Tesla Issues Its Largest Recall to Date for Steering Bolt Issue

Posted by at 3:48 pm on March 29, 2018

Tesla Inc. is voluntarily recalling about 123,000 Model S sedans globally after discovering that certain corroding bolts in cold weather climates could lead to a power-steering failure.

The Silicon Valley auto maker on Thursday said the recall, believed to be the company’s largest ever, applies to Model S sedans built before April 2016. Tesla said the issue is known to have involved less than 0.02% of the potentially affected vehicles in the U.S. Tesla has sold about 280,000 total vehicles through the end of last year.

“There have been no injuries or accidents due to this component, despite accumulating more than a billion miles of driving,” according to an email being sent to customers by Tesla.

The recall to retrofit the power steering component adds to the string of challenges Chief Executive Elon Musk is dealing with as he tries to boost production of the Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 sedan and conserve the company’s cash supply.

The recall on Thursday only involves the Model S. Tesla said its service center in Montreal began noticing the issue in Model S sedans and attributed the corrosion to the calcium or magnesium salts used to treat roadways during the winter months. If the bolts fail, the car can still be steered but requires additional force.

“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,” the company said.

The cost of the recall is expected to be minimal, Tesla said, with the supplier paying for the new part.

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