Tesla recalls 123,000 Model S vehicles | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 30.03.2018
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Tesla recalls 123,000 Model S vehicles

US electric car maker Tesla is recalling 123,000 of its Model S vehicles after discovering steering problems. It comes as the company faces a US government probe into a fatal crash involving a Model X SUV.

Electric car maker Tesla told owners of its best-selling Model S on Thursday that it was recalling 123,000 of the cars built before April 2016.

Tesla said the voluntary global recall – the largest recall to date by billionaire Elon Musk's company – would allow it to replace a power steering bolt that was liable to corrosion from salt used on winter roads.

The company said that under 0.02 percent of vehicles in the US exhibit this issue, The Wall Street Journal reported. Tesla said that all Model S vehicles with the faulty part would be retrofitted. 

"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," Tesla wrote in the email.

"If the bolts fail, the driver is still able to steer the car, but increased force is required due to loss or reduction of power assist," the email said.

The Silicon Valley-based company said that no accidents or injuries had been caused by the flaw and that no other Tesla models were involved in the recall.

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No end of troubles

Tesla recalled 90,000 Model S vehicles because of a seat-belt issue in 2015. Apparent issues with parking brakes led to more than 50,000 Model S and X recalls in 2017.

With its stock price down 15 percent this year, the recall comes as Tesla prepares to report quarterly sales and many are waiting to see how many Model 3s – the company's first mass-market sedan – have been sold.

In January, Tesla again pushed back the time-frame for increasing production of the closely-watched Model 3, after reporting far lower deliveries than forecast for the last quarter of 2017

The slow rollout of the Model 3 has reportedly been delayed by faulty assembly-line robots and battery packs at Tesla's Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.

The company is also facing a National Transportation Safety Board investigation after a March 23 crash that killed a Model X driver near San Francisco. Investigators are probing whether car's autopilot had been engaged at the time of the accident..

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jbh/bw (AFP, dpa)

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