Tesla will recall 422 Model 3 units built from 2018 to 2019 due to a front suspension lateral link fastener that may loosen. The recall equates to roughly 1 percent of the total population of vehicles.
Tesla initiated the recall on March 31 and it will only affect older Model 3 vehicles built between four and five years ago.
The recall comes from complaints from owners starting in January 2022 and going all the way through March 16, 2023, as Tesla “received and investigated” claims from customers that lateral link separation had occurred, or strange noises from lateral links were heard.
“Investigation into the production records for these vehicles showed all torque and angle values fall within production control limits, but a correlation was identified between vehicles with customer complaints and certain torque and angle record characteristics,” the NHTSA report on the recall said.
“If a fastener becomes loose enough or separates from the sub-frame such that the lateral link separates from the sub-frame, the wheel alignment could shift and cause instability, which may adversely impact vehicle controllability and increase the risk of a collision.”
Tesla made a determination to issue a voluntary recall “out of an abundance of caution” despite production records not indicating low torque values or missing bolts.
From January 2018 to March 2023, Tesla identified 25 warranty claims and 2 field reports relating to the lateral link fastener issues. There have been no instances of crashes, injuries, or deaths that Tesla is aware of.
The recall is an expansion of a 2021 recall for the same issue with Model 3 units from 2019 to 2021, and Model Y vehicles from 2020-2021.
Tesla escalated 39 service repairs for these vehicles, where either one or both front suspension lateral link fasteners were found to be loose or missing. The company decided to launch that recall after the service repairs.
Tesla vehicles were recalled 19 times last year, affecting over 3.7 million cars. However, 12 of these recalls were fixed through over-the-air software updates.
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