Tesla Cybertruck recall prompted by “trapped” accelerator pedals

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Tesla is recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks over sticky accelerator pedals, after the NHTSA earlier this week said that it was already communicating with Tesla on the issue. 

Cybertruck pedals may become trapped in a depressed, “accelerate” position after a lot of pressure has been applied by the driver, explains documents filed with the federal government. 

The issue potentially affects 3,878 Cybertrucks made from November 13, 2023, through April 4, 2024—perhaps including those made for the production Tesla Cybertruck reveal, where the company delivered the first examples.

A “high force” on the pedal may trap the pedal below interior trim next to the pedal for a curious reason that appears to be related to assembly shortcuts rather than the engineering of the vehicle. According to Tesla, in vehicle assembly, soap was introduced as a method of getting the pad onto the pedal. The residue that had eased the assembly then prevented the pad from staying on the pedal.

Tesla Cybertruck

Fortunately, Tesla has provided multiple failsafes for such a condition, from an engineering standpoint. “Note that application of the brake pedal will cut drive torque, including when both brake and accelerator pedals are pressed, and continued application of the brake pedal will bring the vehicle to a stop as quickly as if the accelerator pedal was not pressed,” Tesla explained in these documents, also noting that the driver will also receive audible and visual alerts that both pedals are being pressed. 

As proven more than a decade ago in unintended-acceleration instances relating to the Toyota Prius, among other vehicles, even cut-and-dried cases of pedal misapplication can lead to sensational headlines and social-media posts, while few if any vehicles made in recent decades are capable of out-accelerating their brakes. This latest Cybertruck issue made the rounds in a TikTok video that has been widely misconstrued. 

There have been no known crashes or injuries due to this issue, which has escalated quickly relative to most other automotive recalls. The brake-pedal issue was first identified on March 31 with a customer claim, with engineering verifying simultaneous brake and accelerator inputs from data logs, and a recall was initiated after Tesla could recreate the condition.  

2025 Tesla Cybertruck - Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

2025 Tesla Cybertruck – Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Tesla says it will “replace or rework” the accelerator pedal assembly in existing vehicles “to prevent the pad from dislodging,” and it noted that models in transit will also get the remedy. It’s already redesigned the component as of this week, so models made starting on April 17 shouldn’t have the concern. 

So far, the Cybertruck has ramped up on a niche-vehicle trajectory. As the market doesn’t shift away from EVs but shifts toward more affordable EVs, Ford has delayed its next-generation electric truck—a “Cybertruck for Silicon Valley people,” as Ford CEO Jim Farley put it—until 2026. Meanwhile Tesla CEO Elon Musk has pushed back against reports that its affordable Model 2 has been nixed in favor of an all-in Robotaxi project

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