Federal automobile security regulators are examining a prospective problem with the power steering in some Tesla electric automobiles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation has opened an initial evaluation to identify if there's an issue with the power steering in model-year 2023 Tesla Models 3 and Y.
The investigation, stimulated by a dozen consumer problems, is among a number of open security investigations into Tesla's EVs. Just this year NHTSA's ODI also opened probes into complaints of sudden unintended acceleration, and another is taking a look at the tendency for steering wheels to detach.
In this case, NHTSA got 12 grievances alleging guiding failure in three Model 3s and nine Model Ys. Some grievances describe the steering suddenly and arbitrarily securing location; others relate power steering failures that required heavy effort to remain in control of the car.
"Upon putting the car into drive for the very first time after ending up the software application update, the power steering stopped working with a "power steering lowered" cautioning before the cars and truck could move. The guiding wheel would not move without excellent effort. A power cycle cleared the concern," composed a Model Y owner from East Montpellier, Vermont.
"Upon starting the automobile, the steering wheel frequently locks or ends up being exceptionally stiff, requiring significant physical effort to turn. Rebooting the system, [exiting] then returning to the car can sometimes fix the issue momentarily to make it drivable for the current trip," wrote a Model Y owner from Staten Island, New York.
"Coming out of the shopping center, suddenly guiding wheel did not steer. It was hard and saw the alert. Went to really close to opposite side of traffic and somehow made it to throughout the roadway inside the shopping center," wrote a Model Y owner from Alpharetta, Georgia.
"Today while driving and making a left turn, the steering wheel locked up while showing a mistake code UI_a020 specifying guiding help is handicapped. This automobile has just been driven 575 miles. Car steering gets locked, and when you get out and return in, the automobile code disappears; nevertheless after driving a mile or 2 code reappears, and the steering gets really stiff, making it almost impossible to turn in either direction," wrote a Model 3 owner from Woodbridge, Virginia.
In many cases restarting the vehicle fixed the concern, however other cars needed to be pulled by Tesla for service. None of the complaints to NHTSA include injuries, thankfully, but one Tesla Model 3 owner described how the "steering felt stuck and moved off the road which resulted in crashing into a tree."