Tesla Recalls 123,000 Model S Cars for Power Steering Bolts

Tesla issued today a voluntary recall on 123,000 pre-April 2015 Model S cars related to trouble with a set of bolts. A TMC thread titled “Power steering falling apart” has been discussing the issue since October.

“We have observed excessive corrosion in the power steering bolts, though only in very cold climates, particularly those that frequently use calcium or magnesium road salts, rather than sodium chloride (table salt),” Tesla said in a letter to owners. “Nonetheless, Tesla plans to replace all early Model S power steering bolts in all climates worldwide to account for the possibility that the vehicle may later be used in a highly corrosive environment.”

In the original post on TMC, Brass Guy wrote:

“All of a sudden, my steering started making some bad noises – clunks and screeches. Today I removed the tub and found 2 of the 3 bolts that mount the electric steering assist to the rack had sheared off.”

A photo of the issue shared by Brass Guy is above.

Tesla said they are not aware of any injury or accident related to the issue. They said it will take less than an hour of service to replace the bolts.

The email sent to Model S owners is below:

In order to ensure your safety, Tesla will proactively retrofit a power steering component in all Model S vehicles built before April 2016. (No other Tesla vehicles are affected.) There have been no injuries or accidents due to this component, despite accumulating more than a billion miles of driving.

To be clear, this recall does not apply to any Model X or Model 3 vehicles, only to Model S vehicles built before April 2016.

We have observed excessive corrosion in the power steering bolts, though only in very cold climates, particularly those that frequently use calcium or magnesium road salts, rather than sodium chloride (table salt). Nonetheless, Tesla plans to replace all early Model S power steering bolts in all climates worldwide to account for the possibility that the vehicle may later be used in a highly corrosive environment.

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. 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.

Our records show that you own a Model S affected by this voluntary recall. At this time there is no immediate action you need to take and you may continue to drive your Model S. Tesla will contact you to schedule an appointment when parts are available in your region. The retrofit will typically take around an hour.

Thank you for being a Tesla customer, and we apologize for this inconvenience. If you have any questions, please contact us by phone at 844-248-3752 or by email at [email protected]

 

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