The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has intensified its examination of Tesla's Model 3 and Model Y, moving from a preliminary probe to an engineering analysis. This shift comes in response to driver complaints regarding power steering failures.
The NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) initiated the inquiry in July of the previous year, focusing on 2023 Model 3 and Model Y units. In a recent agency document, it was disclosed that the investigation has progressed to an engineering analysis, a step that could potentially lead to a physical recall of the affected vehicles. Tesla has provided part numbers to the ODI as part of this ongoing investigation.
The probe encompasses around 334,569 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, prompted by 2,388 complaints from owners who reported a loss of power steering control. Complaints varied, with some owners experiencing difficulty turning the steering wheel, while others noted increased effort required for steering. Many complainants mentioned receiving a warning message, "steering assist reduced," either before or during the power steering failure.
One recorded accident has been associated with this issue, where a driver was unable to complete a right turn, resulting in a collision with another vehicle. Additionally, over 50 instances have been reported of allegedly towed vehicles from driveways, parking lots, roadsides, and intersections.
Tesla and the ODI conducted a joint inspection of the accident, identifying steering rack part numbers 1044832-00-A and 1188832-00-A as potentially linked to the problem.
This development marks the latest in a series of investigations and recalls involving Tesla, with this particular case likely requiring a physical remedy. Previous recalls primarily addressed non-physical issues, such as on-screen text size and backup camera display problems, which Tesla promptly resolved through software updates.
-----------The article excerpted from TESLARATI.