Are Modern Vehicle Features Placing Drivers in Danger?
Tesla has issued a huge recall for about 123,000 of its Model S sedans globally over a power steering issue. According to a report on The Verge, Tesla has told customers in an email that it was a “proactive move” and that none of the company’s other vehicles were affected. Tesla said 123,000 Model S vehicles built before April 2016 were affected. So far, no injuries or crashes have been reported in connection with the vehicle effect. Before today, Tesla’s largest recall was when 90,000 of the vehicles were affected in 2015 by a faulty seatbelt. Last year, the automaker recalled 53,000 Model S and Model X vehicles over a parking brake fault.
In an email, Tesla said it had observed excessive corrosion in the power steering bolds, but that the problem was most prevalent in colder climates where road salt is used. If the bolts fail, the driver can still steer the car, but increased force is necessary because of loss or reduction of power assist. This makes the car harder to drive and low speeds and for parallel parking, but does not affect control at higher speed, the automaker said. Tesla owners don’t need to stop driving their cars if they have not experienced any problems. The company has said it will inform vehicle owners when a retrofit, which would take about an hour to install, is ready in the area.
Tesla Investigations Pending
Tesla is facing two investigations over car accidents that occurred when vehicles were on Autopilot. One crash occurred as recently as this week in Mountain View when a Model X crashed, killing the driver. Another crash occurred in Santa Monica when a Model X collided with the fire truck. There has been some controversy over Tesla’s Autopilot, a semi-autonomous driver assist feature.
While critics have pointed out the confusing nature of Autopilot, which they say lulls drivers into a false sense of security by making them believe that they can confidently take their hands off the wheel. After the first fatal crash was reported in May 2016, Tesla issued a statement saying drivers should keep their hands on the wheel at all times, ready to take over at a moment’s notice.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of an auto defect or defective auto part, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. An experienced auto defect lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.