Tesla Will Recall Cybertruck in Latest Setback

Tesla has agreed to recall nearly 4,000 of its Cybertruck pickups to fix an accelerator pedal that can get stuck, raising the risk of crashes, a federal safety agency said on Friday.

The defect could cause the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a notice posted on its website. Tesla started selling the Cybertruck, its first pickup truck, in November after many delays.

The recall is yet another setback for Tesla, the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in the United States. The company has been losing market share to emerging competitors and reported this month that its sales in the first three months of the year fell from the same period a year earlier — the first time that has happened since the start of the pandemic.

Tesla’s recent troubles have unnerved investors, and the company’s stock has fallen roughly 40 percent so far this year.

The federal safety agency said all 3,878 Cybertrucks on U.S. roads produced from Nov. 13 to April 4 have the defect, which it said was caused by soap being used as lubricant during assembly at Tesla’s factory in Austin, Texas. The residual soap “reduced the retention of the pad to the pedal,” the agency said.

Tesla first received a customer complaint on March 31, and by April 12 it had completed its assessment and voluntarily recalled the affected vehicles, the notice said.

The agency said Tesla was not aware that the defect had caused any crashes, injuries or deaths. Some owners of the Cybertruck in recent days have posted videos and photographs on social media describing the defect and saying they were able to stop the vehicle by pressing down on the brake pedal.

Tesla will replace or repair the accelerator pedal on Cybertrucks free of charge, the safety agency said.

The company has faced several recalls in the past year. In February, it recalled more than two million vehicles because the font size on a warnings lights panel was too small. In December, the company recalled more than two million vehicles to change its Autopilot software to provide more prominent alerts that remind drivers to keep their hands on the wheel when using the system, which can perform certain driving functions.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Elon Musk, the company’s chief executive, told workers this week that the company would cut 10 percent of its work force. On the same day, two senior executives announced that they were leaving the company.

The electric car maker has struggled to maintain its recent rapid growth as more established automakers have started making and selling battery-powered cars, and demand for those vehicles has slowed. Tesla has been slow to respond to that competition; the Cybertruck was its first new model since 2020, but its unusual angular design and starting price of more than $80,000 is expected to limit its appeal and sales.

Tesla’s market share in the United States was 51 percent in the first quarter, a drop from 62 percent at the start of 2023, according to Kelley Blue Book.

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