Man Apologizes to Elon Musk After Faking Viral Video of Faulty Tesla

Last week, a man went viral with a video showing a broken Tesla steering wheel yoke, which he claimed belonged to a car he had just purchased. Now, Ricco Kimbrough has publicly apologized to Elon Musk, admitting that the video was fake.

Kimbrough's original TikTok video of the car gained over two million views, with him showing the broken airbag unit and yoke in a Model S Long Range. These cars cost around $83,000. In the video, he can be heard saying: "Okay Tesla, this is unacceptable, I just received my new Tesla and literally my airbag is just hanging out like this. It's not even connected to my steering wheel. What is going on, Tesla, we just got this car."

Another video shared by Kimbrough gained over one million views, showing him peeling off the car's plastic wrapping.

Over the course of the day, he made over 35 TikToks of his journey to pick up his Tesla from the Tesla store. Some even included him bringing his pet birds into the car.

A follow-up video showed him going into the store to complain, advising customers to thoroughly check their vehicle once they purchase it.

After several media outlets picked up on the video and reported it, its legitimacy was called into question by viewers. Many pinpointed that the car was still in Transport Mode, which allows drivers to roll the wheels of the car freely, a mode it likely would not be placed in when given to a customer.

Now however, Kimbrough has admitted to his followers that he was lying about the video, and even addressed his apology directly to Elon Musk himself. The car was at a Tesla Store, but given that it was taken apart, was not prepared for a buyer or potential buyer to sit in. Kimbrough has said that he didn't realize this, due to the vehicle being unlocked.

"This video is for Elon Musk. I love your product, sir, I do. I love your product. I had no idea, and I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart. I had no idea that I was not supposed to get into that vehicle because it was not locked at all. I just want to say, I apologize," he said.

"This video went viral and I got a call from the actual police department saying that they [car dealership] don't want me on their property. So this message is to Elon Musk...I'm sorry and I'm actually purchasing a Tesla. Got one on order."

As it stands, it's unclear exactly why the car was broken in the first place, but it's safe to say the car would not have been given to a new owner in that condition.

Earlier this month, a different Elon Musk hoax took over TikTok, after a young man was duped by a verified Musk account into thinking he was being gifted a Tesla.

Update 7/01/21 6:45 a.m. ET: This article was updated to modify the description of one of the videos.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, speaks during the Satellite 2020 at the Washington Convention CenterMarch 9, 2020, in Washington, DC. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images