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Tesla recalls 137 Model Ys over possible loose steering wheel fasteners

Mar 12, 2023

Tesla has issued a voluntary recall of a small number of Model Y SUVs over concerns the steering wheels may not have been properly fastened, potentially leading to the steering wheel becoming disconnected while driving. The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) following reports of the steering wheel in two new Model Ys falling off shortly after delivery.

According to the official notice posted to the NHTSA website, just 137 Model Ys are covered under the recall, with Tesla estimating only 10%, or about 14 of those vehicles are actually impacted by the issue. Tesla says the issue was first identified on May 4, 2023, with the problem being a loose fastener which may cause the steering wheel to disconnect from the steering column.

"Manufacturing and service records suggest that there may be a correlation between certain manufacturing record characteristics and the fastener being installed but not torqued to specification. A fastener not torqued to specification could allow the steering wheel to disconnect from the steering column," the notice reads.

Tesla goes on to explain that if the fastener is not torqued to spec and the steering wheel disconnects, the driver may lose steering control which may increase the risk of a collision. However, this issue appears to be different than the one that resulted in the ODI investigation earlier this year, as Tesla says they are "not aware of any instances of the steering wheel completely detaching from the steering column due to this condition."

The difference appears to be the fastener. The ODI investigation in March was looking into two cases where Model Ys were delivered without the fastener that attaches the steering wheel to the steering column. In this recall the fastener is present, but it is not torqued to specification.

The fix will involve Tesla Service inspecting the fastener and if it is improperly torqued, the automaker will install a new fastener and torque it to the correct specification.

You can read the full recall notice below. No similar notice has been posted yet by Transport Canada.

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