Tesla Model Y Disconnecting Steering Wheel Issue Prompts Recall

Tesla Model Y 8 photos
Photo: Tesla / edited
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Tesla started Model Y production a little over three years ago, back in January 2020. The crossover-styling brother of the Model 3 sedan continues to be hampered by a plethora of issues, especially problems related to quality. The latest of the bunch concerns build quality, with Tesla calling back 137 examples of the 2022 to 2023 model year Model Y produced in the period between June 23, 2022, through May 1, 2023.
A little over a month ago, a service technician was minding his own business, repairing the seat trim of a customer's Model Y. During said repair, he observed a loose feel in the steering wheel. If this rather worrying condition seems familiar to you, that's because there have been multiple reports of disconnecting steering wheels in the Model Y as of late. Two owner-submitted reports analyzed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration allege that both Model Y vehicles were delivered without the steering wheel retaining bolt. Tesla refers to said component as PN 1036655-00-A.

Given these circumstances, the American electric vehicle manufacturer started investigating this issue by going over the service and production records. All told, no fewer than four warranty claims and one field report were received between the month of November 2022 through April 2023. On the upside, no crashes or injuries are related to said condition.

Published by the federal watchdog, the report attached below puts the blame solely on Tesla's rather poor quality control. More specifically, the fastener in question was not torqued to specification by Tesla's workers. The tool used for torquing the fastener has been updated, though, in order to prevent incorrect torque actions. Tesla further claims that workers have been retrained. Whether the tool, workers, or both are the root cause for this blunder, we simply don't know from the publicly available information. Whatever the case may be, you can be 100 percent sure that loyalists will continue to praise Tesla.

Tesla stores and service locations have already been notified of recall 23V-385, as the federal watchdog refers to this campaign. Owners, meanwhile, can expect to be informed by first-class mail on July 28. Service technicians will inspect affected vehicles, and – in case of a loose or missing retaining bolt – said component will be either retorqued or replaced.

Currently the world's best-selling production car, the Model Y is available in three flavors in the United States of America. All three are dual-motor affairs, with the Model Y starting at $47,490 and the Model Y Performance at $54,490. Right between them, the Model Y Long Range hits the sweet spot in terms of driving range and pricing. Retailing from $50,490 at press time, this fellow promises up to 330 miles (531 kilometers) of range from its battery. The capacity isn't known for certain because Tesla loyalists aren't bothered by Tesla's secrecy about the essential components in its EVs.
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 Download: Tesla Model Y steering wheel recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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