4,000 Cybertrucks sold: Recall offers glimpse at Tesla's rank in rocky electric truck market

A recall from Tesla allowed a rare look under the hood of the electric vehicle balance sheet.

Nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks were recalled Wednesday over a defect with the accelerator causing it to get stuck when pressed, increasing the risk of crash.

This covers all the trucks Tesla has sold since the vehicle reached market in November.

This recall, unlike most that Tesla can fix with over-the-air updates, requires owners to bring their vehicles in for a physical repair.

The company does not itemize the number of vehicles sold by model in its quarterly reports, meaning that the recall offered a rare glimpse into the sales volume of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's pet project.

The recall hit during a tumultuous week at the company that saw layoffs, price cutting and a fight over a potential $56 billion pay package for Musk.

USA TODAY reached out to Tesla on Monday about the recall and did not receive a response.

How many Cybertrucks has Tesla sold?

The 3,878 Cybertrucks covered by the recall represent all of the vehicle deliveries completed by the company since the rollout of the long-awaited truck in late November.

In July 2023, an unofficial reservation tracker suggested that around 1.9 million reservations were in place at the time, according to InsideEVs. The reservations cost $100 and are refundable until delivery if a customer changes their mind.

Then in December, the company began inviting customers with a reservation to place a $1,000 deposit for the truck.

How does the Cybertruck sales compare to other electric trucks?

While the number of deliveries revealed by the recall may not be eye popping, being near the 4,000 vehicles sold benchmark puts Tesla as a strong competitor in the domestic electric truck market.

Earlier this month, Ford reported that it had sold 7,743 of its F-150 Lightning electric trucks in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2024.

General Motors reported that it sold 1,688 Hummer EVs domestically.

Rivian, which sells a truck and an SUV, reported that it delivered 13,588 vehicles, though it did not provide a breakdown by model. Motor1 reported that the company had sold 2,399 of the R1T truck.

Cybertrucks are lined up at Tesla Giga Texas on Tuesday April 2, 2024.
Cybertrucks are lined up at Tesla Giga Texas on Tuesday April 2, 2024.

Cybertruck lynchpin in Musk's vision

Musk has signaled that the electric truck will be a key component of the company's future.

"We're likely to do probably a quarter million a year, I think...maybe more...again very much dependent on what the demand is like," Musk said at the company's 2023 annual shareholder meeting, later adding that the company could deliver up to 500,000 trucks.

Elektrek reported that suppliers were asked to plan for an annual production volume of at least 375,000 Cybertrucks.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote on his Medium page in October that he believes the company could deliver between 240,000 and 260,000 Cybertrucks by the end of 2025.

Analysts see Cybertruck as 'another black eye'

The recall is the latest burner of brand equity for the company, analysts said, adding to a string of negative press.

"This is another black eye for Tesla, which has added to the chaos going on for Musk,” Dan Ives, senior equity analyst at Wedbush Securities, told The Guardian. “Cybertruck is the pedestal moment and a recall out of the gates is a bad look.”

The chatoic week that surrounded the recall seemed to crystalize the larger headwinds that surround the company.

Some of those headwinds are self-inflicted including: Musk's erratic behavior, his management of the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter and safety questions and delays around the company's Full Self Driving technology.

Tesla's electric vehicle perch is also threatened by the proliferation of competition, especially from Chinese automakers, and a softer EV market overall.

While the stumble of the Cybertruck has not helped the perception of the company, analyst concerns around the business stretch wider than the angular vehicle.

"While it deserves credit for becoming the charging network of choice by many EV makers in the U.S., its Energy Generation and Storage sales growth has stalled, while its gross margin for Services remains stuck in the low-single-digits," Sean Williams wrote for the Motley Fool. "Tesla's sales and profitability are dependent on its ability to sell and lease EVs – and that's a segment that's under serious pressure right now."

Tesla stock price

Tesla's stock closed Monday at $142.05, down 3.4%.

The company will share its first quarter earnings after market close on Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cybertruck recall shows how Tesla is faring in electric truck race