It's only been a couple months since Tesla started delivering its long-awaited Cybertruck to customers.
One Cybertruck Owners Club forum member says they started noticing small orange flecks appearing on his truck after driving it in the rain for just two days.
"Just picked up my Cybertruck today," they wrote. "The advisor specifically mentioned the cybertrucks develop orange rust marks in the rain and that required the vehicle to be buffed out."
The Cybertruck owner posted followup photos after washing the vehicle down with soap, and they didn't inspire much confidence, showing body panels already pockmarked with small orange spots.
Another user noticed similar orange specks on his truck after driving it through rain in Los Angeles.
"They documented the corrosion, and told me they'll give me a call next month when the tools have arrived and they can perform the service/repair," the user wrote after taking their vehicle to their local service center. "The Cybertruck has 381 miles on it, and has spent much of the 11 days in my custody parked in front of my house."
Debate raged in response to the threads, with some arguing that the discoloration could be due to carbon dust, stray filings, or other contaminants.
It's worth noting, though, that Tesla does mention the possibility of corrosion in the owner's manual, in a passage that makes maintenance for the brutalist pickup sound exceedingly fussy.
"To prevent damage to the exterior, immediately remove corrosive substances (such as grease, oil, bird droppings, tree resin, dead insects, tar spots, road salt, industrial fallout, etc.)," the company's documentation reads. "Do not wait until Cybertruck is due for a complete wash."
"The Cybertruck’s exterior is susceptible to corrosion, as acknowledged in the manual," one Cybertruck Owners Club forum member, who posted screenshots of the documentation, wrote. "Once the oxide barrier is compromised, corrosion initiates."
Cybertruck owners are instructed to remove spots and grease stains "with water and a mild, non-detergent soap."
The use of stainless steel, which technically can stain and rust, is a baffling design decision. The Cybertruck is meant to be a workhorse that can go anywhere at any time, per the EV maker's own marketing materials — not an expensive collector's item that you only take out under ideal conditions.
Regardless, it's not clear that all is lost. Another poster wrote that their Cybertruck had showed similar marks, but that cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend and Windex had restored it to its previous shininess.
There's also precedent. The last time a car company chose stainless steel for a mass-produced vehicle was the DeLorean, an eye-catching sports car famously featured in the iconic sci-fi romp "Back to the Future" in 1985.
Users are already sharing tips on how to keep their trucks shiny by referring to tried-and-true methods discovered by DeLorean owners decades ago.
And others are just leaning into the limitations.
"I think as long as you don't drive it in the rain, or get it wet, it will be fine," wrote one.
"I know I’m a weirdo but I actually kinda like the corrosion and hopefully the associated patina that will come with it," wrote another.
More on the Cybertruck: Cybertruck Goes Off-Road, Wheel Snaps Off