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US is investigating Tesla for steering wheels that could fall off


US auto safety authorities have opened an investigation into Tesla’s Model Y SUV after receiving two complaints that the steering wheels could come loose while driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe will affect an estimated 120,000 vehicles as of the 2023 model year.

The agency says that in both cases, the Model Ys were delivered to customers with a missing bolt securing the wheel to the steering column. A friction fit held the steering wheels, but they separated when force was applied while the SUVs were being driven.

The agency says in documents posted to its website Wednesday that both incidents occurred while the SUVs had low mileage.

Investigators are looking at how often the problem occurs, how many vehicles are affected, and Tesla’s manufacturing process.

The Model Y is Tesla’s best-selling vehicle.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.