Tesla recalls 40,000 vehicles over potential loss of power steering assist

The failure can require greater steering effort, especially at low speeds, increasing the risk of a crash

A Tesla Inc. Model S electric vehicle for sale outside a dealership at the Easton Town Center Mall in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. The U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release retail sales figures on January 15. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
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Tesla is recalling 40,000 2017-2021 Model S and Model X vehicles that may experience a loss of power steering assist when driving on rough roads or after hitting a pothole.

The Texas-based electric vehicle manufacturer has released an over-the-air software update to recalibrate the system after it began rolling out an update on October 11 to better detect unexpected steering assist torque.

America's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said a loss of power steering assist can require greater steering effort, especially at low speeds, increasing crash risks.

Tesla said it had identified 314 alerts for this condition among US vehicles that may be related to the recall but said it is unaware of any injuries or deaths related to this condition.

As of November 1, more than 97 per cent of the recalled vehicles have installed an update that has already addressed the recall issue, the electric car maker said.


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Separately, Tesla is recalling 53 2021 Model S exterior side rear-view mirrors that were built for the European market that do not comply with US "rear visibility" requirements. The mirrors were installed during US service visits.

Tesla has issued 17 recall campaigns in 2022 covering 3.4 million vehicles.

In September, the company issued a recall for nearly 1.1 million vehicles covering all four of its models because the windows can pinch a person's fingers when rolled up, US safety regulators said in a filing at the time.

Tesla is under criminal investigation in the US over claims that the company's electric vehicles can drive themselves, sources told Reuters last month.

The US Department of Justice launched the previously undisclosed investigation last year following more than a dozen crashes, some of them fatal, involving Tesla’s driver assistance system Autopilot, which was activated during the accidents, they said.

Updated: November 08, 2022, 2:14 PM