Tesla Owner Experienced EV Nightmare When He Found Out He'd Have to Pay $26,000 to Unlock Car
Mario Zelaya, a Canadian ax-thrower, entrepreneur and Tesla owner, told TikTok viewers in a series of now-viral videos starting Aug. 29 that his “piece of trash” 2013 Tesla Model S — which cost him $142,000 Canadian when new — now required a new battery that would cost him approximately $26,000 to replace.
Worse still, without a battery, he was having trouble selling the car because he couldn’t even open a door to get inside the vehicle.
Zelaya, in a video posted to TikTok that has garnered over 660,000 “likes,” explained that he purchased the Tesla new in 2013. In it, he described an alleged design flaw: “They made it so the air conditioning condenser unit dumps all the water on top of the battery, so my battery is full of water, which is why it needs a new one. And now they’re saying it’s not covered under warranty, even though it started happening during the warranty period.”
WARNING: The following social media posts contain language which some may find offensive.
@supermariozelaya My opinion: Tesla shut down my car over the air because my videos after refusing to pay for a new battery. #tesla #car ♬ original sound – Mario Zelaya
According to Fox Business, Zelaya said, “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.”
“Tesla’s trying to sweep it under the rug,” he said.
“They won’t give them any explanation of why their battery died.”
Zelaya argued that when Tesla vehicles are serviced, the battery is not inspected. He said that Tesla has no incentive to do so, according to Fox Business.
@supermariozelaya Replying to @Daddiebear “Full of BS”? You’re going to love this video. 😆 Denial is the first stage of grief. I understand your pain. The truth hurts. Next is anger; Embrace it when you find out I’ve been telling you all the truth about the cost of the car, price for a new battery and water that leaked in. Enjoy your Tesla while it lasts. 😫 #tesla #car ♬ original sound – Mario Zelaya
Acknowledging that he was one year beyond his warranty, Zelaya told viewers that he wanted to sell the car and had a $20,000 offer, but was struggling. His ownership papers were in the car and he couldn’t get into it.
In the end, he would have to spend $30 for new papers before he could sell the car.
@supermariozelaya Going back to burning fossil fuels.⛽️ Never buy a Tesla. #tesla #car #ItHurts ♬ original sound – Matthew Rincon
“I’ll never buy another Tesla again,” Zelaya said. “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.”
Fox Business wrote that in a video update, Zelaya said he finally sold the car and someone was going to pick it up from his home.
The buyer is allegedly shown taking off the front bumper of the electric vehicle and charging it.
“That’s going to be the end of my Tesla journey. It’s out of my life. Keep it out of yours,” he said.
On Sept. 15, Zelaya posted updated comments to his TikTok in which he claimed his account has been restricted.
“Update: I’m temporarily not allowed to post more videos due to ‘multiple community guidelines violations,'” he posted.
Zelaya added, “Banned from posting until September 21st. I can’t wait… I’m going to unleash.”
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