Historically, early owners of new Tesla models have frequently dealt with various quality-related problems. But in the case of the Tesla Cybertruck—a vehicle on sale for seven months, revealed almost five years ago and made by a carmaker that's been around for 20 years—teething issues seem to be one of the most defining parts of the ownership experience. 

More than two months after our initial report of Cybertruck issues, owners are still being towed to service centers for a variety of reasons. Though many say they still love the trucks, owners tell InsideEVs that they're still discovering a litany of problems with their $100,000 purchases, all worrying signs of a development process that seems to rely on customers to beta-test flagship vehicles.

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Tesla's quality issues

Although Tesla is the leading global manufacturer of electric vehicles, it still struggles with new model launches. Its latest effort, the Cybertruck, was released to considerable hype and fanfare, but has since been marked by a variety of quality issues, owners say. 

Mechanical Failures

When we last dove into this issue, we knew of around 20 high-profile failures of Cybertrucks that owners posted about online. Since then, many more have arisen, although the rate at which they are posted appears to be decreasing given that Tesla is now pumping out the trucks at a rate of around 1,300 units per week.

The automaker previously reached a milestone of 1,000 units per week in April. It’s unclear how many trucks Tesla has built so far, but analysts expect Tesla to produce between 40,000 and 50,000 total units in 2024.

Regardless of the number of vehicles produced, we’re seeing an unusually high number of failures reported online, even for a new vehicle launch. And two months after our initial story in April, the hits keep on coming:

Some trucks are also having issues with failures related to their truck's half shafts. At least three owners have reported failures, including two that reported grinding noises and another showing a video with a loose axle bolt.

A number of trucks are also having issues with the vehicle's air suspension, displaying errors and requiring trips to the service center to replace parts. Some say that Tesla has replaced certain components, while others report that the errors have seemingly disappeared on their own.

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The Gigawiper

The big ol' wiper on the Cybertruck seems to be running into some big ol' problems as well.

And, no, we're not talking about it flopping around in the wind (although one user has reported that too)—a number of owners are reporting that the motor powering their truck's giant wiper is failing prematurely. In fact, it seems to be a pretty common pain point, with some owners seeing it twitch while driving, and others finding out that it's completely dead the first time they try to use it during a downpour.

InsideEVs was able to locate at least 16 accounts of wipers failing on trucks on various social media outlets and forums:

It's not clear why these wipers are failing, but they must have failed at a worrying rate for the issue to have been brought up so much on the forums.

Over the weekend, sales of the Cybertruck were even halted to fix the windshield wiper motor

It's also worth pointing out that Tesla opted for an extraordinarily powerful wiper motor in the Cybertruck. According to Tesla's VP of engineering, Lars Moravy, the truck uses a huge 120-watt electric motor. That might not seem like a lot, but the average automobile has a wiper that rarely exceeds 50 watts.

 

Perhaps the Cybertruck's new 48-volt architecture is causing some additional teething issues. Or maybe there's an underlying issue that has yet to be publicly documented.

Cosmetic Problems

YouTube car and gadget reviewer Marques Brownlee said that the Cybertruck had the worst panel gap he'd ever seen, but that's not the only cosmetic issue that owners are reporting. As it turns out, owners are finding that their brand new Cybertrucks are scratched from the factory.

Owners report large blemishes on their trucks, and in some cases, deep scratches as well. Tesla has reportedly attempted to buff out these blemishes at service centers using an official process, though multiple owners report that their panels had to be completely replaced in order to remove the factory defect.

At least one owner says that their local service center told them that "there is nothing they can do about it" until they pushed back enough to have the damaged part replaced.

There also appears to be an issue with rear trim panels falling off. Perhaps because—much like the accelerator pedal cover that warranted a recall—they're affixed with adhesive. In the case of the rear panels, Tesla mounts them using a few clips and double-sided tape.

Multiple owners have posted to social media and forums showing the trim on either side of the tonneau becoming loose or falling off while driving. After digging into the issue, folks found that the problem was due to the double-sided tape failing. Accounts began posting the missing panels to social media, warning Cybertruck owners to check their panels .

It turns out that it's not just the rear applique having problems, either. The front trim on the truck's A-pillar has also been coming loose and bending at highway speed on some vehicles.

Some owners mentioned that they caught the same issue before it happened to them when they discovered a loose bolt holding the panel near the truck's wiper. Another even posted a video on how to fix the issue if they notice that the nut has backed off and allowed the trim to pop out.

It appears that the bolt is used for panel gap adjustment. Owners say that some owners may require the bolt to have fewer engaged threads than others to make the panel flush with the body.

Tarnished Reputation

The Cybertruck’s biggest draw is its looks. Let’s be honest—it’s unlike anything else on the road today, and that alone means something to buyers. For some, the reaction alone that many owners get with the vehicle out in public could easily be enough validation to make the purchase worth it.

But as forum posts show, reliability is becoming a pain point for owners who otherwise love the truck, but are frustrated with the constant errors or back-and-forth trips to the service center. After all, what good is a car if you can’t drive it? It’s one issue after another for some trucks, and buyers are clearly experiencing the problems enough to vent about them on social media, forums, and even make YouTube videos to showcase the issues.

All of these high-profile failures will surely be bad for resale value, but—given that Cybertruck buyers are prohibited from reselling their trucks for the first year—we’ll have to wait to see how much values drop. 

Tesla, which is already haunted by its reputation for poor build quality and less-than-stellar reliability, is reaching a boiling point where the Cybertruck’s cool factor might not be enough outweigh these ongoing issues. And as more EV choices hit the market, albeit maybe no so flashy, buyers may opt to choose another EV over these points alone.

With six months of manufacturing under its belt for this truck, it’s only a matter of time before would-be buyers start holding Tesla accountable and looking elsewhere, because the product that was supposed to radically reinvent the truck has now earned a different type of reputation instead.

Contact the author: rob.stumpf@insideevs.com

Art by Sam Woolley for InsideEVs

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