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Tesla Issues Recall for Model X Steering Issue

Tesla is recalling 15,000 Model X SUVs, citing a problem with the power steering that could increase the risk of a crash. This recall applies to most Model X vehicles built before mid-October 2016. Model X vehicles built after mid-October 2016 are not affected.

Tesla posted a note on its website addressing the recall:

We are not aware of any injuries or collisions relating to the power steering component. However, we have observed excessive corrosion on the bolts that attach this component to the steering gear in affected Model X vehicles. This corrosion has been observed primarily in very cold climates that use calcium or magnesium road salts rather than sodium chloride (table salt). If the bolts fracture from corrosion, the driver may lose power steering assist. This would not prevent the driver from steering the vehicle, but it would require more force to turn the steering wheel, especially during low speed parking maneuvers when power steering assist is at its highest use. Power steering assist decreases with increasing speed, so the driver may not notice a need for more steering force at highway speeds.

Tesla said there is no immediate action for Model X owners and they may continue to drive their car. Tesla will replace the bolts and apply a corrosion-preventative sealer in all affected Model X vehicles to account for the possibility that any vehicle may later be used in a cold, highly corrosive environment. The service will be free of charge.

If Tesla finds broken bolts they intend to replace the steering gear free of charge. Tesla said it will contact owners to schedule a service appointment.

rlopin

Member
Jan 15, 2020
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5
New York
Tesla is doing the right thing here. The first sentence of this article reads "Tesla is recalling 15,000 Model X SUVs, citing a problem with the power steering that could increase the risk of a crash.", however, subsequent sentences reveal there is no loss of steering / control, and that it would only happen at very low speeds, like when parking.

So while technically correct it is a bit misleading. When I think of a crash I don't think of hitting another car while parking as a 'crash'. The first thought in everyone's mind would be loss of steering while traveling at high speed on the highway which is not what this is about. Folks who don't read past the first sentence of an article (many only read the headline) will get the wrong impression.
 

RaeW

Member
Apr 19, 2017
99
29
East Falmouth MA
Tesla is doing the right thing here. The first sentence of this article reads "Tesla is recalling 15,000 Model X SUVs, citing a problem with the power steering that could increase the risk of a crash.", however, subsequent sentences reveal there is no loss of steering / control, and that it would only happen at very low speeds, like when parking.

So while technically correct it is a bit misleading. When I think of a crash I don't think of hitting another car while parking as a 'crash'. The first thought in everyone's mind would be loss of steering while traveling at high speed on the highway which is not what this is about. Folks who don't read past the first sentence of an article (many only read the headline) will get the wrong impression.

In May 2018 TESLA issued this same recall (NHTSA 18V-201) for the (2012-early 2016) MS' with essentially the same language.
 
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boaterva

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As Electrek said, the weird part is that it took this long to figure out that the early X’s had the same parts.

And, yeah, I had to manhandle mine out of the garage and to a flatbed with no PS once (all systems dead) and eesh I was hanging on the wheel. I’m sure at highway speeds it would be fine.
 

boaterva

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does anyone have access to the service bulletin.. would like to know what parts are being changed and what is the updated version
No, but what I recall of the original S process and this article it’s just the bolts and anti-seize compound if there is no damage when they remove them. If the bolts break on removal I assume they need to drill them out and thus then replace the PS pump (or whatever the bolts are in).

Anyone have more details?
 

cwerdna

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Jul 11, 2012
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In May 2018 TESLA issued this same recall (NHTSA 18V-201) for the (2012-early 2016) MS' with essentially the same language.
I think you meant 18V-204.

I found that at https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2012/TESLA/MODEL%252520S#recalls There are associated documents if you expand the entry.
No, but what I recall of the original S process and this article it’s just the bolts and
...
Anyone have more details?
See above.

As for the Model X recall details, I couldn't find them yet at NHTSA/safercar.gov. I'd imagine they'll be up within a week or two.
 
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boaterva

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I think you meant 18V-204.

I found that at https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2012/TESLA/MODEL%252520S#recalls There are associated documents if you expand the entry.

See above.

