was going on with his car, Frank was told that the guys were just testing aftermarket stuff on this Tesla Model 3. The owner then told the guys at the body shop he would call the cops — so he was told that his car will be back to its original shape in about two hours.

The Tesla Model 3 owners felt that this body shop was trying to steal their car parts but some Reddit users who know this shop in California think they were just testing and calibrating their aftermarket products on this vehicle.

However, even if they were just testing, it was ethically, morally, and legally wrong to do so without the consent of the vehicle owner. Frank Valdez later found out that this specific body shop also has a Tesla and exotic car parts website.

Next part of the story.
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A Tesla electric car has many sensors that send signals if the frunk, trunk, or doors of the car is opened, then the car sends notifications to the owner’s mobile phone for such events. 8 exterior cameras and 1 cabin camera also allow the owner to look at what’s happening around the car via his mobile phone, attempting such a stunt on a rental Tesla vehicle can get you in trouble.

Let’s watch the Tesla Model 3 owner’s interesting raid on the body shop during their act.


Good thing it has GPS and live camera footage… #Turo #tesla #carparts

♬ original sound – Frank Valdez
Video by @frankvidz / TikTok.

Update: Turo Public Affairs department has reached out to me personally and they want to inform their vehicle hosts community that an investigation in this matter is underway and they do offer coverage for damages to vehicle owners.

Here’s their official statement on this matter:

Turo is aware of a video appearing to show a host’s vehicle being used improperly during a trip. Our team is in contact with the host and have taken action to ban the guest from Turo for violating our terms of service, which explicitly prohibit guests from making any unapproved alterations to any vehicle. Although these incidents are uncommon in our marketplace, we do offer hosts protection plans with varying levels of coverage for damage to vehicles. We are currently gathering facts about the incident and thank you for your patience as we work to resolve this active investigation.

Turo Public Affairs via Catherine Mejia (@CatMejiaAZ / Twitter).

Next in this story: Tesla Model 3 owner says he did call the police but they said “it’s a civil matter” (new videos, Tesla and Turo’s involvement in the matter, more)

Stay tuned for constant Tesla updates, follow us on: 
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Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Alihttp://www.teslaoracle.com
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii


    • Personally, I think he was a fool to not call the police. Clearly they were going to sell the parts. Reddit is worthless.

  1. Lol , a idiot wouldn’t fall for that excuse. A body shop is doing product testing on rented cars lmao.

  2. Bonnet? Boot? Was this Tesla made in England ? This is America, the car was made in Texas! It’s a hood and a trunk! Must be a Brit writing the article!

    • You’re a citizen of the world. Open your eyes, don’t let yourself be upset by different terms. Texas isn’t the only place that exists. Clearly you knew what the words meant so it didn’t obscure the point of the article.

      • There’s other places than Texas?? Hmm, here I thought Texas was flat, and to go past it’s boundaries would drop you off the face of the planet Texas… Go figure…:-)

        • As a friend from Alaska pointed out to me, if you divide Alaska in half, that would drop Texas to the number 3 spot.

          Texans live in their own fantasy world and periodically the real world does intrude. Power systems fail, it has more earthquakes than California due to fracking…..

    • You’re not the center of the universe Bob. Its the world wide web. Stop embarrassing the US by whining about a totally acceptable term from another country.

  3. Is it just me or is it that I really can only see folks from a uber liberal state like California trying to make excuses for these morons at the body shop? People are oftentimes EXACTLY what you think they are: devious crap heads who are the whole reason why we have criminal and civil laws that should be vigorously enforced.

    • The fact that you, an obvious Republican, are trying to take a non-political situation and make it political is precisely representative of the Republican party’s culture wars. This article has nothing to do with conservative or liberal, yet here you are spewing this nonsense.

  4. If I were in the business of selling aftermarket parts for a Tesla, I would probably own or lease one to use as a mock up. Maybe proposition a client to use their car for said purpose for a discount or sponsorship. Just bad business, IMHO.

    • 100%. The right to do this is have a shop car or solicit car owners interested in testing for compensation (via money or parts)

  5. Turo should check for other rentals by these folks and alert those owners that their cars might now have aftermarket replacement parts.

    • But they will not notify other hosts because TURO only looks out for themselves and what profits them. They would never open up that Pandora’s box unless legally forced to do so. I learned that the hard way.

    • weekendh4wwfx. You really think he was going to try to color match that new bumper and hood and get away with it? Don’t you think he would have sprayed them off of the car? Otherwise he would have to clear coat and polish the entire car or do a lot of masking. I highly doubt it. Cost to paint it with oem like finish would probably cost more in time/materials than the bumper switch would net. So I highly doubt it. Then again he was dumb enough to try this b.s. I guess the rest isn’t much more far fetched. I would be looking for some sort of compensation for sure though. Especially if the fly by night work effects the warranty in any way. So thief.. Maybe, underhanded asshole for sure. Moron? Without a doubt

      • Depending on the paint, it could cost him next to nothing to repaint a bumper. If he buys aftermarket parts, cheap paint, and knows what he is doing, then he could get the whole thing done for less than $200. I worked at a shop where a man backed into something, and wanted something similar done.

