A TikTok video of a Tesla owner spilling the beans on his Tesla battery has gone viral. Mario Celaya says he was locked out of his Tesla Model S after its battery went out and Tesla told him it would cost $21,000 to replace it.
Mario Celaya, who lives in Toronto, Canada, said he paid $140,000 for the brand new car back in 2013. Among other things, the battery is designed to run for 300,000 to 500,000 miles, or about 21 to 25 years before it needs to be replaced, according to Elon Musk. But Mario Zelaya's electric car only ran 77,000 miles before it needed a new one.
The problem, Celaya said, was that some 2013 and 2014 Tesla Model S cars had a problem with liquid dripping from the drain of the air conditioning system onto the battery, causing it to rust. After a "high voltage battery" warning message appeared, Celaya took the car to Tesla, but was told the warranty did not cover it. He asked for a free battery, but was denied, leaving him with the option of paying more than $21,000 to replace the battery or selling the car.
With a dead battery, Celaya couldn't get into the vehicle or even get the ownership papers inside. It also would not respond to charging, Mario Celaya said. The owner believes the leaks and rust started when the car was under warranty. Zelaya also claims that Tesla canceled his Uber points, which he received when he went to service the car because he kept asking why the car needed a new battery. Mario Zelaya admitted that he could have entered the Tesla by removing the front bumper or from the tire well, but did not have time to do so.
The situation ended when Mario Celaya sold the Tesla and paid $30 for the new ownership papers. It appears that the new owner did find time to remove the bumper in order to gain access to the car. It seems unlikely that Mario Zelaya will return to the car brand in the future. Last year, a Finnish man working with the YouTube Explosives Channel blew up his 2013 Tesla Model S after finding out he would have to buy a $22,600 battery because it was "out of warranty for 8 years.