AT LEAST 15,000 Tesla Sport Utility Vehicle Model X were withdrawn from circulation (recall) because of problems that could cause power steering to malfunction thereby increasing the risk of accidents. The assistance system for the problematic steering wheel can cause the steering to become heavy when driven and potentially trigger an accident.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Transport Canada say aluminum bolts that attach electric power steering wheels supported by motors to gear houses can corrode and break, causing a reduction or complete loss of power steering assistance.

This recall applies to 2016 Model X vehicles. Tesla said the recalled vehicles included most of the Model X vehicles produced before mid-October 2016, but the move did not affect vehicles made after that date.

Tesla issued a similar recall in March 2018 for 123,000 Model S vehicles worldwide that were produced before April 2016 to replace the steering bolts of the auxiliary motor.

NHTSA said no accidents or injuries were known related to the withdrawal of Model X. The recall included 14,193 vehicles in the USA and 843 in Canada. Tesla will arrange the bolt replacement and will also replace the steering wheel if needed.

Tesla said it had “observed excessive corrosion on the bolts connecting these components to the steering gear in the affected Model X vehicle” and especially in areas with very cold climates.

Tesla said if the bolt failed it would require “more power to turn the steering wheel, especially during low speed parking maneuvers. Tesla said he was not aware of any injuries or collisions related to the power steering component.

Tesla added that users can continue to operate their Model X SUVs before this problem is resolved. Tesla said he would contact the owner to schedule an appointment when spare parts were available.

Tesla will also add corrosion protection shields on all affected Model X vehicles to overcome the problem so that it is safe even if the vehicle is operated in cold climates. [antaranews/photo special]