Home » The Very First Tesla Cybertruck Crash Results In Dented Stainless Steel And A Totaled Toyota Corolla

The Very First Tesla Cybertruck Crash Results In Dented Stainless Steel And A Totaled Toyota Corolla

Cyber Crash Final Ts3
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The Tesla Cybertruck has been the focus of a great deal of attention and speculation regarding its unique construction that relies on large cast sections and stainless steel body panels. An example of the Cybertruck’s unique construction has now been demonstrated in an unfortunate incident on public streets, details of which have been confirmed by the California Highway Patrol to The Autopian. This collision is the first instance of the truck in a real-world collision; here’s the info we have so far, including a report on the incident from California Highway Patrol, and now, some images of the damaged area of the truck.

The crash was reported to the public by boddhya on Reddit, with photos shared to the r/Cybertruck group. The photographs show a Cybertruck blocking one lane, facing off the road with its curtain airbags having been deployed. The second photo of the incident shows a four-door Toyota with significant front-end damage, particularly to the driver’s side fender, with the front bumper hanging from the vehicle.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

According to a member of the California Highway Patrol I spoke with, the incident occurred at 2:23 PM (POST) on Skyline Boulevard, roughly half a mile from the intersection with Page Mill Road. Authorities were notified of the crash by an automatic text message after the collision, with a Midpeninsula Ranger attending the scene of the incident. Further reports from police indicated that the incident actually occurred at 2:05 PM, local time.

In an initial call with CHP, The Autopian was told that only one person suffered minor injuries in the collision. The Cybertruck was reportedly registered with Texas plates to a Palo Alto address, while the 2009 Toyota four-door was registered locally.

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Subsequently, a report from CHP has become available to The Autopian highlighting more details of the incident. Notably, it states the driver of the Cybertruck shares the name of a Tesla engineer based in San Francisco, and was the injured party in the matter. Along with the Texas plates and Palo Alto registration of the Cybertruck, it suggests, but does not confirm, that it may have been a Tesla company vehicle. The two passengers of the Cybertruck were unharmed, as was the driver of the 2009 Toyota Corolla involved in the crash.

The report states the incident occurred in wet and cloudy conditions. As per the report:

“On December 28, 2023 at approximately 2:05 pm, CHP Redwood City units were dispatched to a two-vehicle crash on SR-35 (Skyline Boulevard), south of Page Mill Road. Our preliminary investigation indicates a Toyota Corolla was traveling south on SR-35 southbound, south of Page Mill Road, at an unknown speed, when the driver, for unknown reasons, turned to the right and subsequently struck a dirt embankment on the right shoulder. The Toyota then re-entered the roadway, crossed over the double yellow lines into the northbound lane, and crashed into a Tesla Cybertruck traveling north on SR-35 northbound.”

 

The driver of the Tesla had a “Complaint of Pain” according to the report, but it was classed as “a suspected minor injury” and they declined medical transport. Nobody else was injured in the matter, as per the report. Further details include that it did not appear that the Cybertruck was being driven under autonomous mode at the time, and that an investigation is ongoing.

Notably, as raised by Louis Botelho, the latest Tesla over-the-air update includes a feature which automatically notifies 911 in the event of a collision which triggers the airbags. Thus, the Tesla is perhaps the most likely of the two vehicles to have triggered a call to authorities, versus the older Toyota. Alternatively, the notification could have been made via a cellphone crash detection system, such as are commonly available on iPhones and Android smartphones.

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It’s difficult at this stage to speculate on the circumstances of the crash, with limited information available. For the Toyota involved, we see plenty of damage to the front-left of the vehicle (I’m assuming it’s totaled). Reddit user boddhya reported the incident as a head-on collision, but the photographs only show the right side of the Cybertruck.

If it was an overlapping head-on collision, the primary damage to the Cybertruck would be on the corresponding front-left side, which isn’t visible from this shot. However, the fact that the airbags were deployed and looking at the damage to the Toyota, it’s clear that the collision was more than a minor fender bender. Regardless, it’s of good credit to both vehicles that nobody was badly injured.

The first real-world Cybertruck crash is of great interest given the rampant speculation around the vehicle’s crash safety. Questions remain about how the hard stainless steel panels would act in a crash, as well as the castings that make up so much of the vehicle’s chassis.

Obviously, the Cybertruck has been designed to pass the relevant safety regulations, but there are still many questions to be answered.

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We now have some pictures of the damage to the vehicle. This photo posted to Twitter shows damage to the rear driver’s side of the Cybertruck, with the stainless steel panels buckled inwards and the rear wheel well cladding torn off.

