tesla model y

Tesla subjected to another NHTSA probe, this time for steering

Credit: Tesla

Tesla is being subjected to another probe from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this time for a potential loss of steering control in Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a preliminary investigation on July 28 that seeks to find the basis behind twelve complaints alleging loss of steering control and power steering in Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in the model year 2023.

Five of these twelve reports indicate an inability to steer the car, while the other seven have reported the loss of power steering, “resulting in an increased effort to control the vehicle.”

The NHTSA plans to scope out a population of 280,000 vehicles in total, and there has been a report of 1 crash or fire as a result of the issue, where a driver felt their Model 3’s steering get stuck, causing them to slide off the road and crash into a tree.

tesla model 3 interior

Credit: Tesla

Another driver reported the car suddenly stopped steering when leaving a shopping center. “Went to very close to opposite side of traffic and somehow made it to across the road inside the shopping center,” the driver wrote in a report to the NHTSA.

Other drivers report multiple occurrences of the issue and stated their car is at Tesla Service for repair on a new steering rack and motor.

The initial probe from the NHTSA determines whether the issue poses an unreasonable safety risk. If it does, the NHTSA upgrades the probe to an engineering analysis, which could then result in a recall.

This process was also used for the NHTSA’s probe against Tesla cars crashing into emergency vehicles, which assessed 830,000 cars in 2022. It was upgraded to an Engineering Analysis in June 2022.

There was also another probe related to Tesla steering wheel detachments earlier this year.

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Tesla subjected to another NHTSA probe, this time for steering
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