Tesla is facing another investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over concerns that the steering wheels of its Model Y vehicles can come off while driving. The investigation was launched after two complaints were received from owners of the 2023 Model Y. Both complaints report that the steering wheel came off while they were driving. The NHTSA said that both vehicles were delivered to the owners without the retaining bolt that attaches the steering wheel to the steering column. For this reason, the company is recalling some 2022-2023 Model Y models. It is recalling a total of 137 vehicles.
Tesla, Model Y, NHTSA, recall, safety issue
The reason for this recall is that the fastening part of the steering wheel may not be as tight as it needs to be. The loose fasteners may separate the steering wheel from the steering column. This will cause the vehicle to lose steering control and causes risks.
According to reports, on May 4, a Tesla service technician found that the steering wheel felt loose while repairing the car seat, and then reported it. Tesla conducted on-site quality inspections from May 5 to May 19. It found service and production records for the vehicle in question, as well as production records for all Tesla factories. The company claims that it has not seen any related car accidents so far. However, the car company will provide a free inspection and reinforcement for about 137 cars. The Tesla service centre will provide services to users as they need it.
This is not the first time that Tesla has faced recalls. In February, Tesla was required to issue a recall of nearly 363,000 vehicles that comes with what it calls its “Full Self Driving” software. This is after NHTSA determined it “led to an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety based on insufficient adherence to traffic safety laws”. Tesla CEO Elon Musk objected to calling that a “recall,” saying it entailed only an OTA software update that did not require the owner to bring the cars to service centres to be fixed.
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In addition, the 2023 Model Y has had four recalls, according to documents posted on NHTSA’s website. In November, a recall was issued for taillights that may fail to illuminate. A recall for suspension fasteners that were improperly tightened was issued in December; another one in February was for the second-row seat frame possibly being improperly secured. The fourth recall, issued in February, covers all Tesla vehicles with the upgraded Full Self-Driving software.
Impact of recalls on Tesla
When it comes to the impact of recalls, there is no data on the impact of recalls on Tesla. The company has faced several recalls in recent years. Capital and Barrons report that some experts believe that recalls will have little impact on the stock. However, a report from Protocol claims that the recalls could raise questions about what investors should do with recalls. However, the recalls could at some point damage Tesla’s brand equity and reputation. This is mostly if the recalls do not stop anytime soon.
It is worth noting that Tesla has been quite good and swift in dealing with issues with recalls. This could douse some of the impact of the recalls. The company also releases constant software updates which could mitigate the impact on its reputation. Nevertheless, the recalls could still affect user confidence in Tesla’s products and lead to a decline in sales
The NHTSA has not yet ordered a recall for the Model Y vehicles, but the investigation could include about 120,000 vehicles, according to the administration. The preliminary evaluation was opened on March 4th and applies to over 120,000 vehicles. In both instances, the brand-new cars were delivered without a necessary retaining bolt to attach the steering wheel to the column. At the time of the incident, both cars also had low mileage.