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Tesla recalls Cybertrucks over wiper, trim issues in latest setback

Published 2024-06-25, 05:41 a/m
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Cybertruck is pictured parked in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S. June 23, 2024. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo
TSLA
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By David Shepardson and Akash Sriram

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Tesla said on Tuesday it was recalling most Cybertrucks in the United States over issues with their windshield wipers and exterior trim, the latest setback for the futuristic truck whose mass production is expected to start next year.

This physical recall of vehicles, not rare for new models, is relatively unusual for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), whose problems are usually resolved through over-the-air software updates.

The Cybertruck is Tesla CEO Elon Musk's answer to critics who say the company needs to refresh its aging lineup as EV demand has flagged. The electric vehicle maker has been slow to bring new models to market as high interest rates have squeezed consumer appetite and rivals in China have rolled out cheaper models.

The recalls both cover more than 11,000 vehicles. Tesla is yet to disclose how many it has handed over to consumers in its quarterly deliveries and production report.

Tesla shares rose 1.4% in morning trading to $185.12.

"Failures of the wiper motor shouldn't come as a surprise," said Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Guidehouse Insights.

"This is the largest individual wiper ever used on a light duty vehicle with a 4-foot-long (1.22 meter) blade. That exceptional long lever arm puts a lot of stress on the motor and there have been a lot of anecdotal reports popping up since early in production of failures," he said, adding that the overall build quality of the Cybertruck is "quite poor."

Tesla began delivering the Blade Runner-inspired truck in November 2023 after years of delay and a difficult production ramp-up that Musk described as Tesla digging its own grave.

Musk said in October that Tesla was aiming to make 200,000 Cybertrucks annually. Tesla had earlier said it had the capacity to make more than 125,000 Cybertrucks annually, with Musk adding there was potential to lift it to 250,000 in 2025.

Tuesday's largely overlapping recalls cover more than 70% of all units of the model produced, according to data from analyst Troy Teslike and are the latest quality issues to impact the truck.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Tesla has issued four recalls for it 2024 Cybertruck.

FAILURE

Tesla said it is recalling 11,688 Cybertrucks from the 2024 model year because the front windshield wiper motor controller failed due to excessive electrical current. Non-functioning wipers could increase the risk of a crash in wet weather.

The wiper recall covers all trucks built through June 6.

The company said it will replace the wiper motor after it identified early wiper motor failures. In February, Tesla recovered 20 wiper motors to inspect as it investigated.

Separately, Tesla is also recalling 11,383 Cybertrucks because the trunk bed trim sail applique could have been improperly attached, become loose and create a road hazard.

Tesla began investigating in December after the issue was seen in an undelivered Cybertruck. In May, it found a second occurrence in a customer vehicle and then found additional instances of loose or detached appliques due to improper installation or adhesive.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Cybertruck is pictured parked in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S. June 23, 2024. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo

The company's service team will apply an adhesion promoter and pressure sensitive tape or replace the missing trim free of charge for affected vehicles.

Tesla recalled nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks in April to fix an accelerator pedal pad that could come loose and get lodged in the interior trim.

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