Nearly all Cybertrucks recalled over faulty accelerator pedal, misapplied soap

Elon Musks says, 'We are just being very cautious.'
Cybertruck recalled
Cybertruck owners claim an issue with their accelerator pad pedal caused the vehicle is unintentionally keep speeding up. Tesla

Tesla is recalling nearly every one of its Cybertrucks due to a faulty accelerator pedal that could get stuck in place when pressed down. The mass recall, which will require a physical maintenance fix, comes less than five months after the company began shipping the vehicle.

In its recall notice issued this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the pad on the truck’s accelerator could become “dislodged” if enough force was applied to it. Once the pad was dislodged, the pedal could become “trapped in the interior rim above the pedal.” If that were to happen, the NHTSA notes, the truck could continue accelerating even if the driver were to apply the brakes which could ultimately increase the risk of a crash or collision. The recall blames the malfunction on an unapproved introduction of lubricant to the pad during the manufacturing process. That lubricant, the recall notes, was soap. 

“If the condition [faulty accelerator pad] is present and the driver attempts to apply the accelerator pedal, the driver will detect the condition through immediate compromised performance and operation of the pedal,” the NHTSA wrote. “In addition, if the condition is present when the driver applies the brake pedal, the driver will receive an audible and visual alert that both brake and accelerator pedals are being pressed.” 

Tesla voluntarily agreed to recall the trucks and says it will “replace or rework” the accelerator pedal free of charge. The recall affects 3,878 Cyber Trucks manufactured between November 13, 2023, to April 4, 2024, which likely accounts for nearly all of trucks shipped to customers to date. When reached for comment, the NHTSA pointed PopSci to its recall notice. Tesla did not immediately respond to PopSci’s request for comment. Elon Musk, who has previously boasted about the vehicle’s “bulletproof” durability, acknowledged the recall on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

“There were no injuries or accidents because of this,” Musk wrote. “We are just being very cautious.”

Some Cybertruck owners began sharing their experiences of the accelerator getting stuck on social media last week. One Californian Cybertuck owner named Jose Martinez posted a video on TikTok explaining how the pad on his accelerator dislodged and got stuck on the driver-side carpet. Another Cybertruck owner who claims they experienced the issue says his truck continued accelerating even when he pressed on the brake pedal. Eventually, the driver alleged, he hit a light pole. 

Unlike other Tesla recalls 

Tesla owners over the years have come to expect recall notices with relative frequency. In just three years between 2020 and 2023, Tesla had 24 recalls of this Model Y SUV. In the past, Tesla has recalled vehicles for brake safety concerns, issues with its assisted driving software, and illegible warning lights. The sheer volume of the recalls sets the company apart. A 2022 analysis conducted by the price tracking firm found Tesla experienced the most recalls of any car brand that year, and by a wide margin. Tesla is somewhat unique though since the vast majority of those recalls are addressable via internet enabled, over-the-air updates. The Cybertruck recall is a notable outlier. Customers will actually have to physically have the truck serviced to address the accelerator issue. 

This isn’t the first issue Cybertruck owners have experienced in the vehicle’s brief life-span. Earlier this year, multiple owners said they saw small orange dots appear on the surface of their vehicles which resembled rust. One owner claims the discoloration occurs almost immediately after driving through a rain just one day after purchasing the car. A Tesla repair technician allegedly told one of the affected drivers they had a “procedure” for dealing with the splotchy red specks. 

[ Related: Owners worry Cybertruck of the future rusts after rain ]

Both the rust like spots and the apparent soap-induced accelerator pad issue appear to contradict Tesla’s branding of the Cybertruck as rugged, durable, off-road behemoth. Musk has previously referred to the vehicle as “badass” and possibly “the best product ever.”