Tesla is under investigation by NHTSA over 12 reports that Model 3/Y are losing steering control

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NHTSA announced that it launched a new investigation into newer Tesla Model 3 and Model Y over 12 reports drivers are losing steering control and power steering.

Tesla has been under many NHTSA probes over the years, especially when it relates to its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features, but while this case is related to steering, it’s not clear if those features are related.

Yesterday, NHTSA released a notice of Preliminary Evaluation (PE) about the situation in which it mentions receiving 12 complaints about Model 3 and Model Y vehicles losing steering ability and/or power steering:

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is opening a Preliminary Evaluation (PE) on 2023 model year Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles due to reports of inability to steer the vehicle and the loss of power steering.

NHTSA didn’t release many details about the investigation, but it did explain a little more about the complaints:

ODI has received twelve complaints alleging loss of steering control and power steering in 2023 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Five reports indicate an inability to steer the vehicle. Seven additional reports cite loss of power steering resulting in increased effort to control the vehicle. A PE has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, manufacturing processes, and severity associated with this condition.

So far, none of the incidents reported resulted in injury or death, but NHTSA mentioned that one resulted in a crash or fire.

The scope of the investigation includes 280,000 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

Preliminary Evaluation is an early step that can eventually lead to a recall, but they also often lead to nothing.

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