Tesla’s yoke-shaped steering wheels have always been controversial. The EV’s steering wheel is again becoming a topic of conversation, but the shape of the wheel isn’t the problem this time.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into the Model Y after reports of the vehicle’s steering wheel detaching surfaced on social media.
According to the NHTSA, it has received two separate reports of the Model Y’s steering wheel detaching, with Prerak Patel’s experience going viral on Twitter.
@elonmusk @TeslaOwnersWW @BLKMDL3 Family was excited to receive Tesla Y delivery on 1/24/2023. Was driving on highway and all the sudden steering wheel fall off, was lucky enough there was no car behind and I was able to pull on devider #SafetyFirst #Fixit #TeslaModelY #help pic.twitter.com/4UMokFA2cv
— Prerak & Neha Patel (@preneh24) January 30, 2023
“Family was excited to receive Tesla Y delivery on 1/24/2023. Was driving on highway and all the sudden steering wheel fall off, was lucky enough there was no car behind and I was able to pull on divider,” wrote Patel.
According to the NHTSA, both Teslas were delivered missing a steering wheel retaining bolt. “Sudden separation occurred when the force exerted on the steering wheel overcame the resistance of the friction fit while the vehicles were in motion. Both known incidents occurred at low vehicle mileage,” wrote the NHTSA, adding that it now plans to assess the risk of the same steering wheel defect appearing in other Tesla Model Y vehicles.
Patel was given two options by Tesla. He could either keep the vehicle with assurance that the steering wheel won’t malfunction again, or he could get a new Model Y. Patel chose the latter.
@elonmusk @BLKMDL3 @TeslaOwnersWW @tesla
First, I would like to thank all who supported me.
Today, I received a new/replacement @Tesla Y.
Just FYI – I received a call from @NHTSAgov defect investigation team, they are looking into this matter. pic.twitter.com/dh7LwLwWeD
— Prerak & Neha Patel (@preneh24) February 24, 2023
This isn’t the first time Tesla has gotten in trouble with the NHTSA. Earlier this year, the NHTSA had questions for Tesla after CEO Elon Musk tweeted that a future software update would remove a driver monitoring safeguard from the company’s vehicles.
The safeguard requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel when using the Autopilot Full Self-Driving (FSD) system. Similarly, last year, Tesla was forced to recall over 130,000 vehicles due to a CPU heating issue.
Image credit: @preneh24