Tesla faces US investigation over ‘steering wheels that fall off’ while driving

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    Tesla is facing yet another safety probe—this time, into its steering wheels which are reportedly 'coming off' in drivers' hands.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a fresh investigation into 120,000 Tesla Model Y SUVs (2023), following two complaints that the car's steering wheels are coming off while being driven.

    Apparently two customers were delivered Tesla Model Ys that were missing a bolt which attaches the wheel to the steering column.

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    While the steering wheel was kept in place by a 'friction fit', it apparently separated while the cars were being driven.

    According to the NHTSA, both incidents occurred in vehicles with low mileage.

    One owner, Prerak Patel, complained to the NHTSA said that he was driving with his family in New Jersey on January 29 when the steering wheel suddenly came off—just five days after he bought the car.

    Fortunately, there was nobody behind him and he was able to pull off safely.

    Tesla reportedly asked the owner for £87.88 ($103.96) to fix the problem and apologised before the man asked for a refund. He was given the option of keeping the car or replacing it with a new one. Tesla reportedly replaced the vehicle.

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    Mr Patel confirmed on Twitter that he received a replacement from Tesla and that the NHTSA notified him of an investigation.

    This isn't the only NHTSA investigation into Tesla announced this week. The road safety agency forced Tesla to issue a US-wide recall for thousands of Tesla Model Y cars from 2022-2023 due to a major safety issue.

    Apparently, some of the cars have loose metal bolts which are used to secure the car's second-row seats to the chassis.

    In a letter, the NHTSA told Tesla that this could prevent the cars' seatbelts from keeping people safe in a crash.


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