Tesla issues over-the-air update to correct power steering issues in Model S/X [Update]

Due to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) antiquated rules, Tesla has issued a recall notice for some Model S and Model X cars over concerns they may experience reduced or loss of power steering assist.

In reality the recall notice is merely a formality and nothing for owners to worry about as Tesla has already issued a free over-the-air (OTA) software update to correct the issue.

According to the recall notice posted to the NHTSA website (included below), the issue arose with the release of firmware 2022.36 which “changed calibration values for the electronic power assist steering (EPAS) system” on 2017-2021 Model S and Model X vehicles.

In rare cases on certain 2017-2021 Model S and Model X vehicles, the updated calibration values may result in reduced or lost power steering assist due to forces from external road dynamics (i.e., pot holes or bumps) being inadvertently classified as unexpected steering assist torque.

Tesla says they discovered the issue on October 18, one week after first deploying the 2022.36 update by noticing an increasing rate of alerts related to the updated EPAS calibration values.

Through a subsequent investigation engineers were able to identify the root cause and deploy 2022.36.5 to correct it.

Tesla says that as of November 1 more than 97% of the affected vehicle have updated to this newer version, so as a result the recall notice is estimated to cover just 1% of 40,168 vehicle identified as part of the recall notice.

You can read the full notice below. No similar recall notice has been published by Transport Canada at the time of publication.

UPDATE Nov 18 8:45am PT: Transport Canada has now posted the same recall for 2,513 Model S/X cars in Canada.

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