US opens safety probe into complaints from Tesla drivers that they can lose steering control

1 August 2023

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators have opened yet another investigation into safety problems with Tesla vehicles.

This time the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into a dozen complaints about loss of steering control or loss of power steering in the 2023 Models 3 and Y electric vehicles.

The probe covers an estimated 280,000 vehicles. Five drivers alleged in complaints they couldn’t steer the vehicles at all. Seven more cited a loss of power steering that required increased steering effort.

There was one report of a crash but no complaints of any injuries.

The agency says in a document posted Tuesday on its website that loss of steering control can be accompanied by messages to drivers indicating that the power steering assist has been reduced or disabled.

The document says investigators will look into how often the problem happens, manufacturing processes and the severity of the problem.

The probe is at least the fifth started by the agency into Tesla vehicles in the past three years. Investigators are looking into Teslas that can crash into parked emergency vehicles while running on the Autopilot partially automated driving system, suspension failures, steering wheels that can fall off, and front seat belts that may not be connected properly.

A message was left early Tuesday seeking comment from Tesla.

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