Tesla has allegedly been shifting blame onto customers for parts failures that the company was aware of being defective. A report from Reuters details stories from frustrated drivers who, despite owning relatively new vehicles, were forced to shell out thousands of dollars to replace faulty components.
One such account comes from Jamie Minshall, an owner of a 2023 Model Y, who experienced a sudden loss of power steering within two months of purchasing the vehicle. Minshall described the incident as potentially life-threatening, recounting how he managed to avoid a catastrophe by quickly hitting the brakes. However, this was just one of 400 similar complaints from Model 3 and Model Y owners who reported power-steering failures between late 2017 and early 2022, according to a former employee cited in the report.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into these power-steering outages in July of the same year, shedding light on the severity of the issue. According to Reuters, Tesla’s response to the complaints involved blaming the customers, citing “driver abuse” as the root cause. Former service managers, company records, and a 2020 letter to the NHTSA all reportedly confirmed this pattern.
The blame-shifting extended beyond power-steering issues, with customer complaints ranging from problems with suspensions and half shafts to steering racks. The report suggests that Tesla consistently avoided taking responsibility for these defects, leaving customers to foot the bill for necessary repairs.
You can read the full report here. Have you had a similar experience in Canada? Let us know in the comments below.