280,000 Teslas Under Probe Over Loss Of Steering Complaints

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a Preliminary Evaluation (PE) into 280,000 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles following 12 complaints received from owners regarding steering and power steering issues.

According to the notice posted to the NHTSA website, of the 12 complaints, seven complaints were received pertaining to the loss of power steering, which resulted in an increased effort to control the vehicle.

Other five other complaints reported an inability to steer the vehicle, which meant that the steering of the vehicle would lock in place and the car would only go forward and backward but could not turn.

The NHTSA document describes the problem as “Loss of steering control, frequently accompanied by driver-facing messages indicating that power steering assist is reduced or disabled.” As per the Failure Report Summary, only one case of crash has been reported until now, but no cases of injuries or fatalities.

For instance, a Tesla Performance Model 3 driver in Woodbridge, Virginia, complained that their vehicle started showing problems two weeks after the car got delivered on June 15 (via TechCrunch).

“Today while driving and making a left turn, the steering wheel locked up while showing an error code UI_a020 stating steering assist is disabled,” the driver wrote in a complaint.

“Vehicle steering gets locked, and once you get out and get back in, the car code disappears; however after driving a mile or 2 code reappears, and the steering gets very stiff, making it almost impossible to turn in either direction. Very unsafe and unreliable to drive on highways at high speeds. Please investigate this matter, as I am not the only one with this issue.”

Another Model 3 driver reported in May that their slid off the road and crashed into a tree after the car steering wheel felt stuck. On the other hand, one Model Y owner reported that the “wheel jerked hard right and made a thud” and displayed a warning about reduced steering assist.

The investigation is in the preliminary evaluation stage, which is the first step to a formal investigation to determine the frequency and severity of the issue. If NHTSA finds out that there is a defect that can pose an unreasonable safety risk, they could demand a recall and upgrade the probe to an engineering analysis.

In July, we reported that the U.S. auto safety regulators have opened a new special crash investigation into a 2018 Tesla Model 3 sedan that led to a fatal accident involving Tesla’s Autopilot in California. The fatal crash killed the driver of the car and also fatally injured a three-month-old passenger in the Tesla, who died several days later from injuries suffered in the crash.

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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyerhttps://www.techworm.net
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


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