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Cybertruck owner says accelerator got stuck while he was driving


A federal vehicle safety regulator says it has contacted Tesla after a Cybertruck owner went viral over the weekend with claims that his accelerator pedal got stuck while he was driving the vehicle.

On Thursday, Jose Martinez said he was driving his new Tesla Cybertruck on his local drag strip in Southern California when the car started accelerating on its own. He said he put his foot firmly on the brake, stopped the car and realized that a rubber cover attached to the accelerator had come loose, pinning the pedal down. He said he had the car for six days total.

Over the weekend, Martinez heard that some Cybertruck deliveries had been paused, he said in a phone interview with NBC News. On Sunday morning, he made a TikTok showing the issue with his accelerator. As of Monday afternoon, Martinez’s video has been viewed almost 2 million times on TikTok and almost 6 million times on X, the social media website purchased and renamed from Twitter by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. 

“The moment I let go of the brake, it would lurch forward at full throttle again,” Martinez told NBC News. “I had space where I could figure out what was going on. It wasn’t a situation where there were cars in front of me or a building or a tree.” 

Various Tesla news sources have reported at least a weeklong pause in some Cybertruck deliveries related to an accelerator issue. Cybertruck enthusiasts on an owners forum have described getting calls alerting them to delays on their deliveries for an unknown amount of time related to an accelerator issue.

Tesla has not announced any official recall or pause and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In Martinez’s case, he said he found he could continue driving the Cybertruck without the accelerator cover. He said he plans to fiddle around with it more during his next day off from working in car sales. Before the incident, Martinez said he drove the Cybertruck for more than 2,000 miles, in a trip to San Francisco and back. 

“Other than this, it’s a pretty solidly-built car,” Martinez said. “I know saying ‘Other than this’ makes it sound like it’s not major, and it is.”

“Because it is such a massive car, and it’s got such a great amount of power, I do feel like things in regard to safety definitely need to be a priority in getting it addressed and fixed,” he added.

A spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which tracks recalls, investigations and complaints, said in a statement to CNBC that “NHTSA is aware of this issue and is in contact with the manufacturer to gather additional information.”

Tesla previously initiated a voluntary recall of its vehicles in January 2024, including the Cybertruck, in order to make the font size on their touchscreens more readable.

In December, the NHTSA told CNBC that it contacted Tesla after a YouTube car reviewer claimed that the sharp edges on the Cybertruck cut his hand.

Previously, safety experts have raised concerns about the car’s speed, weight and sharp edges.

The first car accident involving a Cybertruck was reported in California in December. A Toyota Corolla crashed into a Cybertruck, and while the Tesla driver sustained a minor injury, the Corolla appeared to be much more damaged than the Cybertruck in photos.

At least one anonymous person previously posted on a Cybertruck owners forum about an issue with their accelerator and brake, saying they crashed into a pole. NBC News could not contact the user or independently verify their story. Other forum members cast doubt on their story and have expressed skepticism about Martinez’s TikTok.

The Cybertruck has been marketed as extremely durable and high-performing, generating intense interest and scrutiny of the vehicle and its rollout. 

During the Cybertruck’s launch event in 2019, the car’s “unbreakable” glass window shattered. Still, the car quickly became a status symbol and object of cultural hype, and numerous examples of Cybertrucks on the road have made a splash on social media. Some celebrities, like Kim Kardashian, have flaunted them. In January, there were more than 2 million reservations to potentially order the Cybertruck, according to Barron’s.

“Four years ago, I was sitting at the computer watching the reveal,” Martinez said. “I thought it looked cool, so I put the deposit down that same night.”  

But Martinez said he isn’t a Tesla “fanboy,” adding, “My perception of Elon Musk a few years ago, versus my perception of him now, has changed.”

Martinez’s video and the reported delays come at a tumultuous time for Tesla.

Musk announced Monday morning that Tesla would be laying off more than 10% of its global headcount. 

In an email sent to the company, obtained by CNBC and NBC News, Musk wrote: “Over the years, we have grown rapidly with multiple factories scaling around the globe. With this rapid growth there has been duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas. As we prepare the company for our next phase of growth, it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity.”


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