Possible recall as Tesla customers report haywire steering issues

Tesla just does not seem to be able to stay out of the proverbial pooh-pooh.

Riaan Tesla Steer1

Earlier this month it was Teslagate and now a possible recall of vehicles seems to be on the cards.

Reuters reported that US auto safety regulators said that they have opened an investigation into 280 000 new Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles over reports of loss of steering control and power steering.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a preliminary evaluation after it had received 12 complaints from owners of 2023 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

One Model 3 driver reported in May that the "car steering felt stuck and the car slid off the road, which resulted in crashing into a tree".

A driver in Alpharetta, Georgia, reported in June that a two-week-old Tesla Model Y was coming out of a shopping centre when "suddenly the steering wheel did not steer. It was hard and I saw the alert. The car went very close to the opposite side of traffic and somehow made it across the road inside the shopping centre."

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is the first step of a formal investigation to determine if the issue poses an unreasonable safety risk. NHTSA will need to upgrade the probe to an engineering analysis before it can demand a recall.

Another recent complaint said a Tesla Model Y that was not yet 30 days old in April was turned on and the "wheel jerked hard right and made a thud" and the screen warned that “Steering Assist Reduced” and displayed an error code.

The driver said the power steering was disabled and told the NHTSA it felt unsafe to steer and added "Tesla moved my service visit from May 2 to May 25 owing to a backlog of parts. They confirmed this is a recently known issue and noted the steering rack might be replaced entirely."

A driver in Honolulu said a week after purchasing a Tesla, the steering wheel began locking up randomly and said it "occurred six times on different dates before we were able to get it to the Tesla service department". The driver said it "currently remains at Tesla for the next 3 weeks while we await a new steering rack/motor".

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