The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has intensified its investigation into the Tesla power steering loss problems reported in Model 3 and Y vehicles. The preliminary evaluation, initiated in July, has now been upgraded to an engineering analysis.
This escalated probe comes after numerous complaints of sudden and unexpected loss of steering control in Tesla vehicles. Some drivers reported their steering randomly locking in place, while others experienced power steering failures that required significant effort to manage. One Model Y owner recounted on Reddit a dangerous situation where the steering became extremely hard to handle while driving.
The NHTSA’s engineering analysis will examine the performance of the power steering component in approximately 280,000 Tesla Model 3 and Y vehicles. This increased scrutiny follows 12 reported incidents of steering failure. If the NHTSA’s investigation uncovers a safety-related defect, the agency could potentially mandate a recall.
Tesla has previously faced criticism over steering issues. A Reuters investigation revealed that some Tesla drivers received a dashboard error message, “Steering assist reduced,” indicating a loss of power-steering. In such instances, the power function’s loss makes the vehicle significantly harder to steer, posing a potential risk to drivers.
In addition to the Model 3 and Y, Tesla has also had to retrofit a power steering component in some Model X vehicles as part of a voluntary recall. The company was proactively addressing potential safety concerns before they escalated into more serious issues.
Moreover, the NHTSA has opened a separate investigation into other Tesla models over steering control problems. Drivers losing power steering assistance may suddenly need more effort to turn the vehicle, which could potentially lead to a crash.
As the NHTSA deepens its probe, Tesla’s power steering loss issue is under increased scrutiny. The potential safety risks associated with this problem highlight the importance of thorough vehicle inspections and swift action to rectify any identified issues.
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