A Tesla Model S strapped with dynamite. | Screenshot from Pommijätkät via YouTube
When faced with a repair bill that costs half of what you paid for your car, do you go through with the expensive repair, bring it to the junkyard, or sell it for parts? Finnish Tesla owner Tuomas Katainen decided to do something a little more extreme — but arguably a lot more satisfying — when faced with such a situation: he watched his car go up in flames, as noted in a report from Gizmodo.
Katainen handed his 2013 Tesla Model S over to Pommijätkät, a group of explosion experts on YouTube who loves to make things go “boom,” after he was quoted $22,600 for a battery replacement. “Well when I bought that Tesla, the first 1,500km [932 miles] were nice,” Katainen recounted. “Then, error codes hit.” After Katainen brought his Tesla to a mechanic, he found out that the only way to fix the car would be to replace the entire battery pack, which would cost him at least 20,000€, or around $22,600.
I think anyone would be pretty frustrated at that point, considering that the base price for a new 2013 Tesla Model S started at $57,400, later increasing to $59,900 when the car first came out. Even a standard used model currently goes for around $30,000 at the lowest. That’s probably why Katainen picked up the Tesla from the shop and told the mechanic that he’s going to “explode the whole car away.”
For context, these cars come with an eight-year (or up to 150,000 miles) battery and drive unit warranty, but the warranties on older models are starting to expire, revealing the potential cost behind a full battery replacement. In September, Electrek reported on a Tesla owner in need of a battery replacement on a Model S that was no longer under warranty. As noted in the report, he was quoted $22,500 from Tesla, but ended up getting a repair for $5,000 from a third-party shop. Katainen’s quote was also from Tesla, and it’s unclear whether he had access to an alternative repair service.
Either way, the group behind Pommijätkät strapped 30kg (66 pounds) of dynamite to the car and parked it in an old quarry in Jaala, Finland. Even Elon Musk was there — well, at least in spirit. A crash test dummy outfitted with a helmet, thick winter jacket, and a picture of Musk’s face was dropped in by helicopter and then stuffed in the driver’s seat.
Katainen triggers the explosion from inside a nearby bunker, and Tesla erupts in a ball of fire, with what seems like thousands of pieces scattering throughout the snowy landscape. The group picks up whatever was left of the car, which amounts to just a pile of scraps. When asked whether he’s ever had this much fun behind the wheel of a Tesla, Katainen replies, “No, never enjoyed this much with Tesla!”