Tesla owner was apparently locked out of his car until he paid $26,000 for a new battery

  • Mario Zelaya previously owned a 2013 Tesla Model S
  • During his ownership, the TikToker faced his fair share of trials and tribulations with the $140,000 EV, including a dead battery which locked him out of the car
  • His options were to dismantle the car to get in, or buy a new battery costing $26,000

Published on Dec 28, 2023 at 7:18 PM (UTC+4)
by Adam Gray

Last updated on Dec 29, 2023 at 3:49 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Alessandro Renesis

Tesla owner was apparently locked out of his car until he paid $26,000 for a new battery

While Tesla dominates half of the EV market, not everyone’s pleased with their electric vehicles.

One such person is Mario Zelaya, who goes by @supermariozelaya on TikTok.

Zelaya experienced his fair share of trails and tribulations with his $140,000 Model S – and he didn’t mince his words, calling it a “piece of trash”.

READ MORE! Receipt shows the full cost breakdown of Tesla Cyberbeast and it’s wild

The TikToker previously posted videos saying he was trying to sell his Tesla because its battery died, meaning he was locked out of it.

Initially, it seemed Zelaya’s only options were to dismantle the car to get in – which he said he didn’t have time to do – or buy a new battery, which he claimed would set him back $26,000.

The world’s highest-mileage Tesla had 13 replacement motors and three battery packs during a ten-year period.

Instead, Zelaya decided enough was enough and the car had to go up for sale, however, he faced one major problem.

“I can’t sell the car because the ownership papers are in the car, and I have no way of accessing it,” he said in one of his videos.

Fortunately for Zelaya, though, there was an easy fix.

He visited ServiceOntario – the Canadian version of the DMV – and paid $30 to get the ownership papers.

Zelaya has since confirmed that he’s successfully sold the vehicle.

When the new owner came to pick it up, they managed to turn it on by popping open the front and turning on the power through there.

But why did Zelaya’s battery die?

He claims his 2013 Model S experienced water leaking into the battery, causing it to stop working.

Apparently, he’d been in contact with other motorists who’d allegedly experienced the same issue, too.

In the 2012-2020 Model S user manual guide on the Tesla website for the US and Canada, it said that “damage caused by water is not covered under warranty”.

It also added: “If you leave it unplugged for an extended period, it may not be possible to charge or use Model S without jump starting or replacing the low voltage battery.

“Leaving Model S unplugged for an extended period can also result in permanent battery damage. If you are unable to charge Model S after attempting to jump start the low voltage battery, schedule a service appointment.”

Tesla hit the headlines recently when the automaker recalled almost two million vehicles in the US due to safety concerns related to the Autopilot feature.

# Tags - EV, Tesla


Adam Gray

Adam Gray is an experienced motoring journalist and content creator based in the United Kingdom. Using his media accreditation with manufacturers’ press offices, Adam test drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches, producing written reviews and news pieces for supercarblondie.com. Before joining the Supercar Blondie team, Adam was Motoring Editor for Portfolio North magazine, North East Motoring Editor at Reach plc, and provided motoring content on a freelance basis to several lifestyle and business publications in the North of England. When he’s not behind the wheel of the latest car, Adam can be found at his local rink playing ice hockey or supporting his beloved Middlesbrough FC.