When Angel Gaitannow better known as the TikTok mechanic, received his Tesla Model 3 With all the illusion in the world, he couldn’t even imagine the odyssey that was coming his way. She paid 72,000 euros for a defective car that nobody wanted to take care of. However, against all odds, the mechanic from Aranjuez has won the first court battle against Goliath Elon Musk thanks in part to the powerful slingshot of social media.
The Tesla, fresh from the factory in Fremont (USA), has already arrived in Spain with problems. “All the knobs out of square, the body warped, the door with a hole, the battery dead, I almost didn’t make it home… I paid extra for a specific blue and they polished the body. It was disgusting to see it in the sun. A new car there is no need to polish it”, Ángel explained to digital freedom. “I couldn’t believe it. With everything I spent on the car and with the illusion I had”.
It must be said that Ángel, who is also a judicial expert, was one of the biggest fans of Tesla and is even company shareholder. “I painted the floor of my garage with the Tesla logo, I bought several t-shirts, I ordered several official keys and chargers… All the money I was making I put into that company.”
The fact is that Ángel took his new car and left “in a very bad mood”. Two days later, he had to take his Tesla to the only workshop of the brand in Spain, which is in Fuenlabrada because it sounded “something weird” in the trunk. “They called me a month later to say that they had already located the problem: a minor joint putty.”
“I went back to the workshop, but first I went to the Fuenlabrada notary. I hired him and we appeared at the workshop by surprise together with another legal expert. We found the car disassembled, with the seats trampled…”. At that moment, they kicked them out of the workshopbut the photos had already been taken and the notary had already made his report.
The putty was the car’s own welding and the solution offered by the official Tesla workshop was to divide the car into several parts to solder it back. “I did not accept it. It was a new car. They told me that if I did not want to repair it, I had to take it as it was because they would not return my money.”
When you buy a car online (there are no Tesla dealers in Spain) you have between 15 days and a month to return it without questions. The problem is that Ángel left his car in the garage two days after receiving it and it was held there for a month. “They messed it up for me and I couldn’t return it.”
Ángel could not believe that the brand would ignore a defective vehicle of 72,000 euros. “From there, 9,000 euros of expenses to file the complaint and I’ve been doing this for almost two years.”
Mechanics only talk to cars
Ángel returned to drive the Tesla, although on very few occasions. “I have ridden my children four times in the Tesla because I don’t trust it.” And then a transmission problem forced him to return to the Fuenlabrada workshop. Chastened from the previous time, he sent several photos and videos with the exact location of the breakdown. He couldn’t talk to any mechanics, because according to Tesla “mechanics don’t talk to customers, they talk to cars.”
They called him three days later. They hadn’t seen the photos or the video, but the car, according to them, was fixed. “You just had to grease between the hub and the disc with the bearing.” Where most of us would have nodded, displaying our ignorance, Ángel was amazed at what he was hearing. “I don’t know who you think you’re talking to” he told her. “You’re naming words and pieces that don’t make sense to each other.
They hadn’t even tested the car to see if the problem was fixed. “It’s surreal. I felt like he was laughing at me. I said, ‘You are a shameless man and that you know that I have recorded the entire conversation to use it in the trial, because you have no idea what you do and you are lucky that 99% of the people who come do not know about cars, but you have found the shape of your shoe. You have gone to find who knows and I will not allow it. You will find out about this Elon Musk‘”.
At that time, Angel says, they laughed at him. What power would a mechanic from Aranjuez have against the richest man in the world? But lo and behold, a year after filing the lawsuit, Ángel suffered a work accident and, bored at home, his son convinced him to record a video on TikTok. That changed everything. To this day, Angel has one million followers in social networks that closely follow his struggle with Tesla.
“Now the movie has changed. I think if they had taken me a little more seriously at the time… I even offered to fix the problem. But they came up and literally laughed in my face when we got to the trial.”
Other victims of a faulty Tesla
The magistrate of the court of first instance nº2 of Fuenlabrada sentenced Tesla Spain to pay €62,330 plus interest to Gaitán (the 7,000 euro difference corresponds to the driving software). “They made it very difficult for me. I have won the trial in the first instance and now we have to wait because they have asked for an extension of the term to appeal. But the sentence is clear. It is not acceptable that a new car has this type of fault”.
Waiting to see how the story ends, Angel is not doing badly at the moment. His case and his repercussion on social networks and the media has attracted many other desperate owners with their defective Tesla to the doors of his workshop.
“Now we have a couple of clients in the workshop. One of them has the out of square doors and he is tired of changing the wheels, which break every two times three. No one has given him a solution and it’s as simple as making a parallel because the wheels are not straight they always wear out on the inside”, explains Gaitán. The second customer has his car under warranty and “he has changed five batteries in a year, a 20,000 euros each battery. He has no idea what he’s going to do with the car when it’s out of warranty.”
People begin to change their vision and begin to ask questions and Tesla right now is in a very uncomfortable situation in Spain. This is not to say that electric cars are bad. They have more risk because their trajectory is short. The problem here is that these people want to sell at all costs, including cars that in any other factory would have been discontinued, are being sold here. And let what God wants happen.”
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The mechanic from Aranjuez who has won a lawsuit against Tesla: “Elon Musk will find out”