Monday, May 20, 2024

Tesla Initiates Recall of Cybertrucks Due to Safety Risks Linked to Accelerator Pedals

In a significant move to ensure road safety, Tesla has announced a recall of thousands of its recently launched Cybertrucks, citing a potential crash hazard linked to the vehicle’s accelerator pedals. The recall encompasses models produced between November 2023 and April 2024, following reports that the accelerator pedals may become lodged due to improper interior trim fittings.

The electric vehicle pioneer, led by CEO Elon Musk, has reportedly recalled 3,878 units of its futuristic Cybertruck, priced at approximately $61,000 each, after identifying that the accelerator pad could disengage and trap against the trim under heavy use. This defect could lead to unintended acceleration, significantly heightening the risk of collisions.

The issue was first flagged by an internal whistleblower, according to discussions with the BBC, who noted similar concerns with pedal safety in previous Tesla models. Despite reaching out, Tesla has yet to make a formal response.

The US Department of Transportation has formally issued a notice about this risk, stating, “A trapped accelerator pedal can cause the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally, increasing the risk of a crash.” To address this problem, Tesla has committed to repairing the affected vehicles at no cost to owners. The company assured that braking would still overpower the accelerator, allowing drivers to stop the vehicle if needed.

This recall is a part of a broader series of challenges for Tesla, including increased market competition and a general slowdown in the electric vehicle industry. Tesla’s shares took a hit after a significant drop in sales in early 2024, compounded by a recent workforce reduction of 10%. Despite these hurdles, Tesla continues to pursue ambitious compensation plans for Musk, with a proposed package valued at $56 billion.

This recall follows several other recent safety recalls by Tesla, including over 1.6 million vehicles in China and more than two million in the US due to software and autopilot issues, addressed through remote updates.

The spotlight on Tesla’s pedal assembly isn’t new; former engineer Cristina Balan raised concerns about potential pedal blockages by curled carpets as early as 2014, which she claimed posed serious risks to both Tesla drivers and others on the road. Legal proceedings involving Balan are ongoing as she continues to press her safety concerns.

As Tesla addresses these pressing safety issues, the company remains focused on overcoming its production challenges and maintaining its competitive edge in the rapidly evolving automotive industry.

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