The US traffic regulator NHTSA is opening an investigation into about 120,000 Model Y Teslas after the steering wheels of two of these vehicles came loose while driving. The vehicles were relatively new and were purchased this year.
The cars are delivered without the mounting bolt, which fixes the steering wheel to the steering column. NHTSA now wants to review “the magnitude, frequency and manufacturing processes associated with this occurrence,” the regulator said. Eventually, a recall could follow.
One of the complaints is said to have been received by NHTSA from a US Tesla owner who bought the car five days earlier. When he was on his way, the steering wheel suddenly came loose. In the complaint, the victim says he was lucky that no car was behind him.
The Model Y is an essential type for Tesla. Last year it was the best-selling electric car worldwide. In addition, the automaker recently started car production at two new plants, just outside of Berlin and in Austin, Texas.
It is not the first time that NHTSA has launched an investigation into Tesla cars. Last month, the electric car maker recalled more than 360,000 vehicles in the US. That happened after the regulator concluded that the technology that allows Tesla cars to drive independently increased the risk of accidents.