Tesla investigated by safety agency over reports of steering wheels falling off
The NHTSA is investigating two reports of the steering wheel on the 2023 Model Y falling off.
The agency said the probe covers over 120,000 Tesla cars.
In January, a Tesla owner said his steering wheel fell off when he was driving on the highway.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Wednesday that it is investigating reports that the steering wheel on Tesla's Model Y can fall off while the SUV is in use.
The NHTSA says the inquiry covers over 120,000 Model Y vehicles from the model year 2023. The agency said it launched the probe after it was made aware of two reports of the steering wheel on the vehicle falling off while drivers were on the road. In both cases, the agency said the cars had low mileage and were missing a bolt that attaches the steering wheel to the steering column. No fatalities or crashes have been associated with the issue, according to the NHTSA report.
The agency is looking into the frequency of the alleged issue and how many vehicles may be impacted, as well as Tesla's manufacturing process. The preliminary investigation could potentially lead to a recall.
A spokesperson for Tesla did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication.
One of the drivers involved in one of the steering wheel incidents, Prerak Patel, told Insider the NHTSA reached out to him after he posted on Twitter in January about his steering wheel falling off when he was driving down the highway. The post garnered over 2.4 million views.
—Prerak & Neha Patel (@preneh24) January 30, 2023
The driver previously told Insider that his steering wheel fell off only five days after his new Model Y was delivered earlier this year. Patel said he was driving down a highway near Woodbridge Mall in New Jersey with his wife and kids when the incident occurred.
"I was driving a normal speed in the left lane when all of the sudden I had this loose wheel in my hand," Patel told Insider at the time. "By the grace of God, there was nobody behind me. I took my foot off the pedal, and I was able to pull all the way over to a divider."
Patel told Insider Tesla later bought back the vehicle for its original purchase price and allowed him to receive expedited delivery on a new Model Y after he said he would not feel comfortable continuing to drive the defective car even after the bolt had been replaced on the steering wheel.
Read the original article on Business Insider