Tesla is recalling their flagship Model S cars for a possible steering issue.
The affected cars are all built before April 2016. Tesla has sent an email to the affected customers to indicate there is a possible issue with the power steering where the company has “observed excessive corrosion in the power steering bolts.”
No injuries or accidents have been reported, and the company says this is mostly a preventative and voluntary recall.
The problem seems more prevalent in cars delivered to colder climates that use rock salt to prevent roads from icing over in the winter.
“If the bolts fail, the driver is still able to steer the car, but increased force is required due to loss or reduction of power assist,” a Tesla representative wrote in their email. “This primarily makes the car harder to drive at low speeds and for parallel parking, but does not materially affect control at high speed, where only small steering wheel force is needed.”
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The email went on to say that Tesla owners did not need to stop driving if they haven’t noticed a problem and that customers will be informed when a retrofit is available. Customers will have the new bolts installed free of charge, and should only take an hour for their technicians to complete the necessary retrofit.
This is actually the largest recall Tesla has ever performed. Before now, the largest recall was in 2015 when the electric car maker recalled 90,000 Model S cars due to a faulty seat belt. Last year, the company recalled 53,000 Model S and Model X vehicles due to a faulty parking brake.
The recall is still a blow to Tesla as the company continues to struggle with the production of their Model 3 sedans. The company has continued to miss production targets due to faulty components, causing massive delays to customers eagerly awaiting their electric vehicles.
Analysts expect Tesla to miss this month’s production targets, with the issue becoming worse before it gets better.