As for the Model X recall details, I couldn't find them yet at NHTSA/safercar.gov. I'd imagine they'll be up within a week or two.
Thanks, I think we all discussed that one back when as it made the same disproportionate big deal at the time. :D

Seems to say what I recalled: bolts and antiseize if no issues.
 

timf

Active Member
Apr 14, 2013
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Michigan
I received the recall notice email last week. I haven't had any issues and it doesn't sound that serious, but I will certainly look to have it fixed.
 

rlopin

Member
Jan 15, 2020
6
5
New York
In May 2018 TESLA issued this same recall (NHTSA 18V-201) for the (2012-early 2016) MS' with essentially the same language.

This language was from Tesla, not from the author? If that is true then I apologize for the critique. I am just super sensitive to all of the negative headlines and articles that get posted about Tesla and then repeated all over the media. Yesterday a colleague of mine texted me a similar article's headline and I had to reply 'Did you actually read the article?". He hadn't - and therein lies the problem.
 
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RaeW

Member
Apr 19, 2017
99
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East Falmouth MA
This language was from Tesla, not from the author? If that is true then I apologize for the critique. I am just super sensitive to all of the negative headlines and articles that get posted about Tesla and then repeated all over the media. Yesterday a colleague of mine texted me a similar article's headline and I had to reply 'Did you actually read the article?". He hadn't - and therein lies the problem.

Directly from the recall letter from Tesla. Click the thumbnail below.


upload_2020-2-14_9-52-10.png
 
Last edited:
Jan 18, 2020
7
0
Petaluma, CA
Tesla is doing the right thing here. The first sentence of this article reads "Tesla is recalling 15,000 Model X SUVs, citing a problem with the power steering that could increase the risk of a crash.", however, subsequent sentences reveal there is no loss of steering / control, and that it would only happen at very low speeds, like when parking.

So while technically correct it is a bit misleading. When I think of a crash I don't think of hitting another car while parking as a 'crash'. The first thought in everyone's mind would be loss of steering while traveling at high speed on the highway which is not what this is about. Folks who don't read past the first sentence of an article (many only read the headline) will get the wrong impression.


A company that stands by its product.....outstanding! I own a 2020 Model X but so glad that Tesla is taking care of this issue for X owners with a 2016 or so.
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
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No, but what I recall of the original S process and this article it’s just the bolts and anti-seize compound if there is no damage when they remove them. If the bolts break on removal I assume they need to drill them out and thus then replace the PS pump (or whatever the bolts are in).

Anyone have more details?

If a bolt breaks, they replace the entire steering rack, one at a time to maintain motor alignment.
The bolts hold the power assist motor in place. It has a belt drive to the main rack.
 

boaterva

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If a bolt breaks, they replace the entire steering rack, one at a time to maintain motor alignment.
The bolts hold the power assist motor in place. It has a belt drive to the main rack.
Thanks for the update! Still insane this wasn’t known (same parts in both cars) back then.
 

jboy210

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Thanks for the update! Still insane this wasn’t known (same parts in both cars) back then.

First year of production. A lot of things are new and not had many miles in testing. One of the reasons I tend to avoid the 1st 6 months or year of any new product.
 
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boaterva

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First year of production. A lot of things are new and not had many miles in testing. One of the reasons I tend to avoid the 1st 6 months or year of any new product.
Point was that they (probably?) borrowed the parts (at least the bolts?) from the S. So why did it take this long to notice that yep they fall apart in salt also. Nothing to do with new production. It was obvious to any tracking system that the same parts were used on both models.
 

mongo

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May 3, 2017
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Point was that they (probably?) borrowed the parts (at least the bolts?) from the S. So why did it take this long to notice that yep they fall apart in salt also. Nothing to do with new production. It was obvious to any tracking system that the same parts were used on both models.

It may have been a calculated decision based on how long it took the bolts to fail on the S. The S was on the road for 3ish years before the X, so there wasn't the urgency to replace bolts in the X at the the time. There haven't been any reports of failures, so it seems reasonable.

Similar to the staged replacement of Takata airbags.
 

jboy210

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Dec 2, 2016
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Point was that they (probably?) borrowed the parts (at least the bolts?) from the S. So why did it take this long to notice that yep they fall apart in salt also. Nothing to do with new production. It was obvious to any tracking system that the same parts were used on both models.

Do we know it is the same part. X is a heavier vehicle so even an updated part could fail since the amount of mass moved is higher.

Also, anyone wonder if this type of failure will increase with the addition of cart racing video games controlled by turning the steering wheel at stop.
 

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