There’s trouble in Cybertruck city, and this time it’s a feature already on some trucks, not one waiting to be downloaded: The aero wheel covers that cement the futuristic look of the Cybertruck haven’t been playing nice with the specially designed Goodyear Wrangler tires. Aero covers usually only cover the metal wheel. In the Cybertruck’s case, there’s a hard plastic cover molded to look like it has seven single spokes covering the 20-inch metal wheel’s seven double spokes. The unusual bit is the addition of a soft rubber ring on the outer edge of the hard plastic cover, this ring fitted with soft rubber extensions that push the edges of the seven spokes over the tire sidewall. The design leaves a gap between the rubber extension and the tire sidewall, but it’s just a small fraction of an inch.
A new T Sportsline video explains the problem owners are finding: Tire flex at the bottom of the tire, while driving, is enough to push the tire sidewall into contact with the soft rubber on the aero cover. And like water dripping onto a rock, the brief, repeated contact is rubbing away at the sidewall, damaging the tire. It’s not a large amount. T Sportsline got the Cybertruck Owners Club to share its measurements of sidewall damage, in response to the inevitable rumor of quarter-inch chunks being scraped away. The channel wrote, “[We] haven’t seen anything deeper than .120” at this point — and nothing into the cords. We’ve had around 25 trucks come through, varying mileage, varying degee of scuffing (tire inflation and vehicle loading plays a factor too).” That .120 measurement is just under an eighth of an inch.
The Cybertruck accessories shop indicates the $75 wheel covers are out of stock. Everyone expects Tesla’s working on a fix. T Sportsline recommends taking the covers off for now — a shame, because the aero covers do benefit range. Removing them might be doubly wise in light of another potential issue, that of aero covers coming off the truck. A video from last September showed an aero cover flying off a Cybertruck on a California highway, and the occasional forum post speaks of seeing trucks missing a cover and trucks delivered without covers. We can’t tell if this is just a random and innocent snafu that comes with early production, or a flaw, or Tesla being Tesla. But if you have the covers and you’re going to keep them on, it’s good reason to make sure they’re all battened down. And check those sidewalls.