His Cybertruck Needed Too Many Repairs, So Tesla (Reluctantly) Gave Him a Brand-New One

Two Tesla Cybertrucks 21 photos
Photo: Lamar MK on YouTube | Edited
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A self-proclaimed "influencer" from North Carolina is one of the first 2,000 Americans to take delivery of a Cybertruck. He even believed his EV was the first to arrive in The Tar Heel State. But it didn't take long for the enthusiasm and novelty to wear off. Fortunately, Tesla didn't wait too long to make it right. Here's what happened.
Lamar, a US Army veteran who is convinced that he is now an influencer, bought a Tesla Cybertruck with the Foundation Series etching and took delivery in early March. He took out a loan for the dual-motor 600-hp (wannabe) zero-tailpipe emission workhorse.

Leasing the EV is still not an option at the time of writing, which could be an indication of Tesla not wanting these early units back. But as you'll discover below, the world's most valuable automaker had to take at least this one back.

The $100,000 EV was exactly what he hoped it would be. The man was over the moon. Moreover, he already had a plan ready for it. Besides enjoying the pickup truck with his family and posting monetized videos with it on various social media platforms, he also set up a way for other people to experience it. Those wanting to take a ride in his "fridge on wheels" had to pay $500 to be driven around for two hours.

But the North Carolinian, who also owned a Model Y, didn't anticipate that his edgy pickup truck would require so much time in the shop. At first, he was understanding and curious. It helped that Tesla provided him with a loaner.

Tesla Cybertruck Foundation Series
Photo: Lamar MK on YouTube
Some errors popped up here and there, but he was never stranded. The pickup truck didn't just disintegrate, even though the big center touchscreen and the alerting red flashes could have very well made it seem so.

Not that tough

Sadly, a bullet-resistant body, rock-proof glass, and a leak-resistant tonneau cover aren't enough to make this iconic machine ideal for a zombie apocalypse. Not that anyone would need that. But anyone can appreciate some courageous innovation in an industry where profit margins are usually slim.

Still, new technologies (that aren't tried and tested properly before being put into production), like steer-by-wire, can become vulnerabilities.

Then, you have the stainless steel DeLorean-like "exoskeleton," which is more of a marketing gimmick than a groundbreaking innovation. The thick panels, which were supposed to offer amazing crash protection without anti-intrusion bars or reinforcements, are attached to the body structure. That means the outer shell isn't providing any stress relief, which, in turn, translates into no real weight reduction.

Tesla Cybertruck Foundation Series
Photo: Lamar MK on YouTube
But alas, enthusiasts don't really care about that. Not even Elon Musk wanted to underline that feat any longer. Instead, the executive told everyone to focus on "sub-10-micron accuracy" and somehow thought that comparing tough and stiff "ultra-hard cold-rolled stainless steel" with plastic Lego blocks was an inspiring idea for those employees who had to work on the Cybertruck assembly line.

As it turns out, some pickup trucks reach customers with misaligned or improperly attached panels. The CEO's message might have been misunderstood.

Especially unlucky?

However, this guy's pickup truck had more than just some teething issues. Still, initially, he was rather understanding about what was going on. He even admitted publicly that the Cybertruck was a brand-new, first-generation vehicle, and it was bound to have some shortcomings. At that point, he was still "all in on Tesla."

But after having the windshield, the HVAC harnesses, the dashboard replaced, and some other repairs done to his unit, he started having second thoughts. The man began complaining publicly about his pickup truck being in the shop for longer than he was able to enjoy it and even hinted that his Cybertruck could be a lemon. But he was not near his breaking point.

It took two other service appointments to convince (temporarily, as it turns out) the man that Tesla was treating him less well than he wanted. So, he took to social media to explain that the world's most valuable automaker was "refusing" to replace his Cybertruck, which needed four serious service appointments to work like a normal vehicle and still had some shortcomings.

Tesla Cybertruck Foundation Series
Photo: Lamar MK on YouTube
Per North Carolina law, the veteran was entitled to a brand-new pickup truck or all his money back. Tesla reportedly wanted to reimburse the man, but he didn't want to be done with the loan and lose the EV. He argued that going back to the end of the queue was unfair because he had already waited almost three years to get his Cybertruck.

However, according to the unhappy buyer, Tesla didn't seem very open to that idea.

Causing a ruckus

Even though he tagged the most important people working for the automaker in his X (formerly Twitter) posts, no favorable resolution was in sight. So, he let his emotions get the best of him. The man started bashing Tesla online and even advised those looking at his videos not to buy one of the marque's zero-tailpipe emission vehicles.

The veteran was adamant that Tesla was mistreating him and claimed that the whole Cybertruck fiasco "opened his eyes" with regard to the automaker and its CEO. Elon Musk didn't reply to any of his posts. Moreover, he thought that Tesla would treat regular people who aren't influencers even worse.

But almost two weeks after he published those messages and nearly three months since he took delivery of his edgy EV, Tesla surprised him with a brand-new Cybertruck Foundation Series. The veteran deleted the videos and posts in which he accused the brand of treating him unfairly and trying to send him back to the end of the queue.

The Deleted Video
Photo: Lamar MK on YouTube
The man was especially happy about getting a new ride because he noticed that the fitment was better, the pickup truck was shinier, the cabin trim was lined up perfectly, the tonneau cover was a bit more silent, there were no obvious panel gaps, and the A/C system worked a lot more quietly than on the replaced unit.

He also answered the people who were concerned about him not saying anything after posting all those inflammatory videos. The man explained that he simply didn't "want to engage with others online" and underlined that he wished to "get his mind in a whole different place."

Not a Stockholm syndrome case

The veteran now claims that he is once again "all-in on Tesla" and will not go to another automaker. "I'm not switching. I'm not buying another car. It has to be a Tesla," says Lamar in the video below.
The North Carolinian says that he has no complaints now and is grateful that Tesla "made it right with him."

While it's great that this customer got his mid-12,000 VIN replacement, this whole situation isn't a good look for the Texas-based EV maker. Should any disgruntled Tesla buyer go on a rant on multiple social media platforms to force the brand's hand in doing what's right? Is that what it takes now?

Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: Lamar MK on YouTube
On the other hand, Elon Musk's company's actions in this case also indicate that the automaker would cave in front of someone who is vocal enough to attract attention.

No matter how we look at this, the brand can't come out on top. The only thing Tesla did right here was that it provided the unlucky customer with loaners every time the EV had to remain at the service center.

Keeping an open mind

The matter should've been resolved a little bit quicker. That way, nobody would have known that someone's six-figure pickup truck spent more time at the service center than in the customer's hands.

Tesla Cybertruck
Photo: Lamar MK on YouTube
However, it's important to understand that Tesla can't just replace a Cybertruck as soon as the conditions for the Lemon Law are met. Production of this quirky ride is ramping up, but it will still take a while before a unit becomes available for someone else. Most of the Foundation Series units have an owner, and Tesla must delay another person's delivery day to "make it right."

Besides that, the brand must be allowed to attempt at least a few repairs before throwing away an entire pickup truck. It's the sustainable thing to do.

The automaker will surely use this guy's unit to figure out what went wrong and what can be improved, but it leaves us wondering if Tesla will ever get out of this treating paying customers as beta testers mindset.

Let's hope the incoming robotaxi and the delayed Roadster won't have so many issues.
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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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