Tesla owner locked out of car until he replaces $26,000 battery

"That's going to be the end of my Tesla journey. It's out of my life. Keep it out of yours."

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
A Canadian Tesla owner has claimed that the battery on his electric car died and he was locked out, and that the automaker told him a replacement would run $26,000.

A caption on a TikTok video posted by Mario Zelaya read: "$26K for a new battery. Locked out of car. Recalls are needed." In the video Zelaya claimed his "piece of trash" car died and that the car is locked, and he cannot get in.

Zelaya said he bought the car for $140,000 in 2013, but added that models from that year and 2014 have issues with fluid from the air conditioning system leaking into the battery.

"You're probably thinking I'm full of crap, I'm making this stuff up," he said. "I'm not. I got Transport Canada involved and they actually did an investigation on the car. Not only did they do an investigation on this car, they're gonna be doing one that Tesla doesn't realize is coming up."

He added, "Tesla's trying to sweep it under the rug. They won't give them any explanation of why their battery died."

Zelaya also claimed that when Tesla vehicles are serviced, the battery is not checked, because the company has no incentive to do so.

He continued on to say that he is a year past his warranty expiration and wants to sell the car but that he can't because his ownership papers are inside the car, which he cannot access because it is locked. "I'll never buy another Tesla again. That's the long way of me saying stay the [expletive] away from Teslas. They're brutal cars, brutal manufacturing, and even worse, they're a 10-year-old company."

Later in the week, Zelaya claimed that he sold the car and that the buyer was going to pick it up. The alleged buyer is then seen in the video disassembling the car’s front bumper then charging the vehicle. 

Zelaya concluded, "That's going to be the end of my Tesla journey. It's out of my life. Keep it out of yours."

Over 3,700 users commented on the video, with many claiming they had similar issues with their vehicles.

In August, a group of Tesla owners in Norway went on a hunger strike in an effort to get CEO Elon Musk’s attention about issues they claimed to have with their vehicles. In 2021, a Finnish man went viral for blowing up his Tesla after refusing to buy a new battery for $23,000.

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