Tesla Inc is recalling 15,000 Model X SUVs due to a potential issue that can result in a loss of power steering assist that could make steering more difficult and boost the chances of a crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Transport Canada stated aluminum bolts that connect the electric power steering gear assist motor to the gear housing may wear away and break causing a decrease or complete loss of power steering assist.
The recall is concerned with 2016 model year X vehicles. Tesla stated the vehicles being recalled consists of majority of Model X vehicles constructed before mid-October 2016, but the move does not impact vehicles built after that date. Tesla issued a similar recall in March 2018 concerning 123,000 Model S vehicles globally built before April 2016 that called for replacing steering assist motor bolts.
NHTSA stated there are no known accidents or injuries related with the Model X recall. The recall includes 14,193 U.S. vehicles and 843 in Canada. Tesla will arrange for the replacement of the mounting bolts and is also going to change the steering gear if needed, Transport Canada stated.
Tesla stated it has seen “excessive corrosion on the bolts that attach this component to the steering gear in affected Model X vehicles” and mainly in areas with very cold climates that use road salts. Tesla stated if the bolts fail it would need “more force to turn the steering wheel, especially during low speed parking maneuvers”.
Tesla added that it was not aware of any injuries or accidents associated to the power steering component.
Tesla added drivers can keep operating their Model X SUVs before the issue is addressed. Tesla stated it will contact owners to plan appointments when parts are available.
Tesla stated it will also apply a corrosion-preventative sealer in all impacted Model X vehicles to represent the possibility that vehicles may later be utilized in cold climates.