Two US senators are ramping up the pressure on Tesla. In a letter to CEO Elon Musk, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) urged the company to initiate a recall over its vehicles’ potentially faulty suspension parts.
The US Senators cited an “alarming” Reuters investigation, which was published earlier this month, in their letter. The publication claimed in its investigation that Tesla had been blaming drivers for alleged vehicle abuse despite knowing that its cars’ suspension components were faulty.
“We write with extreme concern following recent reporting about Tesla’s knowledge of safety flaws in its vehicles and concealment of the causes of these flaws from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“We are disturbed that you would blame your customers for these failures. It is unacceptable that Tesla would not only attempt to shift the responsibility for the substandard quality of its vehicles to the people purchasing them, but also make that same flawed argument to NHTSA,” the Senators wrote in the letter.
As per Reuters‘ investigation, Tesla had reportedly informed the NHTSA and customers that frequent failures of parts like the “aft link” suspension component were due to driver “abuse.” By doing so, the EV maker reportedly was able to avoid recalling its vehicles in the United States.
Interestingly enough, Tesla did recall its vehicles in China over suspension issues in 2020, though it only involved the Model S and Model X, both of which are low-volume cars. At the time, the NHSTA issued the following statement about the matter.
“NHTSA is aware of the Tesla recall due to suspension problems in China. At this time, the agency has not received significant complaints related to these issues in the United States. The agency is in contact with Tesla and monitoring the situation closely, and will not hesitate to take action to protect the public against unreasonable risks to safety,” the agency noted.
As per Reuters‘ investigation, however, Tesla’s engineers have reportedly tracked frequent failures of aft link and other suspension, steering, and axle parts for years. Tesla and Elon Musk, for their part, have not issued a comment about the matter as of writing.
Tesla’s alleged suspension failures have caught the eye of officials outside the United States. Just last week, reports emerged stating that Tesla is facing an inquiry from Norway’s traffic safety regulator over the Model S and Model X’s alleged suspension failures. Sweden’s Transport Agency also announced that it was investigating suspension failures in Tesla’s electric vehicles.
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