Canadian Tesla owner says automaker locked him out of his car until he pays $26,000 for new battery


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A Tesla owner in Canada said the battery on his $140,000 vehicle died and that the electric automaker told him a replacement would cost him $26,000 and has locked him out of the vehicle until he gets a new one.

Mario Zelaya posted a video on TikTok saying his "piece of trash" car died and that the car is locked, preventing him from being able to get in. The caption on the video reads: "$26K for a new battery. Locked out of car. Recalls are needed."

He said he purchased the car in 2013 but said models from that year and 2014 has issues with fluid from the air conditioning system leaking onto the battery. 

"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."


Fox Business has reached out to Zelaya and Tesla. 

He said he reached out to another Tesla owner who also said they had the same issues with the car battery. Zelaya said Tesla canceled that owner's Uber credits while the vehicle was being serviced. 

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


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He also claimed that when Tesla owners get their vehicles serviced, the battery is not checked, saying they have no incentive to do so. Zelaya said he is a year outside his warranty period and wants to sell the car but that he can't because his ownership papers are in the car, which he cannot get into because it is locked. 

He instead spent $30 on new papers, he claimed. 

"I'll never buy another Tesla again," he 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."

In another video posted this week, Zelaya said he sold the car and that someone was going to pick it up from his driveway. The supposed buyer is then seen taking the car apart from the front bumper and then charging it. 

A Tesla electric car sits in a charging station at a dealership.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne / AP Images)

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


Some Tesla owners have voiced concerns about the vehicle in recent months. A group of owners in Norway went on a hunger strike in August in an effort to get CEO Elon Musk’s attention about a long series of problems they claim to have with their vehicles.

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