NHTSA requests records from Tesla on power steering issues

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is continuing its probe into possible power steering issues in Tesla vehicles. The agency is now requesting additional information from the automaker as part of its ongoing investigation.

According to the letter sent by the NHTSA to Tesla and published Wednesday, the automaker has been given a deadline of July 24 to submit all necessary documentation, including records of defect complaints and any communications with suppliers concerning the steering components. (via Reuters)

The NHTSA’s request specifically targets Tesla’s process for identifying field issues and implementing appropriate fixes. The agency also wants to know whether Tesla has made any changes to its power steering components since the probe began, or whether it has plans to make any changes over the next four months.

The NHTSA started looking into the potential issue after numerous reports describing problems such as steering wheels becoming stuck, locked, or requiring significantly increased effort to maneuver. There have been reports of the steering feeling “notchy” or “clicky” before or after the loss of power steering, pointing to potential issues with the steering rack mechanism.

The probe began with a preliminary evaluation in July 2023, following initial reports of unintended steering loss. By February 2024, the investigation had escalated to an engineering analysis. This level of investigation aims to understand the conditions leading to and resulting from these steering failures, and could lead to a mandatory recall if the findings confirm a systemic issue.

As we have previously reported, the investigation covers approximately 334,569 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles from the 2023 model year. More than 50 vehicles affected by these steering issues have reportedly been towed due to the severity of the problem.

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