When the Tesla Cybertruck was unveiled in 2019, it featured angular black wheel covers that complemented the edgy look of the all-electric pickup. Fast forward to 2023 and more and more Cybertruck prototypes and so-called release candidate (RC) units are roaming the streets of the United States as the Texas Gigafactory is getting ready to start production of delivery-intent vehicles.
In the last few months, development mules were spotted with shiny steel wheels, black aero wheels, and spoked wheels, and some were even seen sporting the now-patented wheel covers that were first seen back in 2019 when Tesla’s first-ever pickup became world famous for having so-called “Armour Glass” that was shattered by Franz von Holzhausen with a steel ball.
And it’s those patented wheel covers that are the subject of the video embedded at the top of this page, published on YouTube by the user @leletyM3. According to the video title and description, the owner of a Tesla that was going down the 101 Freeway in San Francisco with the dashcam feature activated noticed a Cybertruck prototype driving on another lane of the freeway when one of its black wheel covers detached and flew above the road, eventually landing right in front of a white sedan that was driving on the left-most lane.
The Cybertruck continued on its way, as well as all the other cars, and the runaway cover didn’t do any damage or injure anyone, judging from the video, which is always a good thing.
We don’t know why the all-electric pickup’s aero cover decided it had enough, but we can speculate that it might have something to do with the gap between the tire and plastic cover that’s there presumably to allow cold air to reach the brakes. Compared to the other wheel covers offered by Tesla for its other models, the Cybertruck is the only one that has a closed-off design, while the others sit flush with the tire but cutouts for air to go through.
It could also be that the cover just wasn’t secured properly or that the clips that hold it in place were damaged after the presumably high number of testing miles accrued by this particular development prototype.