It sounds like an excuse, but you can never really tell with Elon Musk

The unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck came with loads of surprises, including the truck’s controversial looks, impressive performance capabilities, and the late-game arrival of the Cyberquad ATV. But none of these moments compared to the moment when lead designer Franz von Holzhausen smashed two of the Cybertruck’s “armor glass” windows with a metal ball.

The incident spurred Elon Musk’s now-famous expletive-laden reaction, and days after the embarrassing on-air episode, Musk has come out and explained why the armor glass windows cracked when it was hit with the metal ball. You can believe Musk’s explanation or not, but it does sound like someone who’s trying to come up with an excuse to save some face.

So, Elon Musk says the Tesla Cybertruck’s “armor glass” shouldn’t have broken if the proper procedures were done during the on-air test of the Cybertruck’s body panels and windows.

According to Musk, Tesla lead designer Franz von Holzhausen should have done the metal ball test first on the windows before doing the sledgehammer test on the door.

The latter, Musk explained, caused the base of the glass to crack, and causing it to weaken and then shatter when it was hit by the metal ball.

Musk’s explanation is plausible, though you could argue that all the testing that Tesla did before the show — there’s a video of von Holzhausen performing the exact test before the Cybertruck’s debut, with the ball bouncing harmlessly off the window — could have also caused a collective weakening of the glass, setting stage for the embarrassing episode that was seen by everyone who was watching the live stream of the Cybertruck’s debut.

We could give Musk the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard to believe that he and the rest of the Tesla team didn’t recognize the potential risks that came with doing too much testing on the door and window of the Cybertruck. In addition to that, the back window also broke on-air but the rear door didn’t get smacked by the sledgehammer before von Holzhausen smashed the rear window with the same metal ball he used to smash the front window. Whispers abound that the rear window did not have the “armor glass” so that’s another layer of speculation that everyone’s talking about.

As plausible as Musk’s explanation is, shouldn’t the “armor glass” be impervious to the walloping of the sledgehammer on the door of the Cybertruck?

Shouldn’t it withstand that kind of impact without the base of the glass cracking? By saying that it did, Musk appears to be admitting that the “armor glass” isn’t as sturdy as Tesla’s making it out to be. It’s like Musk is cutting off his nose to spite his face. It’s an even worse look for Tesla if the rumors that the rear window wasn’t made of “armor glass” end up being true. Granted, Musk must’ve gotten frustrated about the front windows cracking that he forgot that the rear windows weren’t made of armor glass, but it doesn’t paint a good look when the technology you’re touting fails in front of the whole world.

I’m not going to get too caught up in it because improvements are part of the job, especially when it comes to an all-new model like the Tesla Cybertruck. I didn’t even think it was that big of a deal until everyone started talking about it. What’s important is that, embarrassing episode notwithstanding, the Cybertruck has a lot to offer. The design is hit-or-miss, sure, but the specs are otherworldly and the technologies that were used in its development are just as impressive. Most importantly, the Tesla Cybertruck comes with an affordable price tag, or at least an affordable entry-level price tag.

Elon Musk Really Expects Us To Believe His Excuse for Why the Tesla Cybertruck's Windows Broke Exterior
- image 873114

There are a lot of positives that Tesla took from the Cybertruck’s debut, and even with the onstage mishap with the windows, it doesn’t look like interest in the model has waned. Not even the slightest when you consider that Tesla has already received more than 200,000 preorders for the Cybertruck “with no advertising and no paid endorsement.” It’s another bold statement, but it’s something that isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Tesla.

Maybe that smashed window brouhaha was a bad thing in the moment. Musk coming out with an explanation for the brouhaha also didn’t do anything to convince people of the legitimacy of his reasons. But at the end of the day, it’s hard not to argue that the Cybertruck had a successful debut. Everyone’s talking about the model beyond the smashed glass incident, and while that wasn’t ideal for Tesla, this is also the same company that has never been shy about using negative publicity to its advantage.

Elon Musk Really Expects Us To Believe His Excuse for Why the Tesla Cybertruck's Windows Broke Exterior
- image 873097

Good or bad, publicity is publicity, and Tesla continues to have its fill of that, even if it took a few smashed windows to keep it going.

Tesla Cybertruck specifications
Range: 500+ miles
0-60 mph acceleration: 2.9 seconds
Towing capacity: More than 14,000 lbs
Payload: Up to 3,500 lbs
Horsepower 800 HP
Torque 1000 LB-FT
Vault length: 6.5 feet
Storage capacity: 100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage including the vault, frunk, and sail pillars.
Suspension: 4” in either direction
Touchscreen size: 17”
Body: Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless steel. If there was something better, we’d use it.
Seating capacity: Up to six adults
Charging: Can be charged at home, at Destination Charging locations, and with our network of more than 14,000 Superchargers, including on our newest V3 technology, which is helpful for long hauls and towing.
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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