Tesla is under federal investigation over claims steering wheels just fall off while being driven
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A federal investigation has been launched against Tesla over claims that steering wheels have fallen off while being driven.
The Guardian reported that US auto safety regulators opened an investigation into Tesla’s Model Y SUV after a fatal car crash when a vehicle hurled into a parked fire truck in California in February.
The driver of the 2014 Tesla Model S was killed, and the passenger sustained critical injuries.
Four firefighters were also injured, and the USD $1.4 million (AUD $2.12m) truck was damaged.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking at how the Autopilot system detects and responds to emergency vehicles parked on the highway.
Around 14 Teslas have crashed while using this system.
In another complaint filed to the agency, one customer said that while he and his family were driving around Route 1 in Woodbridge, New Jersey, the steering wheel suddenly came off in January.
The driver purchased the vehicle five days before, as per The Guardian.
According to the outlet, the man sought a refund; however, Tesla maintained they don’t have a return policy and redirected him to contact the sales and delivery team.
However, this is just the latest scandal for the automotive company, which has battled with the NHTSA over safety concerns in the past few years.
Last month, safety regulators pressured Tesla to recall all 363,000 US vehicles with its so-called ‘Full Self Driving’ driver assist software due to malfunctioning on highways and not always following the speed limit.
NHTSA states this is the most severe action against the electric vehicle manufacturer.
"The FSD Beta system may allow the vehicle to act unsafe around intersections, such as traveling straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering a stop sign-controlled intersection without coming to a complete stop, or proceeding into an intersection during a steady yellow traffic signal without due caution," the agency said, as per ABC News.
However, Musk was quick to defend the company.
Definitely. The word “recall” for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 16, 2023
He wrote: “Definitely. The word ‘recall’ for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!"
It comes after the CEO issued a recall for over 300,000 vehicles in the US due to a ‘software glitch causing the taillights on some cars to illuminate improperly’ in November, as per Reuters.
Earlier that month, the company also recalled 29,348 Model X vehicles for faulty airbags.
According to the recall notice, the company discovered the airbags caused ‘unintended configuration during certain low-speed collision events.’
Topics: Technology, News, Tesla, Elon Musk, Cars