Furthermore, a dashcam video posted to YouTube shows the left side of the Cybertruck. Interestingly, we get a very short glimpse that shows only a small amount of damage, if any, to the front left fender. We can also see that the driver’s side curtain airbag has deployed, and we see damage matching the above Twitter photo to the rear wheel well.

Cyberpic2
A shot of the Cybertruck involved in the crash on Skyline Boulevard, via a video posted to YouTube by cjysqpb. 
Cyberpic
The same image, zoomed in. From what we can see of the front driver’s side fender, it looks largely intact.

The Autopian has reached out to authorities for more information and will update this article accordingly.

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[Editor’s Note: Showing the first instance of a hotly popular car in a crash is a fairly common article on car sites. People are fascinated to see such a desirable and new car already damaged. Still, we wish we had more pics so we could give you more insight, but we’re on it. -DT]

Images: Google Maps, Reddit screenshot, cjysqpb via YouTube screenshot

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Cuzn Ed
Cuzn Ed
3 months ago

That CYbeRtrVk driver is about to spend a couple trillion dollars on repairs.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
3 months ago

Based on the comments on Tweater, it’s the dream of every aspiring CyberTruk driver to crush a Corolla.

Greensoul
Greensoul
3 months ago

reminds me of every car built before crumple zones were designed in. Just take out the human body parts, rinse the blood out, and put it on the closest BHPH car lot

Ron888
Ron888
3 months ago

Wait- phones have auto 911 dialing from impacts?Interesting

Mantis Toboggan, MD
Mantis Toboggan, MD
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

I believe when the feature came out Apple had to temporarily disable and debug it because it was calling 911 when people would drop the phone or just toss it somewhere.

Timmy
Timmy
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

I thinkn it is more the cars than the phones.. for instance my car has 911 assist that dials from your bluetooth onnected phone when you have been in a crash.. unless I am mistaken and it is actually the phones

Jb996
Jb996
3 months ago

Lewin’s write up, and other comments are a bit unclear. This is NOT a direct Corolla vs Cybertruck accident. Reading the police report, the Corolla first veered right, hitting the dirt embankment. Much of the damage, and a loss of speed, probably happened at that point. It then bounced back into the roadway, and then it hit the Cybertruck. So the Cybertruck absorbed much less energy than the Corolla did.

Not saying it wouldn’t have had less damage anyway, just saying that this wasn’t a direct one-on-one collision.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
3 months ago
Reply to  Jb996

Running onto an embankment like that can increase speed of the car and not cause real damage. I watched a car do that hon Highway 1 in big sur, up the embankment and then scream towards the cliff where thankfully a barrier section just started. It’s a softer slope there on 35 and when it went up the driver likely over corrected. Accidents like this is why they put a median barrier on 17 going from Santa Cruz to San Jose area.

You can see in the images that there is little damage to the Corolla on the passenger side which would have struck the embankment and is absolutely wrecked on the side it hit the CT.

Last edited 3 months ago by JaredTheGeek
TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
3 months ago

When are the images going to finish rendering?

Iotashan
Iotashan
3 months ago

The real question is, what caliper of bullet was involved here?

Turbotictac
Turbotictac
3 months ago
Reply to  Iotashan

I would also like to know the caliber

Iotashan
Iotashan
3 months ago
Reply to  Turbotictac

Oh man. New meds make brain so stupid. I wish I could say that was a clever pun.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago

Another case of Beige Bites Back! The Camry became aware of a Cybertruck and decided to immolate itself to get 15 minutes of fame.

Actually more likely a case of the Camry skidding on a wet road due to bald tires and the driver over-correcting. Cue reaction skid and crash.

Eddie Wuncler
Eddie Wuncler
3 months ago

I know you’re trying to be funny with the beige comment, but what’s funny is you can’t even seem to get the model name right? It’s “beige” to be on a car site and not be able to tell the difference between the two best selling ICE sedans .

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago
Reply to  Eddie Wuncler

Here’s a chill pill, I suggest you take it.

Toyota makes two sedans with names that begin in C. They’re clearly beige enough to not fully register pre-coffee which it was. I goofed and I’ll own up to it. Coin toss which it was and I came up tails this time.

Drew Hampel
Drew Hampel
3 months ago

Totally shouldn’t give away the chill pill you needed. “Calm down” is among the worst defensive (and gaslight-y) things to tell someone else to do because you happened to be both wrong and caught.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago
Reply to  Drew Hampel

As I said, I made a mistake and owned up once pointed out.

Being all superior over a minor mistake does in fact merit a chill pill. It could have been handled in a way that was a lot nicer and less open to interpretation. I stand by my comments.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
3 months ago

So, does getting into an accident while test driving a prototype count as a workplace injury? Asking for a engineering friend who may want to extend their vacation in Tahoe.

