Another flaw has been discovered in Elon Musk’s new Cybertruck that experts said is a critical issue likely to cost owners even more money.
The futuristic EV’s aerodynamic wheel covers are causing wear on the tires, which could lead to surprise punctures and ‘blow outs,’ endangering lives on the road.
Even a brand new Cybertruck after ‘a couple thousand miles’ appears to show tire damage from these poorly designed hubcaps, according to the CEO of a third-party Tesla parts manufacturer who discovered the issue.
They found that the aero covers dig into each tire’s sidewall at the bottom of every rotation — where all tires naturally balloon outward under the weight of the automobile above.
Tesla is aware of the problem and is now shipping Cybertrucks without the aero covers — but current owners who have had their tires clawed at for months by the defective part will likely have to foot the bill for new tires.
The Cybertruck’s futuristic ‘aero covers’ have been discovered to dig into its tire sidewalls with each rotation. Brian Reese, CEO of aftermarket Tesla parts-maker T Sportline, found that over a tenth of an inch (0.12 in) had been clawed off each tire after just ‘a couple thousand miles’
While the Cybertruck’s aero-cover spokes had been designed with ‘a decent little gap’ between the spokes and the tire, that gap closes at the bottom of each tire due to gravity. All tires naturally balloon outward where they touch the road under the weight of the automobile
The revelation follows reports that used car retailer CarMax is already marking down resold Cybertrucks by as much as $25,000 less than their sticker price.
Brian Reese, the CEO of aftermarket Tesla parts-maker T Sportline, measured the damage in a new video, showing that over a tenth of an inch (0.12 in) had been scraped off the Cybertruck’s tires after just a few thousand miles on the road.
‘For each Cybertruck we’ve had, the wear has been a little bit different, give or take,’ Reese noted on YouTube. ‘This is about as bad as I’ve seen.’
The Cybertruck’s aero cover, which promises to reduce drag and thus boost the truck’s efficiency and range, comes with a set of seven, ultramodern-looking spokes.
Unlike typical aero covers, the Cybertruck’s design extends these spokes beyond the surface of the cover — where their hard-angled, trapezoid-shaped edges reach out over the sidewall of each tire.
While these aero cover’s spokes were designed with ‘a decent little gap’ between the spokes and the tire, that gap closes at the bottom of each tire due to gravity.
Safety concerns aside, fresh replacement tires for the Cybertruck are not exactly cheap: $470 each direct from Tesla for the electric vehicle’s custom 285/65R20 Goodyear tires
Reese noted in the video that this could become a safety issue, leading to unexpected popped tires on the road.
But customer forums have suggested Tesla is working to address the issue.
Several posters at the Cybertruck Owners Club Forum have reported receiving their vehicle without the aero covers, alongside a notice of a recall.
‘I was delivered my CT on the 24th [of January] without covers,’ forum user ConcreteTilt noted. ‘No explanation other than they would be sending a tech to install the caps on the 1st.’
‘Tomorrow is the 1st and I just received another message that they won’t be delivering because they are recalling all the covers, and they won’t be delivering the caps until March.’
‘I get they are only the finish wheel hubs,’ the user continued, ‘but seems insane.’
Cosmetic issues and very real safety concerns aside, fresh replacement tires for the Cybertruck are not exactly cheap: $470 each direct from Tesla for the EV’s custom 285/65R20 Goodyear tires.
‘I’m confident Tesla will solve this in short order,’ Reese noted in his video. ‘You’ll be back in business.’
‘But if this was my truck, I would take them [the faulty aero covers] off,’ he continued.
‘If you have a little bit of scuffing that’s not a big deal, but if you are driving tens of thousands of miles it’s gonna be a problem.’
And, from customer reports, it appears that these Cybertruck-specific Goodyear tires and their sci-fi styled aero covers should be paired back up, and corrected, in the near future.
But as one automotive reporter for The Drive noted, ‘This is far from a critical design flaw, but it’s a somewhat obvious one that proves some never-before-seen features are that way for a reason.’
But the aero cover issue is not the only problem customers have reported with the Cybertruck, which has only been in the public’s hands for a few short months.
Quality control has been a long-standing issue among Elon Musk’s vehicles — the billionaire has even said ‘production is hell’ in response to his company’s poor quality control on previous electric cars.
The first Cybertruck defect found was reported just a little more than one month after Musk officially launched the futuristic truck.
That owner shared a review of his recently bought Cybertruck, revealing a few misaligned panels on the exterior near the bed of the truck. ‘The right turn signal control,’ he also reported, ‘is a little glitchy.’
That owner, ‘Nan,’ said he noticed these issues after taking his new vehicle for a short, local 50-mile drive.