Tesla recalls Cyber trucks over accelerator crash risk

Tesla, the electric car company owned by Elon Musk, has recalled thousands of its new Cyber trucks over safety concerns.

It is because their accelerator pedals currently risk getting trapped by the interior trim, increasing the possibility of crashes.

The BBC recently spoke to a whistleblower at the company who had raised concerns over the safety of pedals of previous Tesla models.

Tesla has been contacted for comment.

The recall affects 3,878 Cyber trucks, which cost roughly $61,000 (£48,320), made between November 2023 and April 2024.

“A trapped accelerator pedal can cause the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally, increasing the risk of a crash,” the US Department of Transportation wrote in a notification of the recall.

The problem comes from the accelerator pad which, if pushed hard, can dislodge and then get trapped in the interior trim of the truck.

Tesla will fix the problem free of charge, according to its filing with the US government.

It also notes that pressing the brake pedal will override the accelerator and should still bring the truck to a stop.

The company says an “unapproved change” in the production of the pedal meant “lubricant” was used in its assembly, which means the pad did not stick properly to the pedal.

The electric car company received two complaints about the issue from drivers, on 31 March and 4 April.

The company wrote that it is “not aware of any collisions, injuries or deaths relating to this condition,” as of 15 April.

Reuters Elon Musk with his arms out wideReutersTesla is currently seeking to reward Elon Musk with a $56bn (£44.9bn) pay deal

The Cybertruck project has faced numerous problems – including Elon Musk breaking its window during a demonstration of it in 2019.

Its recall comes at a difficult time for the company, which faces increasing competition from rival firms and cooling interest in electric vehicles.

Sales fell sharply in the first three months of 2024, prompting a slump in its share price.

This week it announced it was laying off 10% of its workforce. Meanwhile, it is still seeking to award Mr Musk the biggest pay deal in corporate American history, worth $56bn (£44.9bn).

Tesla has also had to recall millions of its cars in recent months over safety defects.

It recalled over 1.6 million cars in China in January because of concerns with steering software and door locking systems.

In December 2023, it recalled more than two million cars in the US after the regulator found the car’s autopilot system was partly faulty.

However, in both cases, a physical change was not needed, with Tesla instead sending an “over the air” software update to its affected cars.

This is not the first time Tesla’s assembly of pedals has come under scrutiny.

An ex-employee who became a whistleblower is currently going through legal proceedings with the company.

Engineer Cristina Balan says she first raised concerns about the brake pedal on a previous Tesla car in 2014.

Ms Balan was worried the carpets were curling underneath some pedals – a simple but potentially lethal design flaw – and said customers had complained.

“If you cannot push the brake, someone else, outside of a Tesla, can get injured,” she recently told the BBC.

“They just had to say, ‘We realise the carpets are bad – just take them out of the cars.’”

Tesla did not respond to requests for comment on that story.


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