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Design Flaws Behind Cybertruck’s Delay? Leaked Doc Shows Tough-To-Fix Issues With Tesla’s Next-Big Product

Tesla engineers reported noise, handling, and braking issues as the company is working to fix them before actual production.

Cybertrucks are coming to a garage near you.

One of the upcoming catalysts that could drive further gains is the much-awaited launch of the Cybertruck. However, the electric vehicle maker’s next-big product may not be a perfect one, at least at the design stage.

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk unveils the all-electric battery-powered Tesla’s Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on November 21, 2019. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images) 

An engineering report that Tesla drafted for internal purposes revealed that the Cybertruck had design flaws, German newspaper Handelsblatt said in May, citing the document it had access to, courtesy of a whistleblower,” said Wired in a report.

The document, dated Jan. 25, 2022, was reportedly part of thousands of internal documents.

Cybertruck was still having some basic issues with suspension, body sealing, noise levels, handling and braking, the Wired report said.

An expert automotive engineer who sifted through the document thinks Tesla has the wherewithal to address the issues.

The scientist expressed surprise that Tesla was contending with basic problems. “My first reaction is I am astounded. These are classic mechanical automotive engineering challenges that you have in pretty much any vehicle. I’m blown away that they would be struggling so much with the basics,” said the automotive engineer telling the Wired.

Cybertruck was first announced by CEO Elon Musk in Nov. 2019 and has seen an inordinate delay in its launch. Rivian Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIVN), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) and General Motor Corp. (NYSE:GM) already have their versions of electrified pickup truck in the market.

The leaked report contained test results based on a comparison between the alpha version of the Cybertruck versus CAD simulations and industry benchmarks, Wired said in the report.

The alpha is the first build version that may not have all the full features and all the future improvisation.

The report said performance suggested the prototype was leaky, noisy, and had poor handling and braking. The frankness of the engineers who wrote the report surprised an industry veteran.

The engineers mentioned in the report that the alpha version was significantly noisier, and noted that testers identified 21 potential noise leaks in the body.The

“Body manufacturing and paint shop processes have struggled to seal bodies for optimal NVH performance in the past, and the Cybertruck design presents new challenges,” the report said.

The alpha version achieved a rating of 4, translating to a poor rating, on the Society of Automotive Engineers rating scale for braking performance, it added.

The report highlighted problems with kinematics and compliance testing, which is used to evaluate the ride and handling performance. 

Additionally, the Cybertruck had issues with torsional stiffness, which measures the ability of the vehicle to withstand twisting. 

Industry veterans opined that fixing this would be difficult as the fix for this needs addition of weight, which compromises the design of the vehicle.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comment.

Tesla investors and users have pinned high hopes of the Cybertruck and see its launch as the Elon Musk-led company’s iPhone moment.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Kyana Jeanin Rubinfeld

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