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

Owning a Tesla can have its challenges. Mario Zelaya, a Tesla owner in Canada, recently shared his frustration after being locked out of his car due to a dead battery. At the dealership, he was told a replacement would cost $26,000. Zelaya posted a video stating, “$26k for a new battery. Locked out of a car. Recalls are needed.”

Zelaya wanted to sell his Tesla but couldn’t access necessary documents locked inside. He paid $30 for replacement papers. He bought the Tesla in 2013 and mentioned a design flaw causing fluid leaks onto the batteries, destroying them over time. “I got Transport Canada involved,” he said, indicating an ongoing investigation. Zelaya criticized Tesla for its poor handling of battery issues, stating, “I’ll never buy another Tesla again.”

Tesla has faced numerous complaints and legal troubles. In July, a German court ruled against Tesla for unreliable driver assistance systems. In February 2022, Tesla recalled 578,000 vehicles for not meeting safety standards. Complaints about costly battery replacements are common; a Finnish owner blew up his car rather than pay $23,000 for a new battery.

The viral TikTok video garnered sympathy. One user wrote, “I’ve had nothing but issues with mine.” Another commented, “A mint 2005 Honda Civic would have still been running.” Zelaya eventually sold his car, stating, “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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