The NHTSA Wants More Information From Tesla On Steering Loss Issues

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Tesla, already under the NHTSA’s microscope, is facing more scrutiny over reports that some Model 3 and Model Y vehicles lost power steering. The agency posted a letter to its website earlier this week, asking for Tesla’s record on the vehicles by July 24.

The NHTSA is looking at around 334,000 vehicles from the 2023 model year after receiving 115 reports of loss of steering control. Owners reported the steering becoming “locked,” “immovable,” or “stuck,” with some saying their steering required increased effort or felt notchy. Thankfully, there has only been one reported crash related to the steering problems. More than 50 vehicles have had to be towed.

Tesla will have to provide defect complaints, detail its problem identification process, and show how it initiated improvements. The NHTSA also wants “all communications with the supplier and related documents which are related to or may relate to” the defects. We’re not at the recall stage yet, but the currently ongoing engineering analysis is a required step before one can be initiated.

The NHTSA’s announcement comes almost a year after it opened a preliminary evaluation, upgrading it to an engineering analysis earlier this year. The automaker has an opportunity to present its findings and can voluntarily initiate a recall, but the NHTSA can ask for one if the analysis shows a defect.

[Images: Tesla]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.