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Tesla is recalling Cybertrucks due to risk of accelerator crashes

By Mathilda Bartholomew | April 22, 2024

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The concern stems from the possibility of accelerator pedals getting stuck by the interior trim, raising the risk of accidents.

Tesla is recalling Cybertrucks due to risk of accelerator crashes

Tesla, Elon Musk's electric car company, has issued a recall for thousands of its new Cybertrucks due to safety issues. The concern stems from the possibility of accelerator pedals getting stuck by the interior trim, raising the risk of accidents.

The BBC interviewed a whistle-blower from the company who had raised similar safety concerns about pedals in previous Tesla models. 

This recall affects 3,878 Cybertrucks manufactured between November 2023 and April 2024, each priced around $61,000 (£48,320). The US Department of Transportation highlighted the risk posed by a stuck accelerator pedal, which could lead to unintentional acceleration and potentially result in crashes.

The problem lies with the accelerator pad, which may dislodge and become trapped in the truck's interior trim if pushed hard. Tesla has committed to fixing the issue free of charge, as confirmed in their filing with the US government. They assure that pressing the brake pedal will override the accelerator and bring the truck to a stop.

The root cause seems to be an "unapproved change" in the pedal's production process, where "lubricant" was used, causing the pad not to adhere properly to the pedal. Although Tesla received two complaints about this problem, there have been no reported collisions, injuries, or deaths linked to it as of April 15.

In recent months, Tesla faced the necessity of recalling millions of its cars due to safety issues. In January, over 1.6 million cars were recalled in China due to concerns regarding steering software and door locking systems. Similarly, in December 2023, more than two million cars were recalled in the US after regulators identified faults in the car's autopilot system.

Interestingly, both instances didn't require physical modifications. Instead, Tesla opted for "over the air" software updates to address the issues in the affected cars.

This most recent recall adds to Tesla's recent challenges, including declining sales in the first quarter of 2024, leading to a drop in its stock price and subsequent layoffs of 10% of its workforce. Despite these difficulties, the company is still pursuing a significant pay deal for Elon Musk, while also dealing with previous recalls due to safety defects.

This isn't the first time Tesla's pedal assembly has been questioned. A former employee turned whistleblower, Cristina Balan, is currently engaged in legal proceedings with the company over similar concerns raised in 2014 regarding brake pedals. Tesla has yet to respond to requests for comment on this matter.

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