Tesla recalls 422 Model 3 EVs over faulty suspension fasteners
Tesla has issued a recall for certain Model 3 compact sedans manufactured between January 2018 and March 2019 over a faulty suspension fastener issue. The affected Tesla cars' front suspension fasteners' lateral link might become loose over time, claims a report by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This can cause the suspension link to separate from the sub-frame of the EV.
NHTSA reported that the voluntary recall that Tesla had issued had affected 422 Model 3 cars. The problem was reportedly first notified by customers complaining about lateral link separation or unusual noises from the lateral links.
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The NHTSA document also states that the front suspension lateral link on the Tesla Model 3 cars is attached to the sub-frame using two fasteners. "Manufacturing records and customer complaints suggest that there may be a correlation between certain manufacturing record characteristics and the fastener loosening over time. A loose fastener could cause the lateral link to separate from the sub-frame," the document reads further. The NHTSA document also states that if the fasteners that secure the lateral link to the sub-fame become loose, abnormal noise may occur and be detectable by the customer from the front suspension.
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Tesla reportedly launched an internal investigation into its production records, which revealed that all torque and angle values fall within the production control limits, but a correlation was found between vehicles with customer complaints and specific torque and angle records. Tesla also identified 25 warranty claims and two field reports that were related or may be related to the problem. This prompted the automaker to issue a voluntary recall. However, the EV manufacturer has claimed it is unaware of any crashes, injuries or deaths related to the issue. The carmaker will inspect and repair the affected vehicles free of charge, said the NHTSA document.
Interestingly, Tesla EVs were recalled 19 times in 2022, affecting over 3.7 million electric cars, but in 12 of these cases, the affected cars and the issues have been fixed through over-the-air software updates.