Tesla’s biggest recall to date will fix 123,000 early Model S cars

Tesla is recalling 123,000 Model S cars over an issue that could affect steering. The recall was issued on Thursday and includes Model S cars around the world that were built before April, 2016.

The recall does not affect any Model X or Model 3 vehicles, the Palo Alto, California-based company confirmed.

In an email to customers, the electric-vehicle company said it would fit a new power-steering component after engineers had observed “excessive corrosion in the power steering bolts, though only in very cold climates, particularly those that frequently use calcium or magnesium road salts, rather than sodium chloride (table salt).”

It added that to date no injuries or accidents have been reported in connection with the issue, “despite accumulating more than a billion miles of driving.”

Offering some background information in its email, Tesla said that even if the bolts failed, the driver would still be able to control the car, though increased force would be needed due to the loss or reduction of power assist.

“This primarily makes the car harder to drive at low speeds and for parallel parking, but does not materially affect control at high speed, where only small steering wheel force is needed,” the company said.

tesla model s

Tesla told affected customers it plans to contact them directly to schedule an appointment once the parts become available in their region, with the work expected to take around an hour to complete. More information can be obtained by contacting Tesla via ServiceHelpNA@tesla.com.

Despite the undoubted reliability of modern-day cars, recalls by major automakers seem to have been coming in thick and fast in recent years. Just a couple of weeks ago, Ford called in 1.3 million Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles over a steering issue, while Toyota, Hyundai, and BMW have also been forced to take similar action this year.

And this week’s recall isn’t the first for Tesla. Twice in the last two years it’s called in a number of Model X SUVs, and in 2015 it recalled all Model S cars to inspect the front seat-belt assembly.

But it’s airbag maker Takata that takes the unwanted crown for the biggest recall to date after a dangerous fault emerged in recent years that affected 50 million vehicles from 12 automakers.

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