Tesla Cybertruck suffers new recall for a very scary problem


Forget the finger-biting frunk, Tesla's Cybertruck has a new and potentially more dangerous problem: a stuck accelerator pedal.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Tesla issued a voluntary recall on April 17 of "certain" Tesla Cybertruck models for "Unintended Acceleration from Trapped Pedal".

It's not clear why just 3,878 of the thousands of Cybertrucks sold are affected by the recall (some speculate that's the entire number of delivered Cybertrucks though we can't confirm that number) but the issue is prevalent enough that it was documented just days ago by TikTok user El Chepito in a video entitled, "serious problem with my Cybertruck" that claimed the issue led to a "stop sale" for the EV until it's fixed.

In his video, he explained that as he was driving the all-electric, stainless-steel-covered truck, the metal cover for his Cybertruck's accelerator slipped off the pedal, slid forward, and became wedged under the carpeted floorboards. At the same time, it was still hooked on top of the acceleration pedal, holding it down completely,

His description is almost exactly the same as what's described in the recall: "A trapped accelerator pedal can cause the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally, increasing the risk of a crash."

El Chepito notes in his video that, even though the accelerator was at full throttle, the Cybertruck's brake pedal could still override it. He didn't panic and, instead, pressed down on the brake to stop the car and was able to put the truck in park, pull the wedged pedal cover, and let the accelerator pop back to its unpressed position.

That original video amassed over 4 million views, and in a follow-up El Chepito says, "The purpose of the video was not to hate on the truck – obviously, I like the truck –but just to bring awareness to an issue."

Tesla's solution is to offer free pedal assembly replacements for affected Cybertrucks. Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by June 2024, though it might make sense to double-check your truck's accelerator pedal right now.

This is not the Cybertruck's first recall. In January, there was a minor one for an incorrect font size on warning lights but it also affected Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. In total, there were over 2 million vehicles impacted by an instrument panel issue that the NHTSA claimed could increase the risk of crashes.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

It's been a rough few months for Tesla. This recall comes just weeks after Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced it would be laying off 10% of the workforce (some 14,000 people) to in part "prepare the company for our next phase of growth".

Earlier this month, there were reports that Tesla was scrapping plans for the eagerly-anticipated "affordable" Tesla Model 2, an EV that was supposed to start at $25,000.

Its recent earnings reports showed some production and delivery issues, and the company's pivot to robot taxis is being met with a collective "meh."

Still, the Cybertruck, which was unveiled in 2019, is emblematic of the risks of Tesla and, especially, of Elon Musk's penchant for going his own way. The truck was delayed long enough for competitors to fill the gap with far more traditional-looking EV trucks like the Ford Lightning 150. The design and cost ($81,895 to start) remain divisive and there have been other less-than-positive design-related discoveries like line-of-sight issues or how the "frunk" or front trunk might be so sharp it could severely injure fingers.

Ultimately, this recall, while potentially dangerous, is relatively minor (at least when considering the number of impacted vehicles). It's another black eye for a company that ostensibly made electric vehicles a thing around the world.

For Tesla to return to its halcyon days, it needs a new, affordable EV to compete with China and increasing competition in the US, safety that's in line with the safety reputation of its Model S, Model Y, and Model 3, and maybe a few adjustments to the Cybertruck.

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