Ricco Kimbrough is a more complex character than the tiktoker who presented a Tesla Model S with an airbag module hanging from its steering yoke. He says he is a public teacher in his Tik Tok profile, but he identifies as a chauffeur on his Facebook page. Kimbrough also said he owned that Model S, but he shot another video to say that it was not really the case. Tesla advocates used that to try to invalidate the whole story. To autoevolution, the tiktoker said the car was exactly like he showed in the video.
“I went to the Tesla Service Center and decided to do a video with the cars, so I pretended I had bought that Model S. I didn’t know I could not enter that car, but, when I did, the airbag module was loose. I thought that was really unsafe.”
Despite what he said in the videos, Kimbrough is happy with their repercussion and for them going viral. According to the tiktoker, he had more than 3 million views in those videos, even if some are not online anymore.
“I think Tesla ordered Tik Tok to remove them. Many haters must have reported it, and Tik Tok took them down.”
The guy who created the video has apologized and admitted he did not take delivery of a Tesla. He just sat in one that was being shipped https://t.co/Pqe0W2PLav
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) June 28, 2021 Some thought that Kimbrough shot the video to apologize to Elon Musk and Tesla because the company could have threatened to sue him. The tiktoker denies that was the case.
“They just called me to say I could not have entered that car and that they don’t know how I got in. They also said I was trespassing and refused to sell me a car. I had ordered a Model 3 Long Range, and they told me I could no longer buy it from them.”
Whatever his reasons were to say he bought a car he did not actually own, Kimbrough would probably be in jail already if he had damaged the Model S that he presented in his videos. Removing the plastic cover from the infotainment screen was already risky enough. That likely means the vehicle indeed had its airbag module hanging. It could be an issue that Tesla was going to fix before delivering the car. It could also be a car that was refused precisely due to the airbag issue.
At this point, only Tesla would be able to confirm why that car had a hanging airbag module and why Kimbrough managed to open and enter the vehicle as quickly as he did. We’d ask the company about it if it talked to the press. Since it doesn’t, all we have is Kimbrough’s word about what he found in that car, even if he contradicted everything else.