  6. If this bonehead makes third party replacement parts for a very sophisticated car he should probably at least look at the capabilities. LOL, what? A tracking device, sensors, and camera’s? No way! Is that a thing? 🤣. How this owner remained so calm and collected is even more shocking than how this fiend had the balls to disassemble someone else’s car. I would have lost my marbles.

  7. Hmmmm, I can assure you an OEM Tesla made bumper costs waaaay more than an aftermarket, seems like these guys are in the business of selling OEM possibly, I’d be furious cause now if anything is wrong and Tesla needs to service his warranty might be voided because an unauthorized shop “worked” on it

  8. Organized Crime! No doubt this is happening to many. Not just Tesla owners. A huge rip off that needs investigation.

  9. Did you see the piece of paper hanging from his Tesla bumper ? It was probably a FOR SALE sign and he was about to take pictures !!! 🤯😳🤬

  10. Why I think it’s a FOR SALE sign, if you closely look and listen, you can see him about to rip it off, then here him crumbling it up !

    • It’s a blank piece of paper lol… you can see both sides in the video. Not really sure where you’re getting the rest from

    • Because Turo allows you to rent your car out for a pretty damn good payout, and its insured the vehicle Incase of damages, some packages allow you to bank more money with less coverage, others let you insure it for more for less pay when the rent comes in, it’s a way to make spare change and in some places could to a degree allow you to not have to work or not have to work as much, and if you have extra vehicles could be a way to bank some extra cash and put em to use.

  11. If owner does not cal the cops right away both owner and body shop guy should be arrested. He was stealing and was caught. This is so wrong. He has probably done it to many other cars. Stealing to real in the IS or stealing to send parts to China for copy cat products.

  12. He rented the car for his use, unless rental agreement says specifically/legally only to drive then I think he paid for the use of the Tesla as he wanted. I’m not saying a great practice but if he returned the vehicle to its original condition upon completion of the rental then that on the Renter to state only for driving.

    • The rental agreement does state for driving use only. You can’t just rent cars and do whatever you want with them. Especially taking them apart and putting different parts on them.

  13. I would have told the bodyshop to go ahead and upgrade my bumper, and a few other items and match the paint…and in return I’d keep it between us 😁

  14. Even if they are testing parts, its immoral, unethical and illegal to take apart someones vehicle without their permission.

  15. As someone who does development of aftermarket and OEM parts, yes we have done this with rentals, and with a dealer’s inventory. We offer the dealer some consumable parts for free and cover the cost of anything we break (and yes we have butchered some stuff).

    • Yes but in this case, it’s against the Turos terms of service, the guy who rented it is screwed never to use Turo at least ever again, and in the terms of this video proof, that shop will be looked at under suspicion of other people in its area or in general.

  16. I’m as liberal, a real liberal, not a socialist posing as a liberal and its pretty clear from the video theft was occurring. The car owner should have immediately called 911 & told them he is about to take his car back at gun point & where to meet him if something goes wrong & to not hang up the entire time. It is pretty obvious he observed a crime being in progress & has every right to protect himself by force due to the fact most criminals will protect themselves from arrest the same way. Police are called simply because they live for this. Its a potentially dangerous situation catching the criminals stealing your car or using your car to test out security features they need to disable in order to steal your new Tesla or another. I dont believe for a second the business involved is honest here. Its a chop shop, lets be real. I mean how stupid can people be?

  17. What I think is funny is the owner renter had to find his car. Did he miss place it? Won’t the car alert the owner that is was moving? The car had already made it to the chop shop and the bumper replaced by the time this brainiac figured it out them bends over for the body shop. Only in CA.

    • The owner rented his vehicle out on Turo, somebody rented it from him and took it to the shop, then when they started dismantling it the car alerted the main owner via phone, saying hey I’m being f**Ed with, and sent him it’s location via GPS on mobile, he then drove over and confronted the shop as to why they were dismantling his car without his permission, the guy who rented it from this man is most likely nowhere in sight.

  18. Its a body shop people. Of course they are in business to change a cars identity. All chop shops do body work. I would not have gone back to this business without a police escort.

  19. That sucks you just voided your warranty, Tesla will not touch it for any reason. I would take them to court and make have them buy me a new one with a valid warranty.

