The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into Tesla’s Model Y SUV following two complaints that its steering wheel detached while driving.
THE NHTSA said the investigation covers 120,089 vehicles from the 2023 model year.
The two complaints come from customers who said their Model Ys were delivered missing the bolt that holds the wheel to the steering column.
While the steering wheels were held in place by a friction fit, they became separated with the use of force while being driven, according to NBC 5 DFW.
One of the complaints filed with the NHTSA said the owner was driving on Route 1 in New Jersey on January 29 when the steering wheel came off.
Luckily, the driver said no one was behind him, and he was able to pull off the road to safety, according to NBC 5. No one was hurt.
He had bought the vehicle just five days prior, according to CBS News.
The owner of the vehicle, Prerak Patel, tweeted that he was given an estimate of $103.96 from a Tesla service center to fix the steering wheel.
He later tweeted to Tesla asking why he was forced to pay for a manufacturing defect and saying he had lost faith in the company.
“@elonmusk Am I responsible for manufacturing defect? It’s not even week and getting bill for faulty steering wheel. Isn’t it company’s responsibility to fix it? I would greatly appreciate refund and keep the car as we lost trust and family is not feeling safe driving it back,” tweeted Patel.
He was then informed through text that Tesla does not have a return policy and that there would be no charge for the service visit.
Patel was given the option to keep the car or get it replaced with a new one, according to NBC 5.
He opted for the new car and later posted a photo in front of it.
The NHTSA said both vehicles received repairs that required the removal and reinstallation of the steering wheel.
The Model Y is Tesla’s best-selling vehicle and is on track to be the world’s best-selling car, according to Electrek.