Tesla Issues New Recall on Cybertrucks After Finding Piece Can Detach and Endanger Roadways

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jun 26, 2024

A new recall for Tesla’s “Cybertruck” pickup truck model was announced in documents by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), which will affect over 11,000 trucks.

According to the documents, a cosmetic sail applique attached with adhesive located on the trunk’s bed trim can fall off and become a road hazard. This is now the fourth recall for Tesla’s Cybertruck which only began shipping to customers in late 2023.

Cybertruck Defect

The NHTSA lays out a description of the defect that effects Model Year 2024 Cybertrucks.

A silver Tesla Cybertruck is captured in motion, kicking up a spray of snow on a vast, snow-covered plain

Source: Tesla/X

“The Cybertruck is equipped with a cosmetic applique along the exterior of the trunk bed trim, known as the sail applique, which is affixed to the vehicle with adhesive. On affected vehicles, the sail applique or adhesion may not have been installed according to specification, which may cause the sail applique to become loose or separate from the vehicle,” said the documents.


Safety Risk

According to the NHTSA,” If the applique separates from the vehicle while in drive, it could create a road hazard for following motorists and increase their risk of injury or a collision.”

A gray Tesla Cybertruck outside at night.

Source: u/Kruzat/Wikimedia Commons

The agency estimates that 11,383 Cybertrucks are affected by the Safety Recall, with an estimated 1% of them possessing the defect.

Cause of the Defect

According to the document filings, the affected piece of trim that can fly off was installed with adhesive, and there’s a chance that quality controls did not guarantee it was properly installed at the factory.

A close-up of many cars on the road stopped during traffic.

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Tesla asserted as of June 12, 2024, it was not aware of any collisions, injuries, or deaths resulting from the applique defect.

Possible Warning

Luckily for drivers, there may be an advanced sound warning before the applique fully detaches.

Road lines diverge down a snowy path.

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“A loose applique may create a detectable noise inside the cabin. Separately, the customer may observe the applique coming loose or separating from the Vehicle,” said the NHTSA.

Timeline of Events

The NHTSA document lays out a timeline for the discovery of the defect which started in December.

The logo for Tesla seen in a close-up shot on a Black vehicle.

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“On December 28, 2023, an undelivered Cybertruck with a single missing applique arrived at a Tesla delivery center after being transported on a vehicle hauler,” says the document.


Tesla Investigation

Following the December discovery, Tesla engineers at Giga Factory Texas worked to investigate the issue and improve “adhesion controls.”

A close-up of a Tesla logo on a car.

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Tesla concluded its investigation after finding no further occurrences but a second occurrence was identified on a customer vehicle on May 11 that reignited its attention.


Improper Installation

Between then and Jun 11, Tesla assessed the retention of sail appliques on its vehicles and found “additional instances of loose or detached appliques due to improper installation of the applique or adhesive.”

The Logo for Tesla seen close up and against a dark background.

Source: Alexander Shatov/Unsplash

On June 12, Tesla then decided to make a voluntary recall of its vehicles, where it promised to replace the sail applique “at no charge to the customer.”


Fourth Recall

This improper installation issue with the Cybertruck resulted in the fourth recall for its models in the United States, with the recent third and fourth recalls being physical issues that require customers to go somewhere to get them fixed.

A Cybertruck parked under a structure with a blue sky in the background.

Source: A1C6/Wikimedia

One of the earlier recalls involved an accelerator pedal that could get stuck and cause “unintended acceleration.” This defect was documented in a viral video by a Cybertruck owner which garnered millions of views across multiple social media platforms.


Futuristic Truck

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the Cybertruck he touted it as a futuristic truck whose unique look and features make it advanced.

Elon Musk sits in a chair against a dark background with one leg crossed.

Source: Trevor Cokley/Wikimedia

“[It’s] better truck than a truck, while also being a better sports car than a sports car in the same package,” said Musk.


Reaction to the Recall

Many expressed amusement and sarcasm online in reaction to the news of another Cybertruck recall.

A series of EV charging stations for Tesla vehicles.

Source: Michael Rivera/Wikimedia

“I’m beginning to think this cybertruck isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,” said one Reddit user. Oh it’s got cracks in it now? Great,” said another user in reply.


Beta Test

Some took the opportunity to express cynicism about the current state of the automobile industry, feeling like vehicles are being made without the proper rigor.

Elon Musk wears a gray shirt and speaks into a microphone against a red background

Source: Wikipedia Commons

“As usual, driver of vehicle end up as unpaid beta tester,” said a user on Reddit. “Seems like they took a lot of shortcuts making this thing,” another user wrote.