    • Void the warranty? Even if that were true, and I don’t think it is, do you really think Tesla will search this story out the next time it’s in for service relating to the warranty? Come on. Think. And how does someone vandalizing your car void the warranty? He didn’t take it to an unauthorized shop to get it worked on. He’s a victim of fraud.

  20. If you do get in an accident you have the right to have OEM replacement parts put back on your car. Two accidents I was in the guy at the repair shop asked me if it was okay to use aftermarket parts. I told him “No way”. Aftermarket parts just don’t fit as good. If they don’t ask you make a point to tell them no aftermarket parts!

  21. This guy should sue the crap out of Turo and the shop. They can both afford to pay a million or so punitive damages. “Should I call the police?” That guy is slow. Yes, you call them get paper trail and then file a lawsuit for a million putting both Turo and shop as defendants. Man, some people are really slow. It’s free money. But he too slow and will probably accept like 5 or 10 thousand damages and an apology letter from Turo.

    • In fairness it’s not Turos fault, Turo will cover damages it insures the vehicle, but when you place your vehicle up for whichever package you choose, you accept their term of service, you also have to meet the guy when they come to get a vehicle or whatever, etc, So… And whoever rents it could have a clean background but know why? Because they haven’t been caught yet, chances are this guy who rented the vehicle from this owner has done this before with other vehicles, and got away with it making a buck off it, probably thought hey lets up the game for big money, and didn’t expect it to be the batmobile with cameras and sensors all in it, and tell it’s owner via GPS.

    • No, he should have yelled and screamed so the guy wouldn’t put it back together. No big deal to have it towed somewhere to have it fixed out of your pocket plus downtime…. Sue him that could take months and who knows if he has anything? Great idea to be a sleuth.

  22. I can believe that they migh havee rented it to test fit parts and then were planning on putting the original parts back on afterwards. Especially given that the person said he looked and found that they sold tesla part’s. So if they just started carrying these parts I can see why they would try them on a car to make sure they fit properly before trying to sell them and deal with the headache if they were poor fitting.

    • And it’s fine for testing purposes…. IF you have the owners permission, they didnt they have the guy who rented it’s permission and for all we know he told them “yeah just need to cheapen the load a bit can you guys replace dadadsfafadsfsf parts and replace em with cheaper parts? I could use the spare change!” To which they could have replied, sure! And gutted it replacing it with cheap crappy parts buying the Improved parts and giving money to the guy who rented it, not the owner, In this case they could have been tricked maybe, and both sides are victims, but that don’t seem too likely.

  23. No guys, not stealing parts at all.

    The guy is a businessman and he caves as such when caught.

    Testing fit and form of replacement parts he is making off shore. Renting generally provides a way to take measurements and test parts without having to worry and if the process runs longer than expected, it is just another day, no need to ever lease or buy, there are too many models. None of the rental companies are going to care like an individual owner who cares enough to track down his Tesla and confront the guy, he just failed on that point.

    Yes, it it was my car I would be a bit upset and show it, the renter is obviously a gentleman and he handled it better than so many would, Kudos.

    • Clarification, I meant to specify that the owner is obviously a gentleman who handled himself well. The man who is copying parts? Just a garden variety opportunist who knows he crossed way too many lines and he could at serious risk of legal or immediate retaliation.


  24. I used to work for a new car dealership. Every time we got a new body style on our trucks we would loan a brand new truck to a local company that manufactured aftermarket bumbers.
    In exchange they would install a brand new set of heavy duty bumbers on that truck for free.
    That truck would go on the showroom floor as a display model. We would eventually sell it with the new bumpers.

  25. It would have been very difficult for me not to put my hands on the thief because I would have been too pissed off to stay calm. Kudos to the renter for his calmness.

  26. One thing anyone who has ever taken apart the plastics of a car and then had to put them back on can tell you.. is that the vehicle NEVER goes back together 100% perfect EVER again.. there’ll be a slight rattle, maybe a broken placement lock that holds the piece in place maybe it sticks up a millionth of an inch higher than it used to… regardless, SOMETHING will be wrong/imperfect… just a fact of life.. New cars, especially after the ’90s, are Humpty Dumptys FOR SURE!!!

  27. Actually “Turo” is very adamant and offers deeply insufficient standards with mode of operations. They are very unqualified and unreasonable with their methods of researching incidents and handlings.
    My experience with them the last time I ever booked there was very nasty. They can’t even make ordinary research in a better way. They just care about the their money and that’s all.

  28. 30 years ago i had a company making replacement car parts for regular cars. we would do the same. rent a car and install our replacement part to see how it fits. then put the original parts back on. no big deal.

  29. Wonder why Frank was up at 1am. His Tesla gps was helpful but when he realized that it’s in a body shop, a red flag went off in his head. Sounds like a ride-share car is good for mending mistakes or getting parts for resale.

Comments are closed.

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