US government investigates Tesla over alleged steering loss  

Washington, D.C.  – February 27, 2024 – The U.S. government’s auto safety regulator is investigating Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) over allegations about their electric cars may lose power steering. The alleged defect ups the risk of a crash and injury.  

If the investigation leads to a Tesla recall, it could affect an estimated 334,569 vehicles, including:   

  • 2023 Tesla Model 3 
  • 2023 Tesla Model Y   

Investigation summary   

The regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), opened a preliminary investigation on July 28, 2023, following 12 complaints about cars losing power steering.

While investigating, the agency uncovered over 2,300 complaints alleging the same thing and received information about a crash associated with the defect.

Steering racks provided by Tesla were identified as the culprit.

The regulator is now taking the investigation to the next level, where it aims to discover what causes the racks to fail.


Jammed or otherwise inoperable steering makes the vehicle difficult to control, increasing the risk of a crash and injury.

‘Significant problems with the steering wheel’

Complaints submitted to NHTSA talk about the steering wheel locking up or becoming “exceedingly stiff” in brand new cars. Drivers had to use “immense manual power” to move the vehicle and reported being “lucky” that these incidents did not occur on major highways.

Safety tips

“Multiple complaints” mentioned that the driver could “temporarily” remedy the problem by turning the car on and off. 

Warning signs 

The loss-of-steering incidents were sometimes accompanied by a “Steering Assist Reduced” warning message and clicking sounds while turning. 

Other Tesla recalls

In January, Tesla recalled more than 2 million of their electric cars because they may crash into first-responder vehicles while cruising on autopilot.  

This month, the manufacturer recalled some of the same cars due to “insufficiently visible display messages,” as reported.

Is your vehicle a part of a recall?

This investigation may eventually lead to a Tesla steering loss recall, potentially affecting more than 330,000 electric cars. To do a Tesla recall check and see if your car might be a part of it, please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicUS government investigates Tesla over alleged steering loss  

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