What’s Going On With The Tesla Cybertruck That Wouldn’t Work After A Car Wash?

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

I just ran across an interesting report on Jalopnik. The source news is from a Tesla Cybertruck owner on TikTok. It’s a befuddling situation, but some of the comments on it are a bit misleading and add to the confusion. Before I get to all of that, though, I find that a recall issue the owner mentions at the end of his vehicle is much more concerning, and I have to note that I think his Mandalorian shirt and props are super cool (yes, very nerdy, but I love it).

I think the best way to kick things off here is to simply watch the video:


Cybertruck not working after 2 months 3400 miles #cybertruck #tesla #problem #recall

♬ original sound – Ad

So, the guy’s Cybertruck touchscreen stopped working, and what he’d done that day was go to the beach with his dogs and go to a car wash — and spray out the trunk bed to get the sand out of there. While the touchscreen had stopped working, the Cybertruck could seemingly still drive, the AC still turned on, and the screen in the back still worked.

Naturally, there is no reason any of the things he mentioned should have killed his touchscreen. There’s nothing in the owner manual saying you shouldn’t take the Cybertruck to the beach (that would be unfortunate, wouldn’t it — bullet proof but not beach proof?), there’s no reason the Cybertruck should break from going through a car wash (there’s even a Car Wash Mode you can turn on), and one would expect that sand and water in the truck bed have been tested a million different ways and can’t magically harm the touchscreen.

In the Jalopnik article, the following tweet was embedded:

First of all, I don’t understand the “Do not wash in direct sunlight” warning. Can someone illuminate us on that? That sounds like a joke. As far as Tesla “voiding your warranty” if you use a car wash and don’t put it in Car Wash Mode, I think that’s a misreading of the text. People could take their Tesla cars through car washes before Car Wash Mode was created, and Car Wash Mode just does basic stuff like keep the charge port closed and keep the windshield wipers off — it just does everything all in one place instead of making you go do each thing individually. I read the warning as basically saying that if your charge port door or mirrors get damaged from a car wash and you didn’t turn Car Wash Mode on, Tesla’s not going to fix them for you under warranty. The warranty overall is still valid for other issues, as I’m understanding it.

Personally, I’m not assuming the car wash killed the screen. After all, the truck still worked after the car wash on the way home. If the car wash is to blame, my only assumption is that water got in somewhere and triggered an error in the screen, but that seems unlikely. But, then, what caused the screen to fail? I have no idea, but I’d like to add a little more context on that from previous experiences.

Tesla Touchscreen Fails and Rebooting

I’ve previously co-owned a 2015 Tesla Model S (which one of the original co-owners now owns) and have owned a 2019 Tesla Model 3 since it was new. From time to time, errors with the touchscreen have occurred that have required rebooting the screen in the way shown in the TikTok video — by holding down the scroll wheels for a few moments. Actually, with the Model S, I did this a lot because the parking garage where I parked it killed the internet connection and the quickest way to get it back was to just reboot the whole screen. So, I’ve done the same reboot multiple times while driving. It’s a little freaky, because the screen turns off (as the guy noted, you’re then blinded as far as the speed you’re driving), the AC actually turns off for a moment, and you can the cognitive dissonance from the car seeming like it’s off but still working with regards to its key function, driving. However, it just takes a couple minutes to reboot. As the car gets older, it seems this takes longer, but I can’t confirm that 100%. But, in this case, it reportedly took more than 5 hours. “After filing a ticket with Tesla to get the truck rebooted, the Cybertrucker went to bed and woke up the next morning to a mostly functional truck. A call with Tesla confirmed that the truck had needed a complete reboot which took over five hours of sitting to complete. From the moment he’d initiated the reboot method of holding down two steering wheel buttons, the truck was apparently working on a reboot until some time in the middle of the night.” That’s wild. Again, I don’t understand that.

As the Cybertruck owner notes in the video, even with the screen not working, it seems like he could drive the truck if he tried. I understand not wanting to try, but, yes, it seems that it was just a front touchscreen error, not a drivetrain error. So, again, how did just the front touchscreen run into a failure from the car wash? Doesn’t seem likely. But we’re left with the mystery as to what happened.

Overall, I think this is a little bit of a warning that, yes, getting an early version of a new vehicle model — especially a unique sci-fi inspired model — is likely to come with some glitches and hiccups. You have to expect with a brand new vehicle model like this that you might have issues. Would that make me feel better as an owner if my Cybertruck stopped working? Probably a little bit, but I’d still get stressed out. But the issue mentioned toward that end of that video is what I found really disturbing….

Serious Safety Risk

Apparently, there was some potential issue that some owners experienced where the cover of the accelerator pedal could fall off and the accelerator pedal could get stuck in a gap below it — depressed in drive mode! WHAT THE F***?! That could very easily end in accident, and death. How is that something that got through to production vehicles? That’s really concerning. At least this Cybertruck owner seemingly had the quick wits and sense to quickly step on the brake, overriding the depressed accelerator pedal, and get the truck into park. I would not have enjoyed being the one to solve that problem, and I wonder how many people it happened to before the recall. And I hope everyone with a Cybertruck takes theirs in for a recall for this!

More Tesla Cybertruck Quirks?

That’s not a story I was expecting to see or cover today. Though, it makes me wonder what else is happening out there. I am not on TikTok, and hardly get on X or other social media sites. If you’ve run across some other notable Tesla Cybertruck quirks, or really cool and fun stuff, let us know!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest CleanTechnica.TV Videos

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7400 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan