Tesla Owner Faces Lockout and Costly Battery Replacement Issue

Being a Tesla owner today gives you eco-friendly credentials, but it also comes with its fair share of pitfalls. Just ask Mario Zelaya, a Tesla owner in Canada, who found himself locked out of his luxury vehicle after the battery died. When he took it to the dealership, he was hit with the news that a replacement battery would cost a whopping $26,000. Frustrated, Zelaya voiced his concerns on TikTok, posting a video and saying, “$26k for a new battery. Locked out of a car. Recalls are needed.”

Tesla Owner Says He’s Locked Out After Battery Expired, Replacement Costs $26K

Zelaya had been planning to sell his vehicle, but the high price tag of a replacement battery left him baffled. Unable to sell the car without the necessary ownership documents, which were locked inside the car, Zelaya started to panic. Some TikTok viewers suggested he dismantle the car, but Zelaya was in a hurry. Thankfully, he managed to obtain a copy of the papers for $30.

Tesla Owners and Their Struggles with Battery Replacement

Zelaya had bought his Tesla in 2013, but he soon discovered a common issue with this model and its variants from 2014. The fluid leakage from the vehicle would cause damage to the batteries over time. Zelaya reported the problem to Transport Canada, and they conducted an investigation not only on his car but also on other potentially affected vehicles. Tesla, however, seems to be ignoring the issue and providing no explanation for why the batteries expire prematurely.

Zelaya expressed his frustration with Tesla, criticizing their careless approach to battery manufacturing and stating, “I’ll never buy another Tesla again. That’s the long way of my saying stay the f*** away from Teslas. They’re brutal cars, brutal manufacturing, and even worse, they’re a 10-year-old company.”

Tesla Complaints

Tesla Faces a String of Complaints

This is not the first time Tesla is grappling with legal troubles and customer complaints. In Germany, a Tesla owner received compensation after the court found the vehicle to be a significant safety hazard. The court concluded that the car’s assistance system failed to recognize traffic obstacles reliably, posing a danger in urban areas.

In February 2022, Tesla recalled around 578,000 vehicles due to a failure to comply with safety standards, as noted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many other Tesla owners have also voiced concerns about the high cost of battery replacement. In 2021, a Finnish man went as far as destroying his car instead of paying $23,000 for a new battery after his 2013 Model S exceeded the warranty by eight years. He hired a team of experts who blew up his car using explosives.

Similarly, Zelaya’s battery issue occurred just one year outside the warranty period, indicating that the rusting and water damage most likely started during the warranty period. Regardless, Tesla had no incentive to address the problem since it was now considered outside the warranty.

Social Media Stands with the Tesla Owner

The TikTok video shared by Zelaya garnered a lot of support and empathy from viewers. One user wrote, “Scream it from the rooftops. I’ve had nothing but issues with mine.” Another commented, “You will never convince me that owning a Tesla that someone else can control is a good idea.” Others expressed their preference for more traditional models, with one user stating, “A mint 2005 Honda Civic would have still been running… just saying.”

Fortunately, Zelaya was able to sell his Tesla. In a follow-up TikTok video, he mentioned that the new owner planned to dismantle the car and recharge it, bringing Zelaya’s Tesla journey to an end.