WhistlinDiesel is no stranger to trouble, but this may be his rockiest road yet.
Also known as Cody Detwiler, the 25-year-old YouTuber is notorious for his extreme truck modifications and reckless stunts. His family’s automobile business gave him an early interest in cars, but he’s not your average car content creator.
Fans love WhistlinDiesel for buying expensive vehicles and pushing them beyond their limits. With over 6.46 million subscribers on YouTube and 3.5 million followers on Instagram, he has turned his passion for danger into a thriving business. His current net worth is over $8.1 million.
Stirring Up Controversy
Although he has a huge fan following, his pranks have often provoked outrage from car lovers.
Collaborating with UpNorthOutdoors in 2021, WhistlinDiesel drove a SHERP over a frozen lake in Minnesota. The all-terrain vehicle survived the encounter with Detwiler, but it did break through the ice, leading to allegations of environmental damage.
In February 2023, Detwiler sparked outrage again when he bought a $400,000 Ferrari F8 “just to destroy it.” He gave the Ferrari the full WhistlinDiesel treatment, going so far as taking it off-road, damaging the paintwork with a power washer, and eventually accidentally setting it on fire.
While some defended his right to trash his own property, others criticized him for the senseless destruction of a beautiful car. Even worse, Ferrari could choose to take legal action against Detwiler for violating the terms of owning a luxury Ferrari.
Most recently, WhistlinDiesel had a run-in with the cops in August 2023. Along with Jake Paul and Danny Duncan, he was almost arrested for driving an unregistered scooter in a turn lane. Once they were alerted to the safety rules, the trio immediately stowed away their scooters.
Despite his reputation, WhistlinDiesel does take the law seriously when it matters. Even when he used air tags to identify a thief, he stepped aside and let the police handle the situation.
Faking an Arrest to “Break the Internet“
In October 2022, fans were shocked to see photos of WhistlinDiesel, Keller Moore, and Justin Norton being handcuffed and arrested in Dawsonville, Georgia.
In a series of Instagram photos and TikTok videos, the three influencers claimed to have been arrested for filming a video in a McLaren. Detwiler captioned his Instagram post, “WhistlinDiesel word of the day – Imprisonment.”
However, skeptics argued that the footage looked fake. Why would cops allow people to take Instagram photos while they were being arrested? The poses seemed staged, and online sleuths couldn’t find any records of the arrests.
Keller Moore came clean a few days later, saying WhistlinDiesel had been arrested for “eating large amounts of concrete” from a parking lot.
The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office explained the “arrest” was part of their collaboration with Detwiler. The three influencers and the sheriff’s office hoped to create a viral video to promote car safety.
Trouble in the Water
In May 2022, Detwiler and his friends were filming and jet-skiing in a Tennessee lake when they were interrupted by a belligerent off-duty police officer.
Apparently they’d been speeding and splashing water in a no wake zone. As a safety precaution, such zones are restricted to boats moving at low speeds only.
WhistlinDiesel tried to resolve the conflict politely, but it soon escalated to an argument when the officer started swearing at the group. As they were heading back to the lake, a police boat from Putnam County stopped Detwiler and issued citations for spraying water in a no wake zone.
WhistlinDiesel claimed he was unaware of the local boating rules since he had just moved to Tennessee. He spoke out against the unfair treatment on Instagram and invited his fans to show up at his mandatory court appearance in June.
Later that month, he posted a video explaining that he and his friend were facing misdemeanor charges and up to a year in jail. The charge would go on their permanent record, costing his friend his college scholarship.
The police offered to drop the misdemeanor charges if he encouraged his fans to join the local boat safety course. Detwiler refused vehemently, since they were only giving him a special deal because he was a popular YouTuber.
Instead, he chose to hire lawyers and fight the injustice. He argued that being jailed for a year was not appropriate punishment for “splashing water” with your friends.
One year later, WhistlinDiesel is still mired in the legal battle, which has cost him over $75,000 in legal fees so far. He criticized the local police department for corruption and delaying the process. The county police have been uncooperative, even sending a blank CD instead of the requested pre-trial audio files.
In May 2023, he launched a unique t-shirt design to help pay for the legal costs. As for the outcome of the lawsuit, we’ll have to wait and see.
WhistlinDiesel’s not the only extreme truck influencer out there chasing thrills for views. In 2021, another truck YouTuber, Michael Hyssong, was criminally charged for disturbing waterways and damaging a protected creek.
Influencers need to be cautious about the messages they send to young viewers, especially when their daredevil actions pose real risks to themselves, their friends, and the environment.
At the same time, the punishment for speeding in a no wake zone shouldn’t be so much harsher than a similar speeding ticket on land. Let’s hope the lawsuit is resolved soon, so WhistlinDiesel can finally focus on creating fun videos for his fans.