280,000 Teslas Under Investigation in the U.S. for Losing Steering Control and Power Steering

280,000 Teslas Under Investigation in the U.S. for Losing Steering Control and Power Steering

Safety regulators in the U.S. announced an investigation into 280,000 new Tesla Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers after receiving a dozen complaints about steering failures from 2023 Model Y and Model 3 owners, Reuters reports.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only one issue has even resulted in a crash. That Model 3 driver reported that the “car steering felt stuck and slid off the road which resulted in crashing into a tree,” according to the outlet. Another driver, in June noted, that their two-week-old Model Y was leaving a shopping centre when “suddenly steering wheel did not steer. It was hard and saw the alert. Went to very close to the opposite side of traffic and somehow made it to across the road inside the shopping centre.”

Another complaint alleged that a Tesla Model Y that was less than a month old turned on and the “wheel jerked hard right and made a thud.” A warning popped up on the screen that said “Steering Assist Reduced” along with an error code. That owner said the power steering was disabled and reportedly told NHTSA it felt unsafe to steer. He then added that “Tesla has moved my service visit from May 2 to May 25 due to a backlog of parts. They confirmed this is a recently known issue and noted the steering rack may be replaced entirely.”

Another driver in Hawaii will also be waiting a few weeks for their Tesla to be repaired, reporting that just a week after purchasing a Tesla, the steering wheel began locking up randomly. He said it occurred six times on different dates before he was able to get it to a Tesla service center, where it remains, waiting for parts.

According to Reuters, this probe is the first step of a formal investigation by NHTSA to figure out if the issue poses an “unreasonable safety risk.” After this, it would become an engineering analysis before it could demand that Tesla recall the vehicles.

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