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It started on social media and ended with a recall. Amidst rumors of Tesla Cybertrucks accelerating out of control, one TikToker revealed the nature of the problem. The NHTSA opened an investigation and Tesla stopped delivering new Cybertrucks. Now, the automaker announced a voluntary recall of Cybertrucks to fix the problem.

There were mutterings of Cybertrucks somehow turning into runaway deathtraps. But it was TikTok user Jose Martinez who revealed the mechanism of this malfunction. In a video, he shows that his Cybertruck’s accelerator pedal had come apart. The surface designed for your foot separated from the pedal backing. This allowed the surface to slide up and become lodged beneath a piece of trim. The result is a pedal pushed to the floor and stuck there.

The Cybertruck boasts a 2.6-second 0-60 time, and weighs 6,8000 pounds. This full-throttle malfunction could be deadly for anyone in the EV’s vicinity.

After something like this is reported, the NHTSA opens an investigation and collaborates with the automaker to get to the bottom of it. The Agency seeks to figure out what is going wrong, and how to make the vehicles safe again. By April 3rd, it was clear that multiple multiple trucks had this accelerator pedals coming apart.

If you want to get technical, the NHTSA established that Tesla or its employees had gone against the playbook and used soap in the factory as a sort of lubricant to get the pieces of the pedal to go together easier. But if they slide together too easily, they risk sliding back apart.

In practice, stamping the Cybertruck’s brake pedal deactivates its acceleration option. So if the driver were quick about it, they could conceivably stop the truck. But obviously they are then trapped, and will launch at full tilt if they let go of the brake. Not a great situation.

The Tesla Cybertruck accelerator pedal
Tesla Cybertruck accelerator pedal | GreggorTruck – X

In the past, Tesla and the NHTSA have butted heads over recalls. Specifically when the safety issue is caused by software, Tesla has rebelled against having to declare the risk and transparently track which vehicles it’s updated to be safe. CEO Elon Musk has gone as far as calling the word “recall” outdated. Tesla is the first company in recent memory to not voluntarily recall a vehicle the NHTSA warned it about, forcing the Agency to get the DOJ involved.

This time around, Tesla was quick to voluntarily recall 3,878 Cybertrucks. That’s every one built between November 13, 2024 and April 4th, 2024. Because Tesla doesn’t have a dealership network, Cybertruck owners must bring their EVs in to showrooms with service departments to have the pedal proactively repaired.

Next, read about when Tesla refused to recall autopilot cars killing first responders, or see Jose Martinez recount his Cybertruck pedal issue in the video below: