Tesla Subjected to Another NHTSA Probe, This Time for Steering


Tesla is being subjected to another probe from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this time for a potential loss of steering control in Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a preliminary investigation July 28 that seeks to find the basis behind 12 complaints alleging loss of steering control and power steering in 2023 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

Five of these 12 reports indicate an inability to steer the car, while the other seven have reported the loss of power steering, “resulting in an increased effort to control the vehicle.”

The NHTSA plans to scope out a population of 280,000 vehicles in total. There has been a report of one crash or fire as a result of the issue, where a driver felt their Model 3’s steering get stuck, causing them to slide off the road and crash into a tree.

Another driver reported the car suddenly stopped steering when leaving a shopping center. “Went to very close to opposite side of traffic and somehow made it to across the road inside the shopping center,” the driver wrote in a report to the NHTSA.

Other drivers reported multiple occurrences of the issue and stated their car is at Tesla Service for repair on a new steering rack and motor.

The initial probe from the NHTSA will determine whether the issue poses an unreasonable safety risk. If it does, the NHTSA will upgrade the probe to an engineering analysis, which could then result in a recall.

This process was also used for the NHTSA’s investigation into Tesla cars crashing into emergency vehicles, which assessed 830,000 cars in 2022. It was upgraded to an engineering analysis in June 2022.

Another probe related to Tesla steering wheel detachments was initiated earlier this year.

We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

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