Fact Check: Elon Musk Did NOT Tweet That Tesla Was Forced To Recall Its Entire Fleet

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: Elon Musk Did NOT Tweet That Tesla Was Forced To Recall Its Entire Fleet Parody

Did Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweet that Tesla, his electric-vehicle and sustainable-energy company, was forced to recall its entire fleet? No, that's not true: The tweet was posted by a parody account impersonating Musk, the CEO of Tesla.

The parody tweet (archived here) was published on December 22, 2022. It read:

Tesla has just been informed by the NHTSA that our cars pose an 'imminent threat' to all drivers & are demanding an immediate recall of all vehicles w auto pilot. We are going to fight this to the end, but I'm being forced to announce the immediate recall of our entire fleet. 1/2

This is what the post looked like on Twitter shortly after publication:

image - 2022-12-22T122844.001.png

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Thu Dec 22 11:21:36 2022 UTC)

The account featured an image of Musk and the following description: "Elon Musk CEO Tesla Motors, SpaceX & etc (parody)".

Although the account was labeled as parody, that designation didn't pop up when users saw the tweet in their timelines, according to a Community Note attached to the recall tweet. Community Notes, formerly Birdwatch, is a program that allows users to add notes to tweets they believe are misleading.

After the tweet was published, the account was updated. The image of Musk was replaced and the profile description now reads: "It's me Ethan Klein definitely not Elon Musk."

This is what the tweet looked like at the time of the writing of this fact check:

Announcing "They got me," Klein tweeted on December 22, 2022, an image of the Community Note attached to his original recall tweet:

Community Note - Ethan Klein - Tesla.png

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Thu Dec 22 18:44:00 2022 UTC)

Klein is a comedian, YouTuber, and podcaster. His Twitter account was briefly suspended in November 2022.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to Elon Musk can be found here.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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