Tesla is recalling 123,000 Model S cars over a steering defect

Tesla is getting 123,000 of its Model S cars back in for repairs after it discovered a problem with the power steering. Apparently "excessive corrosion in the power steering bolts" has been observed, according to an email the company sent out to affected customers.

The problem affects cars made before April 2016 and is particularly likely to happen in colder climates where calcium or magnesium road salt is used. However, no accidents or injuries have been recorded in connection with the defect, Tesla says – this is a proactive move designed to stop the defect from developing.

"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," says Tesla. "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."

Bad timing

If your Model S is affected and you have been sent an email, Tesla says you're still okay to carry on driving – just make sure you schedule an appointment with a local Tesla garage. The repair takes about an hour then you're good to go.

While this doesn't sound like the most devastating of mechanical issues for Tesla, it's another problem the company could do without right now. The company continues to battle production issues with its newest Model 3 and is also busy dealing with the fall-out from a recent and high profile crash involving a Model X.

It's not the first time Tesla has had to recall some of its electric cars – we've previously seen vehicles pulled back in for problems with seat safety and parking brakes, though there's been nothing involving this many cars before.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.