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Tesla issues its largest recall ever, voluntarily, over faulty Model S steering

Tesla issues its largest recall ever, voluntarily, over faulty Model S steering


123,000 vehicles built before April 2016 are affected

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Tesla said Thursday it was recalling a huge number of its Model S sedans around the world over a power steering issue. It told customers in an email that it was a proactive move and none of the company’s other vehicles were affected.

The automaker said 123,000 Model S vehicles built before April 2016 were affected. No injuries or crashes have been reported in connection with the problem. Before today, its largest Model S recall was when 90,000 of the vehicles were affected in 2015 by a faulty seat belt. And last year, it recalled 53,000 Model S and Model Xs over a parking brake fault.

In the email, Tesla said it had, “observed excessive corrosion in the power steering bolts,” but that the problem was most prevalent in colder climates where road salt is used.

“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,” Tesla wrote in the email to customers. “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.”

Tesla said owners do not need to stop driving their cars if they haven’t experienced any problems. The company said it would inform Model S owners when a retrofit, which is estimated to take an hour to install, is ready in their area.

The recall comes as Tesla prepares to report its quarterly deliveries, of which many eyes will be on how many Model 3s have ended up in customer hands so far this year. While that car is still ramping up production, the automaker now has another NTSB investigation following a recent fatal crash in a Model X.