Cybertruck Durability Concerns Surface As Owners Complain Of Rust

hero Cybertruck fremont cropped
Tesla's Cybertruck just can't seem to have a good day, can it? After suffering from numerous delays to get it into production, an inflated final MSRP, and memes about its dystopian looks, its latest problem centers yet again around its stainless steel panels. Owners are now reporting that the panels are already rusting. Or are they?

Following a lengthy incubation period, it's safe to say that Elon Musk and early adopters are glad that the Tesla Cybertruck EV ($61,000 starting) is finally in production. While reviews on the chiseled vehicle have been generally favorable, users are reporting concerns of staining and discoloration of the unique exterior stainless steel panels. Tesla has heaped praise (and marketing hype) over the strength and imperviousness of the material, but if you've owned a stainless steel appliance, even ones with fingerprint resistant finish, you know that it doesn't take long for the surface to pick up all manner of stains or marring.

The latest complaint indicates that the panels are showing signs of rust. For one, an owner on a Cybertruck forum wrote, "Just picked up my Cybertruck today. The advisor specifically mentioned the cybertrucks develop orange rust marks in the rain and that required the vehicle to be buffed out." Of course, the internet has blown this out of proportion claiming that the Cybertruck is a rust bucket and can't be driven in the rain. Shouldn't stainless steel be rust-free?

There are a couple of theories to why this is happening, though. Additives in the steel-making process could have carried impurities that, in these cases, reacted to moisture and oxygen. Another possibility is that either the finished vehicle or steel panels picked up metal dust/flakes during transportation to the factory or dealership. Once embedded and if not properly inspected and corrected, these metal particles show up as rust stains or marks on the vehicle. 

Either way, Tesla painted itself into a corner by choosing to go with the full stainless steel look. For owners, the easily tarnished exterior—be it from bird poop or acid rain—is proving to be a maintenance nightmare with likely ramifications in the used car arena. Anybody remember the DeLorean?