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
3 months ago

When working for Musk, being crushed by a robot probably doesn’t count as a workplace injury.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
3 months ago

It’s more likely a fireable offense.

Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
3 months ago

I got t-boned earlier this year, and my (nearly brand new) Civic Si called 911 automatically. I wasn’t very injured, but it was very confusing to suddenly be talking to someone on the phone while climbing over the center console. I doubt I was very helpful.

MrLM002
MrLM002
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob Boxbody

Man, I’m really sorry to hear that. Glad you’re still alive and hopefully without any lasting damage to yourself.

Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
3 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Thanks, I was mostly fine. More than anything I came away impressed with the safety features in that car. But I’m still sad for the Si, because it only had about 7500 miles on it…

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob Boxbody

My beautiful Mercedes had 2600 miles on it when some old fart thought red meant go.
No one was hurt but dealing with my insurance when he had bare minimum coverage must have made him wish he were killed.

OnceInAMillenia
OnceInAMillenia
3 months ago

This is just down the road from the popular car hangout spot Alice’s Restaurant, and where I sized up my Honda CRZ and another guy’s Honda Beat next to a Cybertruck that was testing near there. I wonder if it was the same vehicle?

AutoPartsGuyBuffalo
AutoPartsGuyBuffalo
3 months ago

You can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant

Parsko
Parsko
3 months ago

Excepting Alice!!!!

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
3 months ago

I’m still waiting for Officer Obie’s 8×10 colored glossie photographs to load…

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

And no report whether shovels and rakes and other implements of destruction were used in the cleanup

Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
3 months ago

Kiss my grits!!! Wait, that was called Mel’s Diner in the TV show Alice.

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
3 months ago
Reply to  Nick Fortes

That was Flo, before she was launched into space by a stairlift.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
3 months ago

On the point of how stainless steel panels perform in a collision, wouldn’t DeLorean crashes offer some insight? I know there’s a crash test video on YouTube and how the hood goes back is a bit unnerving, but likely more down to the front hinged hood than anything and thus not relevant to a Cybertruck. Idk, it’s 11:30pm and my brain is functioning at lower capacity, but this just springs to mind

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
3 months ago

Problem with DeLorean is the wrecks usually involved 10,000% more coke, so hard to compare…..

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
3 months ago

Weyou! weyou! weyou!

The song of the sirens.

Who can afford to snatch one of these poorly thought out monstrosities up in this market?

Most likely the exact type of person I should never trust.

Rich, thoughtless…

Ignore this!
I’ve gotta chase a puppy around.
Before bed.

You dumb dog!?

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago

Woof

Chris D
Chris D
3 months ago

If it were a private vehicle, the owner might share what the repair estimate entails. As a company vehicle, it’s probably going to a warehouse where it will be inspected, analyzed and then likely scrapped.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
3 months ago

And both cars were considered total losses by the insurance companies…

Phuzz
Phuzz
3 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

It was a head-on crash, where the closing speed was probably at least 50mph. That’s going to make pretty much any car uneconomical to repair.

Jb996
Jb996
3 months ago
Reply to  Phuzz

Did you read the quote from the police report? It wasn’t directly head-on at full speed. The Corolla veered off the road, and it’s first impact was with the dirt embankment, it then reentered the road and hit the Cybertruck. I’m sure it was traveling much slower, and already damaged, after hitting the embankment.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
3 months ago
Reply to  Phuzz

I was jesting. 🙂

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 months ago

Aren’t there only, like, a dozen of these in the wild? One crash wipes out nearly 10% of the total number.

MrLM002
MrLM002
3 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Critically Endangered Cybertrucks

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
3 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

1 less of these abominations out in the wild is a good start.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
3 months ago

The Tesla was registered in Palo Alto (about 15 miles from Tesla’s Fremont manufacturing facility, but carried Texas plates, where Tesla’s new HQ is located in Austin. I wonder if this is a company car driven by a Tesla employee or officer?

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Just realized Tesla also has a big presence in Palo Alto in the old Hewlett-Packard facilities.

Still thinking company car.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

> the driver of the Cybertruck shares the name of a Tesla engineer based in San Francisco, and was the injured party in the matter. Along with the Texas plates and Palo Alto registration of the Cybertruck, it suggests, but does not confirm, that it may have been a Tesla company vehicle.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
3 months ago

Saw the driver info this AM in the updated version of this post, which occurred sometime after I went to bed last night. Wasn’t in the original post when I made my comments.

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Are you even allowed to register a car out of state? If you live in California then you should get license plates in california instead of Texas since you do not live in Texas.

