Tesla is under investigation again, but this time it’s because the steering wheel is falling off the Model Y.
As reported by the Associated Press, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into Tesla over reports that the steering wheel in the Model Y is detaching from the steering column while the SUV is being driven. According to one customer, the steering wheel fell off while they were driving on the highway.
In one complaint filed with NHTSA, an owner said he was driving with his family on Route 1 in Woodbridge, New Jersey, when the steering wheel suddenly came off on Jan. 29, five days after the vehicle was purchased. The owner wrote that there were no cars behind him, and he was able to pull toward the road divider. There were no injuries.
Prerak Patel, who experienced the issue, said that Tesla initially was going to charge him to fix the issue but eventually backpedaled and offered a replacement vehicle. He said that “My kids were a little scared to ride in a loaner Tesla and, as a parent, we are able to restore their confidence” and that “no other family experiences what we experienced.” You can see the steering wheel partially disconnecting from the steering column in the post that Patel made on Twitter. It’s pretty wild.
The company is also being investigated for a February 18th accident involving a Tesla Model S and a ladder truck from the Contra Costa County fire department. In that incident, the NHTSA says that Autopilot may have failed to properly detect the emergency vehicle and crashed into the vehicle, killing the driver of the Tesla and injuring passengers in both the Tesla and the firetruck.
The announcement of the investigation comes about a week after Tesla hosted its Investor Day, where the company revealed Master Plan 3 to make Earth more sustainable through the switch to electric power and transportation. The company is already dealing with a recall of its Full Self-Driving system that impacts over 300,000 of its vehicles.