Video of Tesla Owner Blowing Up Model S Rather Than Paying for $23K Repair Viewed 4.4M Times

Tesla Model S Explosion Blow Up Demolition
A viral video shows a Finnish Tesla Model S owner blow up his car with dynamite rather than pay nearly $23,000 to replace its battery. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is pictured next to a blue Model S during a press conference in Beijing, China, on Oct. 23, 2015. VCG/VCG via Getty Images/Getty

A viral video of a Finnish Tesla owner blowing up his damaged car rather than pay an expensive repair bill had been viewed over 4.4 million times as of Monday.

Tuomas Katainen decided to give his 2013 Model S an explosive sendoff after the electric car company told him that it would cost €20,000, or just under US$23,000, to replace the battery pack out of pocket given that his car had outlasted its 8-year warranty. Model S cars sold for nearly $60,000 in 2013 and used models of the same vintage typically still sell for prices that exceed $30,000.

A Finnish explosives team who maintains a YouTube channel called Pommijätkät, or "Bomb Dudes," helped Katainen blow up his car. A well-produced video of the vehicle being completely demolished in a massive blast was uploaded to the channel on Dec. 17 and had amassed over 4.4 million views by Monday, with clips from the video posted to social media adding many more views.

Katainen said that his Tesla was initially an "excellent car" in an interview included in the video. He said that his assessment of the car changed after it began to show error codes. Eventually it became inoperable and he was forced to call a tow truck to bring the car into a Tesla repair shop, where it remained for a month before he was told that the only way to fix it would be to fully replace the battery.

When Katainen was given the pricey estimate and no further guarantees, he told the shop that he would pick up the car and have it blown up instead. Katainen maintained that the opportunity to watch the car explode was preferable to getting it fixed in any case. The explosives team was said to be "excited" about the prospect of destroying a Tesla after being asked to put the plan into action.

The video shows the Tesla parked in front of a rock wall in a former quarry while the explosives team and Katainen attach 30 kilograms of dynamite to it. The explosives were all placed on one side of the vehicle for safety purposes, in order to guide the blast fragments into the rock wall.

A helmet-wearing dummy with the face of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, which the team dubbed "Elon Mask," was placed into the car before the explosion. Katainen, the team and other observers stood in a shelter a safe distance away from the car and counted down to the explosion.

At the end of the countdown, several small explosions popped on the car before the entire vehicle was blasted to bits. The video shows the gathered crowd cheering and laughing before Katainen exclaims, "It's gone!" The demolition plays in slow motion several more times before the crew is shown going to the explosion site to examine the unrecognizable remains of the car.

"There is nothing left," a smiling Katainen says. "Absolutely nothing!"

Newsweek reached out to Tesla for comment.