Dwegmull
Dwegmull
3 months ago

There appears to be a loophole for company owned vehicles. Many fleet vehicles I see around here (SF Bay Area) have out of state plates. Companies like AT&T and Comcast for example.
The only Cybertruck I’ve seen so far (just a few days ago, not far from where this crash occured) had a manufacturer Texas license plate (it say MFR on the side of the plate). I can’t tell from the pictures in this article if the Texas plate is a manufacturer one or not.

Lardo
Lardo
3 months ago
Reply to  Dwegmull

not a really a loop hole. if owned by a company this is based somewhere else, and the company owns it, it is reged where the company is based. Take a look at Montana’s loop hole.

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
3 months ago

The rear end of the CT seems a bit lower than the front. Not as much space above the back tire. Normal or a result of the crash?

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
3 months ago

Air suspension may have deflated/been compromised

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
3 months ago

Obviously, the Cybertruck has been designed to pass the relevant safety regulations, but there are still many questions to be answered.

Are there though? Modern crash testing is rigorous af. It’s why we couldn’t get the manual Giulia. If they can catch that, they can catch any weird crash issues with the CT construction

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
3 months ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Modern cars are extremely unrepairable, as they are made to take energy from the crash and destroy the vehicle, not the occupants. I don’t trust any narrative that’s going to be bandied about the CT’s cost to repair when getting rear ended in my Honda at 30-ish MPH nearly totaled it.

Livinglavidadidas
Livinglavidadidas
3 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Valid point but I think the bigger concern is reparability of minor collisions. Those can still be cost prohibitive with regular cars from all the sensors that are packed into them but CT has additional structural repair concerns that might not be present in other vehicles.

Protodite
Protodite
3 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

How’d that keep us from the manual Giulia? I haven’t heard that reasoning before and I’d be interested to hear more. That manual giulia would likely be in my driveway had we gotten it here

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
3 months ago
Reply to  Protodite

I think that the clutch pedal assembly liked shearing feet off

Protodite
Protodite
3 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

Hmmm. That’s certainly less than ideal. I had no idea that was the reason!

Ron888
Ron888
3 months ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

That is indeed interesting

Comet_65cali
Comet_65cali
3 months ago

Where is the other car?

Phuzz
Phuzz
3 months ago
Reply to  Comet_65cali

In the header image, there’s a head-on view of the Toyota on the right. That seems to be the only picture available.

Loren
Loren
3 months ago

It should be safe based on how hard it’s going to beat up on whatever the other car was. What I’m going to want to know is how much it will cost to fix its probably minor damage. Better than a Rivian with a little dent in the back quarter, or worse?

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Loren

Pretty hard to be worse than the rivian

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
3 months ago
Reply to  Loren

It should be safe based on how hard it’s going to beat up on whatever the other car was”

Doesn’t sound very safe to me.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago
Reply to  Loren

Relative damage is NOT an indicator of safety. The Toyota, for example, is a safe car BECAUSE it’s kind of obliterated – the damage to the front is because the car crumpled in a way that dissipated the force, slowing it enough that the squishy bag of mostly water in the driver’s seat didn’t have to bear the full force of the impact.

If a car doesn’t do anything to dissipate the force, the humans inside will have endure significantly more force and decelerate at a much more rapid rate – something our precious bones will not appreciate.

Being a battering ram to other vehicles also doesn’t make you more safe, it makes them less safe.

Last edited 3 months ago by Citrus
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

“Being a battering ram to other vehicles also doesn’t make you more safe, it makes them less safe”

Which gives *them* that much more reason to git outta muh way when I’m commin’ through. Or else! Which makes me and mine safer which is all that matters.

– lizard brain logic.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Yeah, I remember that lengthy assinine SUV argument from a couple years ago. It’s frightening how many people live their whole lives with that mindset.

Last edited 3 months ago by Doctor Nine
Old Busted Hotness
Old Busted Hotness
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Which explains why the injury was in the CyberTurd and not the 15-year-old subcompact. At least there’s a little justice.

Livinglavidadidas
Livinglavidadidas
3 months ago
Reply to  Loren

Seemingly minor damage may not be so minor in real life and this is not me harping on the CT, I do that enough as it is. 5 years ago some idiot turned into my friend’s Raptor and hit it in about the same spot, it was at a 4-way stop so the speeds were pretty low. Damage did not look that bad superficially and the truck was “repaired” but it never drove right after that, he kept having to bring it back until eventually getting rid of it. Can only assume the wheel took a hit here and it is difficult to tell from the photo what the implications of that may be.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

That’s a really good point. And, we don’t yet have any idea how the front & rear castings react to impact forces where the suspension mounting points are. For all we know, several critical mounts have been sheared off or massively cracked. Or, possibly the suspension pieces are designed to buckle instead. We just don’t know yet.

Ron888
Ron888
3 months ago

Very much this

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