NHTSA opens probe into Tesla steering issues

Photo (c) Pexels Roberto Nickson

The investigation involves the 2023 Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover utility vehicle

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into complaints about steering issues in the 2023 Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover utility vehicles.

The agency said it has received some complaints from Tesla owners who reported either losing power steering control or complete steering control. One owner said the loss of control resulted in a crash.

During the pandemic, Tesla began modifying software so it could use different semiconductors when supply chain issues created shortages. Tesla has recalled some Model S and Model X cars to address power steering problems attributed to a software update that didn’t go quite right.

ConsumerAffairs reviewers have on occasion, mentioned various issues related to steering their Teslas.

‘Awkward and dangerous’

Lars, of Manhatten Beach, Calif., told us he considers the new yoke steering wheel in his 2022 Model S “awkward and dangerous.”

“I'm not sure how they got this approved but it is super disappointing,” he wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. “I'm sure there will be some people who like it, but it is not safe.”

Amanda, another Tesla owner from Atlanta, told us she has issues with the quality of her Tesla, including how the steering wheel was put together.

“My vehicle also has some screws missing in the steering wheel but they don't allow you to go to the service center for this,” Amanda wrote in her review. “They've had issues with steering wheels falling off, but there's no one to tell you if your car is safe.”

It’s not certain that the current investigation will lead to a recall. Federal agencies like NHTSA cannot order a recall but only request the company to issue a voluntary recall. As part of its investigation, NHTSA is asking Tesla owners to submit complaints about any steering issues.

You can file a complaint with NHTSA here. ConsumerAffairs would like to hear about your issues here.

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