The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Wednesday launched an investigation into Tesla after receiving reports of Model Y steering wheels separating from the steering column.
Documents published Wednesday by NHTSA say it is aware of two separate incidents involving 2023 Tesla Model Y vehicles where the steering wheel became completely separated from the steering column while the car was moving.
In both instances, the Model Ys in question were delivered without the retaining bolts needed to secure the wheel to the pillar. The documents say that both the incidents happened on low mileage vehicles.
NHTSA says its investigation, which formally launched March 4, applies to an estimated more than 120,000 vehicles.
According to the Associated Press, one of the complaints, documented in an NHTSA document, can be traced back to the now-viral tweet, which shows video of the wheel being severed and the vehicle being towed. The owner was originally charged $103.96 to repair the wheel before Tesla removed the fee. A new Model Y was issued to the owner shortly after, The Verge reports.
The investigation comes just weeks after Tesla was forced to recall 362,000 cars over its faulty self-driving beta system, which NHTSA determined could increase the risk of a crash when in use. This is the latest in a long line of Tesla recalls all the way back to the 2012 model year.
Road & Track staff writer with a taste for high-mileage, rusty projects and amateur endurance racing.