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Musk Fanboys Melt Down After Ralph Nader-Founded Car Safety Group Trashes Cybertruck

Only a select few people who pre-ordered Tesla‘s long-delayed Cybertruck have received one so far — it helps to be Jay Leno, apparently — but fans of the futuristic vehicle have already convinced themselves it’s a flawless product, and another triumph for Elon Musk. And they’re just a tad defensive when someone suggests otherwise.

On Thursday, the Center for Auto Safety took a swipe at the divisive truck in a tweet joking that anyone who drives one is insecure about their “manhood” and was “picked last in gym.” The nonprofit consumer advocacy organization also asserted that the Cybertruck will be “dangerous to everyone else on the road.”

While the post didn’t specify why the truck could pose a particular hazard, other car safety experts have said that its stiff, stainless-steel panels could contribute to additional damage in collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. (At the Cybertruck delivery event last month, Musk told prospective owners, “If you have an argument with another car, you will win.”) The truck is currently not available in the European Union due in part to regulatory issues, and a Tesla vice president has confirmed it’s unlikely to ever be sold in that market.

Yet none of these concerns have afflicted Musk’s army of blue-check loyalists on X (formerly Twitter), who also don’t seem to realize that the Center for Auto Safety, founded in 1970 by activist Ralph Nader, and Consumers Union (now Consumers Report), has been instrumental in the recall of millions of defective vehicles and parts in the past half-century.

“This can’t be a real organization,” griped one ill-informed Cybertruck defender. “Safest truck ever produced,” replied another, with zero specifics to back up this claim. (Neither U.S. safety regulators nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have tested it to date.) “Ad hominem is always a true indicator of objectivity and critical thinking,” seethed a third. Some paid accounts accused the nonprofit of corruption or being “funded by Big Auto.” (Tesla itself did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

One X user — display name “Elon’s My Hero” — went so far as to ask Grok, the AI chatbot developed by Musk’s xAI startup, to compose a lengthy response. The bot imagined the author of the Center for Auto Safety as someone “possibly wearing Crocs and a shirt with a questionable stain, trying to roast others for their choice of vehicle.” The passage concluded that “the only thing more dangerous than a Cybertruck on the road is a person with a keyboard and a fragile ego.”

While this apparently marked the moment many in the Tesla community first became aware of the Center for Auto Safety, the group has previously criticized the Cybertruck as “the ugliest truck on earth” and a “net loss for safety and the environment.” Michael Brooks, the organization’s executive director, laid out the reasons they believe the truck to be dangerous in comments to Rolling Stone.

Two problems, Brooks says, “inherent in virtually all current and planned large electric trucks and SUVs,” are “extreme weights and acceleration.” Faster acceleration means less reaction time for drivers, while added weight “means that injuries will be more significant when crashes inevitably occur.”

But the Cybertruck, Brooks adds, adds two uniquely troubling factors to this equation: First is the “ultra-hard, cold-rolled stainless steel” exterior, which the center reasons “is much less forgiving than other modern vehicles.” Referring to Musk’s flashy demonstrations of the truck’s toughness, Brooks says: “The Cybertruck can stop a bullet and Joe Rogan’s arrow, but what happens when it strikes a human body?  Less yield and more energy transfer resulting in enhanced injuries is the most likely answer.”

For the same reasons, the Cybertruck poses increased risk to smaller vehicles as well, according to Brooks. “Elon is generally correct when he says, ‘If you have an argument with another car, you will win,’ so long as ‘winning’ means inflicting life-threatening damage to other humans on the road without corresponding damage to the occupants of the Cybertruck,” Brooks explains. He also questions “whether there are sufficient crumple zones” to protect those inside the vehicle, who “may be exposed to heightened crash forces due to the lack of crush areas to distribute the energy transmitted” in a collision. “If you have an argument with a wall or a large truck, chances are the occupants of the Cybertruck will not win.”

The last potentially disastrous variable, Brooks says, is that the truck “is equipped with Tesla’s ‘full self-driving’ features, which are anything but, and remain unsafe, unproven, and untrustworthy.” Tesla’s much-touted FSD and Autopilot technologies “remain under investigation by multiple federal agencies,” he says, adding that “doubling the weight of vehicles using those features” will lead to more destructive accidents.

It doesn’t sound, then, as if Musk’s irate acolytes will be swaying the Center for Auto Safety’s view of the Cybertruck anytime soon. And, for all their relentless faith in Tesla, they’d be wise not to bet against the nonprofit, which has seen plenty of car models come and go in its time. When’s the last time you noticed someone driving a Ford Pinto? Exactly.

  

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This article was originally published by a www.rollingstone.com . Read the Original article here. .

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