Cybertruck Fails Are a Daily Delight to the Haters

Elon Musk may not have engineered Tesla‘s Cybertruck himself, but he certainly had plenty of input on how to build a vehicle that looks like “the future,” as he has often said. And he’s been sure to advertise the truck as an extension of his gonzo brand, touting its supposedly bulletproof construction and claiming it will eventually be able to function as a boat.

All that salesmanship, alas, may not compensate for the reputation that Cybertrucks have acquired since an underwhelming delivery event in November kicked off sales to customers who had waited four years to get behind the wheel. Musk, meanwhile, faces the prospect of having his name forever tied to a flashy, expensive truck known for mechanical failures and accidents. Already, it feels like we’re averaging a couple of ridiculous Cybertruck incidents a week — and given how few Tesla has realistically built so far, that’s impressive in all the wrong ways.

To be fair, some Cybertruck owners are simply victims of the car’s novelty factor. One redditor who got rear-ended before putting 500 miles on theirs explained that they got hit by a truck driven by someone who was distracted while FaceTiming — in order to show the Cybertruck to the person they were calling. While the other vehicle was totaled, the Tesla owner revealed that it would be $7,500 to replace the parts damaged on their own vehicle (and that’s not counting the cost of labor). They also complained that curious onlookers are always touching the truck, leaving fingerprint smudges on the stainless steel exterior. It’s a problem often mentioned alongside apparent corrosion and “rust spots” on the steel.

Less superficial issues are obviously more serious. Arizona attorney Matthew Chiarello, for example, on Sunday wrote in a since-deleted tweet that despite his affection for Tesla and the Cybertruck, he was upset over a “catastrophe failure” of its steering and brakes while driving with his wife and child in Las Vegas. The post showed his truck being towed from a parking lot — though Chiarello mentioned, with evident annoyance, that Tesla’s service center was not even open that day. Three days later, he followed up to say that technicians were still unable to determine the exact issue, and he had yet to get the truck back.

Chiarello maintained, despite the alarming description of the apparent malfunction in his initial post, that “no one was ever in the slightest danger.” (Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this episode or any of the images and videos mentioned in this article.) In any event, Chiarello’s story did little to assuage reservation holders already worried about buying a truck with apparent structural defects like misaligned panels, not to mention potentially weak performance metrics.

Chiarello’s car troubles were soon overshadowed, however, by viral images of the aftermath of an accident late Sunday night in which a Cybertruck driver rammed the iconic sign of the Beverly Hills Hilton. After a friend of the owner jokingly blamed a valet at the hotel for the collision, Musk amplified the false claim, tweeting: “Cyberbeast [the top-range Cybertruck model] is faster than a Porsche 911, but looks like a truck, so perhaps the valet wasn’t expecting so much acceleration.” The man who evidently started the rumor later tried to correct the record, as the valet business owner was concerned about their public image, though it’s not clear whether Musk ever found out the owner was in fact responsible.

A few Cybertruck owners have gone out of their way to make the vehicle’s early adopters seem particularly reckless — and none too bright. Streamer Adin Ross, for example, wasted no time getting his buddies together to take turns shooting his Cybertruck to demonstrate its tank-like toughness. While most of the rounds put unsightly dents in the side of the car, one of them punctured a rear door, leaving an actual bullet hole.

Then you have the genius who on Monday got their Cybertruck stranded on Marina State Beach, south of Santa Cruz, California — where driving on the sand is prohibited in any case. Photos of the truck inspired a lot of “Cyberstuck” jokes that recalled reports over the winter of Cybertrucks failing to maneuver in snow, contrary to Musk’s vision of a vehicle “built for any planet,” capable of handling the worst conditions and terrain. The misguided off-roader received a fine from the State Parks service and managed to move their truck off the beach after deflating the tires.

A Cybertruck defender might argue that these are isolated cases, and we shouldn’t draw any generalizations from them just because the vehicle’s critics want to see it wrecked or struggling. After all, while a “carrot test” demonstrates how its front trunk could crush or sever a finger, nobody has lost a digit to this steel behemoth (yet).


On the other hand, when you have YouTuber Danny Duncan drilling massive bull horns onto the front hood of his Cybertruck for a video while bragging “this is causing accidents,” it’s worth asking if any of this was a good idea. (Hell, even he pointed out that “the brakes kinda suck.”) When Musk said “we dug our own grave” with the Cybertruck, he was talking about manufacturing delays at Tesla, but the comment may have been prophetic in more ways than one.