Cybertruck Deliveries Halted Due To Car Being A Big Piece Of Shit That Doesn’t Work

Tesla, a future case study for securities law classes across America, had to stop delivering Cybertrucks this past weekend. No, not because the hundred-thousand–dollar medium-duty pickup, which is only any of those things in the loosest interpretive sense, tends to brick when it gets rained on; nor because its stainless steel panels get all rusty and nasty-looking after weeks exposed to the rare, harsh condition of “being outside.” Perhaps you think it has something to do with the shorter-than-advertised driving range and longer-than-advertised charging time, but no: Rather, the cause of this snag is that the trucks struggle with the basics of stopping and going, by which I mean that the accelerator pedal cover slides off and gets stuck under a panel and locks the accelerator pressed down and keeps the Cybertruck stuck at maximum velocity.

Other Tesla models have had issues with speeding up and slowing down at the wrong times. The company was sued in 2017 by drivers whose cars drove themselves unexpectedly through garages and into walls; a German paper reported last year on over 2,400 complaints about sudden braking problems; and a safety researcher published a white paper showing how voltage spikes could lead Teslas to speed up without warning. You are supposed to like this because it means you are on the cutting edge, helping Elon Musk in his quest to save humanity.

Suckers who ordered Cybertrucks a few months or years ago and expected deliveries this weekend did not get their cars, nor a precise explanation for why they did not get their cars, but instead were simply told, “Hi, we have just been informed of an unexpected delay regarding the preparation of your vehicle. We need to cancel your delivery appointment for tomorrow and we will reach out again when we’re able to get you back on the schedule.” Maybe someone with a hot glue gun will get on this one.

Tesla’s bad, stupid week got worse and stupider on Monday, when the company announced it would be laying off more than 10 percent of its workforce, cutting some 14,000 jobs. In typical Tesla fashion, the layoffs were ruthless and sudden, following hot on Tesla’s announcement of its first quarterly sales decline (a drop of 8.5 percent) since the pandemic. Drew Baglino, an executive who’d been around since 2006, and Rohan Patel, a former Obama administration guy hired to help Tesla do corruption and skirt regulation, also announced they would be leaving the company of their own accord. I am tempted here to wonder whether this means Tesla is beginning a meaningful decline—indeed, the stock is down—but the company, which is a stock racket that happens to sell cars, has operated at a level beyond rational analysis for years.

It’s unclear how many Cybertrucks are on the road, and Tesla won’t say (masterful gambit, sir), though the number likely falls between 1,000 and 5,000. People who have them now had to sign up years ago, and those who sign up now won’t get their cars for another five years or so. Anyone who bought one reportedly had to sign an agreement barring them from selling their Cybertruck within 12 months, or else they would have to pay a $50,000 fine and give Tesla the option to buy it back.

As the Bay Area is both a nexus for world-class goobers and the region where Tesla used to be and kinda-sorta still is headquartered, I have seen a lot of Cybertrucks out in the wild over the past few months. They are remarkably fake- and shitty-looking in any context (Is that a big toaster with wi-fi next to me at the exit? Who’s driving the scrap metal assemblage with Bryan Colangelo-esque proportions? Why does every Cybertruck driver I glance at appear to be simultaneously peacocking for attention but also totally embarrassed, haunted by the unexamined knowledge that as a maneuver in a culture war they paid $100,000 for a car that doesn’t work?), though I saw one in the Santa Cruz mountains this past weekend. It looked even more jarringly synthetic and stupid in a truck-style environment, as if 10 seconds on a semi-paved road would undo the whole rickety car. I felt, amid standard-issue disgust and mockery, personal embarrassment to be paying through the nose to live in a place where the coolest thing you can do is cosplay as a 6-year-old’s idea of the coolest guy in the world.

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