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

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Owning a Tesla is often seen as a step towards supporting the ‘Go Green’ movement. However, owning an electric vehicle comes with its own set of challenges. Take the case of Mario Zelaya from Canada, for instance. Mario recently found himself locked out of his sleek Tesla after the battery expired. When he sought help at a dealership, he was hit with a staggering $26,000 bill for a replacement battery. Clearly frustrated, Mario took to social media to say, “$26k for a new battery. Locked out of a car. Recalls are needed.”

To make matters worse, Mario had been planning to sell his Tesla. But faced with the exorbitant cost of a replacement battery, he was at a loss. He couldn’t sell the car without the proper documents, which were unfortunately locked inside the vehicle! Many of his TikTok followers suggested dismantling the car, but time was a factor. Thankfully, he was able to obtain a copy of the necessary papers for $30.

Tesla Owners and Their Ongoing Issues with Battery Replacement
Mario had purchased his Tesla back in 2013. He noted that his model and the 2014 variants have a common issue where fluid leaks onto the batteries, causing damage over time. “I got Transport Canada involved, and they investigated the car. Not only this car, but they’re going to conduct another investigation that Tesla doesn’t know about. Tesla’s trying to sweep it under the rug. They won’t give any explanation for why the battery expired,” Mario shared.

Mario’s frustration extended beyond his own experience. He criticized Tesla for its attitude towards battery issues: “I’ll never buy another Tesla again. Consider this my advice to stay far away from Teslas. They’re poorly made cars from a 10-year-old company.”

Tesla Seems To Be Under a Barrage of Complaints
Tesla has faced its share of legal challenges. In July, a German Tesla owner was reimbursed after a court deemed the vehicle a significant safety hazard. The court found that the car’s assistance system failed to reliably recognize traffic obstacles and frequently broke down, posing a danger in urban areas.

In February 2022, Tesla recalled approximately 578,000 vehicles following the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) statements about safety standard non-compliance. Among Tesla owners, the high cost of battery replacements has been a recurrent complaint. In 2021, a Finnish man chose to destroy his Tesla rather than pay $23,000 for a new battery after his 2013 Model S battery’s warranty had expired. He even hired an explosives team to blow up his car.

Mario was just one year out of warranty, indicating that the rust and water damage occurred over time. “That’s something that started during the warranty period. If the issue begins during the warranty period and they have no incentive to check the battery, even if you service it with them all the time, it doesn’t matter. It’s outside of warranty now,” Mario explained.

Social Media’s Response to the Plight of the Tesla Owner
Mario’s viral TikTok video garnered a lot of empathy from viewers. One user commented, “Scream it from the rooftops. I’ve had nothing but issues with mine.” Another warned, “You will never convince me that owning a Tesla that someone else can control is a good idea.” A user favoring older models chuckled, “A mint 2005 Honda Civic would have still been running… just saying.”

Fortunately, Mario was able to sell his Tesla. In a follow-up TikTok video, he mentioned that the new owner planned to dismantle the car and charge it. Mario signed off with, “That’s going to be the end of my Tesla journey. It’s out of my life. Keep it out of yours.”

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