Tesla Ordered To Recall Cybertrucks Over Accelerator Crash Risk

Tesla’s stock crashed this week following the announcement that the electric vehicle company would be laying off 10 percent of its staff. If things weren’t already looking grim for Elon Musk’s flagship company, it was just ordered to recall nearly 4,000 of its recently released Cybertrucks over an accelerator pedal issue that could result in actual crashes. 

On Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a mandatory recall of 3,878 Cybertrucks — the futuristic, stainless steel beasts that have become the subject of widespread public mockery and consumer disappointment — since its launch late last year.  

The NHTSA wrote in their recall notice that “when high force is applied to the pad on the [Cybertruck] accelerator pedal, the pad may dislodge, which may cause the pedal to become trapped in the interior trim above the pedal,” an issue which “may increase the risk of a collision.” 

Earlier this week, Tesla paused the production, sale, and delivery of the trucks with little explanation. One TikTok user posted a video theorizing that the pause may be due to pedal malfunctions and described how the accelerator cover on his own Cybertruck had slipped off the pedal and become jammed in the vehicle’s floorboard. “It held the accelerator down, 100 percent full throttle,” user @El.Chepito said. 

“Luckily [I] had a clear mind, didn’t panic. Holding the break down overrides the [accelerator], so I was able to stop the car but any time I’d lift the break it would start accelerating again,” they added. 

According to the NHTSA, the issue is likely to affect every Cybertrucks manufactured between  November 13, 2023 and April 4, 2024. The administration cited an “an unapproved change introduced lubricant (soap) to aid in the component assembly of the pad onto the accelerator pedal. Residual lubricant reduced the retention of the pad to the pedal,” as the manufacturing cause of the defect. 

Loose accelerator covers are by no means the first manufacturing concern raised by Cybertruck owners. Drivers have complained that the truck, whose base price begins at around $80,000, falls far short of the quality standards expected of a luxury vehicle. But issues with rusting, poorly fitted panels, and weather-induced failure are small potatoes compared to concerns that the truck may be an 8,000-pound driving safety hazard to both owners and other motorists sharing the road. 

The truck has not been crash-tested, and its angular, stainless steel design has raised alarm among safety experts who say the car is not designed to absorb damage to its chassis and instead could transfer much of the impact force of a crash to passengers inside the car and in other vehicles. 

On Monday, Tesla announced that it would be laying off 10 percent of its global workforce, a cut of around 14,000 jobs. “It is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity,” Musk wrote in a memo to staff. As an extra slap in the face to employees facing unemployment, the company announced on Tuesday that it would seek to give Musk a $56 billion compensation package that had previously been blocked by a Delaware judge. 


On Thursday, Deutsche Bank’s market analysts downgraded Tesla’s stock from a “buy” to a “hold,” and lowered its projected target price to $129. The company’s shares tumbled to below $150, erasing the gains of the last year. 

Musk, a prolific poster on most days, has remained uncharacteristically silent regarding the issues faced by the company that helped build his fortune, but others are making clear their feelings about his role in the corporate crisis. “He comes in, shit all over us, and goes,” one laid-off Tesla manager told Electrek.co