- The owner of a 2013 Tesla Model S was facing a $22,000 repair bill to fix a faulty battery.
- He teamed up with several YouTubers to strap 66 pounds of explosives to the car and blow it up.
- The resulting videos have been seen a combined 5 million times.
For the first 900 miles, Tuomas Katainen’s modified 2013 Tesla Model S worked fine, he said. Then water leaks and error codes forced him to call a tow truck to take it in for repairs.
After about a month, the shop told him the faulty battery needed to be replaced, at a cost of about $22,000. In addition to the hefty fee, the work would need to be authorized by Tesla, which was apparently not very enthusiastic about prior work that had been done on the car.
Rather than shell out half the cost of a new Tesla to fix an old one, Katainen decided to do something different. He contacted some of his favorite YouTubers, including Lauri Vuohensilta of Hydraulic Press fame.
After removing the lithium-ion battery, motors, and other expensive components, the crew hauled the chassis out to an old quarry on the outskirts of Jaala, a remote village about two hours from Helsinki, Finland.
The demolition experts from the YouTube channel Pommijätkät (Bomb Dudes) strapped 66 pounds of high explosives to the car and surrounded the area with slow-motion cameras.
As they were finishing the setup, a helicopter swooped in and dropped a mannequin with the face of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, which they strapped into the driver’s seat of the doomed sedan.
The crowd retreated to a blast shelter, where Katainen was given the honor of pressing the button and sending his former ride to vehicular Valhalla.
In the video, a charge can be seen racing along the detonation cord, setting off a series of blasting caps that break the windshield and loosen several body panels.
After a short pause, the 14 hotdog-shaped charges erupt into a blinding ball of fire, sending a massive shockwave rippling out from the car.
Footage from a drone flying through the cloud of shrapnel and smoke shows a gray and black smudge where the car used to be.
The videos of the explosion have a combined 5 million views.
The standard warranty on a Model S covers eight years or 150,000 miles but may be voided if the battery is opened or serviced by anyone not authorized by Tesla. The warranty does not cover “damage resulting from intentional actions,” like blowing the car up for a YouTube video.
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