A Tesla owner said he was “flabbergasted” when he and his partner were hit with a hefty bill to fix their electric vehicle.
Johnny Bacigalupo and Rob Hussey told the Scottish news outlet Edinburgh Live they were billed £17,374, or about $21,000, to fix their Tesla after its battery was damaged by rain last week.
“I honestly can’t believe that this has happened. When I first got the call, I thought we would get a bill for £500 or £1,000,” Bacigalupo told Edinburgh Live. “When they said over 17 grand — it’s absolutely obscene. My heart missed a beat, honestly.”
J.D. Power quoted Elon Musk saying in 2019 that it could cost $5,000 to $10,000 to replace a Tesla battery but added that the figures were different in 2023. Recurrent, which reports on EV battery health, said battery replacement could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000.
Bacigalupo and Hussey said that after being unable to start their vehicle and arranging to have it delivered to Tesla Edinburgh by a collection firm, they received a call Wednesday informing them that the battery was “damaged due to water ingress.”
They said they were told the eight-year warranty didn’t cover this and were asked whether they wanted to proceed with a repair costing about £17,500.
“Did I wish to proceed? I was flabbergasted and couldn’t really find my words,” Bacigalupo told Edinburgh Live, adding that he asked the Tesla representative how the couple was at fault.
The outlet said it verified the bill via correspondence between Tesla and the couple and had seen an email from Tesla customer relations saying it was investigating the complaint.
A similar incident occurred last year when a Canadian Tesla owner was told it would cost $26,000 to get a replacement battery for his vehicle, Fox Business reported.
The owner, Mario Zelaya, shared his experience in a TikTok video and said he was locked out of his Tesla Model S after the battery died. Zelaya said he eventually sold his Tesla after he spent $30 getting replacement ownership papers that were locked in the vehicle.
EV batteries can deteriorate at various rates depending on numerous factors, including how they were charged and the environment in which the vehicle was driven.
Tesla Europe didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.