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Whether Stuck in Sand or Snow or Driving Into Walls, Owners are Wrecking Cybertruck’s Image

by | March 12, 2024

When Elon Musk handed over the keys to the first Cybertruck last November he boasted that the electric pickup featured “the finest in apocalypse technology.” The Tesla CEO even played a video showing bullets bouncing off the truck’s stainless steel skin. But a series of recent social media posts raise serious questions about the truck’s actual capabilities — or at least the skills of its early owners who’ve gotten stuck in sand and snow and even driven into a wall at the Beverly Hills Hotel, knocking off a wheel in the process.

Tesla Cybertruck - Stuck in Snow

Social media posts have shown several Tesla Cybertruck owners stuck in sand and snow.

If the folks at DC Comics were looking for a new Batmobile for the next movie about the Caped Crusader you might think they’d have little choice but to line-up one of the new Tesla Cybertrucks. After all, to listen to the automaker’s never-modest CEO Elon Musk, the electric pickup can resist automatic weapons fire, climb over just about any obstacle, and, well, resist just anything this side of the Rapture.

“The apocalypse could come along at any moment,” Musk said during a ceremony market the first Cybertruck deliveries last November. “And at Tesla we have the finest apocalypse technology.”

Apparently, some of those new owners have taken those claims of invincibility a little too much to heart. Considering some of the posts we’ve seen on social media in recent weeks, Cybertruck is a bit more vulnerable than promised.


Tesla Cybertruck crash Beverly Hills Hotel rear

A wheel was torn off this Tesla Cybertruck when it was driven into the sign at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Social media makes it possible to be seemingly everywhere at once. It also spotlights what may be rare and unusual occurrences. That said, there’ve been plenty of those involving the Cybertruck in barely four months since the first dozen or so owners were handed keys to their EVs by Musk himself during a ceremony at the Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas.


One of the most embarrassing incidents involved a Cybertruck crashing into the sign at the svelte Beverly Hills Hotel earlier this month. The accident might have been awkward enough but when folks started snapping pics on their smartphones a friend of the owner tried to cover things up by blaming one of the hotel’s valets. The images showed that the crash tore off a right wheel.

In typical fashion, Musk tried to make lemonade out of lemons, tweeting on X, “Cyberbeast [the top-range Cybertruck model] is faster than a Porsche 911, but looks like a truck, so perhaps the valet wasn’t expecting so much acceleration.”

Problems was that the owner actually was the cause of the accident. That only came out because the owner of the valet service didn’t want to get blamed.

More Tesla News

Sand and snow

F-150 Tows Cybertruck

An F-150 towed out this Cybertruck stuck in snow.

To listen to Musk, Cybertruck can take on anything you throw at it — except maybe a big hotel sign. “It’s built for every planet,” he has boasted, while even promising to make a version of the big EV that can operate like a boat. But things haven’t worked out quite that way. Facebook, Instagram, Threads and other social media outlets have provided a look at how the pickup can get bogged down in seemingly easy-to-handle situations.

One owner probably should have known better. There’s only one beach in California where motorists are allowed to drive on the sand. And it isn’t Marina State Beach near Santa Cruz. That didn’t stop him from driving out there, anyway. And getting stuck, as this image shows. He was finally shown how to deflate the tires to get better traction before being fined — heavily — by the State Park’s rangers.

Tesla may claim Cybertruck is “durable and rugged enough to go anywhere,” but there’ve been more than a few posts showing how the truck has gotten bogged down in snow, in one case the driver having to eat humble pie as the truck was rescued with a tow from a Ford F-150.

Mechanical failures

Tesla Cybertruck - owner tweet

Owner Matthew Chiarello experienced a “catastrophic failure” with his Cybertruck but days later posted that the Tesla service center couldn’t figure out the problem.

Tesla fans have downplayed many of the reported events. They’ve claimed that some of the videos show Cybertruck prototypes being tested before they’re fully ready. And it’s clear that drivers have been at fault in other instances, like the Beverly Hills crash.

But even some owners who claim to love their trucks have reported problems. Arizona attorney Matthew Chiarello posted early this month that his Cybertruck experienced what he described as a “catastrophic failure” involving its steering and brakes while driving with his family in Las Vegas. He had to have his vehicle towed to a Tesla service center — only to discover it closed that day.

Chiarello later posted that when the garage did open Tesla techs couldn’t immediately discover the cause of the problem.

He’s not the only one reporting such problems. “I’ve had my truck for two days, got in this morning, everything was on,” posted an owner who goes by the handle Cybercor . “Went to press the brake to put it in reverse and everything went black. Power door button wouldn’t even let me out, had to use manual release to get out. I cannot get back in either. My battery is at 40%, so no it’s not dead.”

If all these problems aren’t enough, there’ve been reports of Cybertrucks showing rust on their stainless steel bodies — though whether there’s an actual problem is far from clear.

Early problems

Tesla Cybertruck - with graffiti

One social post showed what appeared to be a heavily tagged Cybertruck.

Tesla has issued service bulletins acknowledging some problems, notably with steering actuators.

But it’s critical to put things in perspective here. The EV maker is far from being the only automaker to run into trouble with a new product line. Ford suffered a series of problems with the launch of the last-generation Explorer SUV, enough to cost it hundreds of millions of dollars — as well as lost sales. And technical glitches have plagued the Mustang Mach-E EV, as well. Chevrolet only this week lifted the Stop-Sale on the Blazer EV that took it off the market for six weeks.

But all these crashes and glitches and other problems involving the Tesla Cybertruck don’t help polish the image of what has been a highly controversial product line since it was first announced. At one point shortly before its launch, CEO Musk lamented Tesla may have “dug our own grave” with Cybertruck. It was late to market, costly to develop and tool up for and, even though there still appear to be hundreds of thousands of advance reservations, Tesla simply can’t build that many, meaning it could take years to turn a profit. It would be disastrous if Cybertruck turns into a bad joke, convincing potential buyers to cancel orders.

1 Comment

  1. The difference between Ford and GM and Tesla is Elon Musk. The CEOs of the former two companies don’t make bold, ridiculous pronouncements about their trucks, and they don’t have legions of “fans” who actually believe the ridiculous claims. I must say, the picture of the truck getting towed out of the snow by the F-150 does not really look like that much snow. I think I climbed a snow covered hill steeper than that in my 1986 Plymouth Colt without tire chains.


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