Man blows up Tesla after mechanics charge $23K for new battery

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The cost of a new Tesla Model S is about $95,000, but the experience of blowing one up is priceless.

Finnish man Tuomas Katainen bought his Tesla in 2013, and it rode like a dream — for about the first 930 miles. “It was an excellent car,” he said. “Then the error codes hit.”

After a month in the shop, mechanics said he’d need the “whole battery cell” replaced, at a price of 20,000 euros, or about $23,900.

“So I told them I’m coming to pick up the Tesla,” he said in a video, produced by Finnish YouTuber Pommijätkät. “Now I’m going to explode the whole car away.”

More than 2.8 million have watched the eight-and-a-half-minute episode of the reality stunt web show, which received a call from Katainen for help blowing up his out-of-warranty Tesla.

Tuomas Katainen's Tesla Model S flanked with dynamite
A Finnish man bought his Tesla in 2013, but when mechanics told him it would cost $23,000 to fix the battery, he decided to blow it up instead.
YouTube

Crews set up the explosion at a former quarry in snowy Jaala, in southern Finland, where they flanked about 66 pounds (33 kilograms) of dynamite to the self-driving sedan.

The event wouldn’t be complete of course without Elon Musk in attendance — which, naturally, he was not. But the crew did go so far as to hire a helicopter to fly over the blast site and drop a crash test dummy with a portrait of Elon Musk glued to its face. It was also wearing a jumpsuit and a helmet, for realism.

Tuomas Katainen
The vehicle rode well for about 930 miles before the battery gave out, according to former Tesla owner Katainen.
YouTube

Tesla has been fighting off a lot of negative feedback as of late. The carmaker is currently dealing with some heat from the government after the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a probe into their built-in gaming console earlier this week. Tesla quickly responded and agreed to disable the “Passenger Play” feature from 580,000 vehicles from their 2017 lines.

Last month, Tesla also recalled 11,700 cars over a faulty self-driving system, following again a NHTSA investigation behind the cause of 11 crashes since 2018 of drivers using “autopilot.”

Tesla Model S explosion
Experts strapped 30kg of dynamite to only one side of the car, so they could plan for the direction of the shrapnel.
YouTube
Tuomas Katainen and stunt crew
Katainen celebrates with the crew after exploding his 2013 Tesla Model S.
YouTube

Evidently, a $23,000 bill to replace a battery is par for Tesla’s course, while an Inverse investigation in October revealed a discrepancy between Tesla’s top dummy and the itemized receipts of disgruntled customers. Not only are their batteries less powerful and enduring as the company claims, but Inverse also found reports of Musk in 2019 stating that a total battery replacement should cost between $5,000 and $7,000. But FindMyElectric.com found that all parts and labor told, the final bill for their Model S Premium battery can put a customer out up to $20,000.

Demolishing the whole thing, however, was free. So when asked what’s more valuable — a working Tesla or the thrill of blowing it up, Katainen had to say: “Maybe more explosion.”

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