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

Being a Tesla owner today does seem to lend some credence to the whole ‘Go Green’ movement. But there are a lot of pitfalls that come with an electric vehicle. Recently, one such owner in Canada stated that he had been locked out of his luxury Tesla car. This took place after the battery expired. When he took his vehicle to the dealership- they stated that the replacement would cost him $26,000. Posting this unnecessarily harassing video, the owner- Mario Zelaya- wrote, “$26k for a new battery. Locked out of a car. Recalls are needed.”[1]


As it turns out Zelaya had plans to sell the car- but the price of a replacement battery befuddled him. He simply wasn’t ready to pay such a huge price for a replacement. Unfortunately, he couldn’t have possibly sold his car without proper ownership documents- and these were locked inside his car! Several viewers on TikTok asked him to dismantle the car- but Zelaya was in a hurry. Fortunately, he was able to get a copy of those papers for $30. 


Tesla Owners and their ongoing issues with Battery Replacement

This Tesla owner purchased this particular model back in 2013. But, he repeatedly mentioned this, this model and the additional variants from 2014 come with a problem. The fluid from the vehicle would leak onto the batteries- which would definitely destroy the batteries over time. The owner stated, “I got Transport Canada involved, and they actually did an investigation on the car. Not only did they do an investigation on this car, but they’re also gonna be doing one that Tesla doesn’t realize is coming up. Tesla’s trying to sweep it under the rug. They won’t give them any explanation of why their battery died.”

Zelaya ranted that the problems in Tesla had been pre-existing. The company’s lackadaisical attitude towards batteries exacerbated them. “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.

Related: Electric Vehicle Nightmare: Girl Learns Car Needs New Battery, Then Family Realizes It Isn’t Made Anymore

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Tesla Seems To Be Under a Barrage of Complaints

This isn’t the first time that Tesla had to deal with legal troubles. In July, a Tesla owner from Germany got reimbursed after the vehicle was deemed a massive hazard. A court in the country gave the verdict after it concluded that the assistance system on the driver’s end was not recognizing traffic obstacles reliably. Also, the court stated that the car would be breaking down constantly- which was quite dangerous in most of the urban areas in the country.

In the February of 2022, Tesla had to recall around 578,000 vehicles after the NHTSA or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mentioned that the company didn’t comply with safety standards. Several other Tesla owners have complained about the cost to replace the batteries. In 2021, a Finnish man decided to destroy his car rather than pay $23k for a new battery. The battery on his 2013 Model S had outlasted the warranty by over 8 years. This is why he hired a team of explosives that blew up his car.

Similarly, Zelaya was just a single year outside the warranty- so one can assume that the rusting and the water damage didn’t just take place this year. “That’s something that started during the warranty period so if the issue starts during the warranty period and they have no incentive to check the battery even though you service it with them all the time, it doesn’t matter. It’s outside of warranty.” 


Social Media’s Response To The Plight Of The Tesla Owner

TikTok viewers of this viral video empathized heavily with the Tesla owner. One user wrote, “Scream it from the rooftops. I’ve had nothing but issues with mine.” While another user commented, “You will never convince me that owning a Tesla that someone else can control is a good idea.” Another user, who believes in classic models, wrote, “A mint 2005 Honda Civic would have still been running… just saying.”[2] 

Fortunately for this irritated Tesla owner, he was able to sell this car. In a new TikTok video, Zelaya stated that the new owner had plans of completely dismantling the car and charging it again. Zelaya captioned it with, “That’s going to be the end of my Tesla journey. It’s out of my life. Keep it out of yours.


Read: The Biggest Reason People aren’t Buying Electric Cars



  1. Tesla owner says he’s locked out after battery died, replacement costs $26K.” Fox Business.  Louis Casiano 
  2. Man Says Tesla ‘Locked Him Out’ of Car Until He Pays for $26K Battery.” Newsweek. Samantha Berlin. September 14, 2022.