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Thousands of 2022-23 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y electric cars recalled for steering issue following separate ADR fault

Tesla's stop-sale on 2024 Model 3s is separate from this recall, which affects pre-update 3s and Ys.

A new possible ADR issue has arisen for Tesla, this time for pre-update Model 3 electric cars and its Model Y sibling, relating to a potential steering issue for thousands of cars.

A recall published on the Australian Vehicle Recalls website managed by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts says a total of 4382 cars are affected, all 2022 and 2023 model year Model 3 and Model Ys.

The recall notice says the problem relates to a potentially "notchy" feeling in the steering during cold weather, but it isn't variant-specific.

The recall says that "due to a software issue, the steering wheel may feel notchy when operating the vehicle in cold temperatures", adding that there's "no safety hazard".

As much as the recall says the defect "will not affect the performance of the vehicle", it also specifies that the issue means any affected cars might not be compliant with Australian Design Rule ADR 90/01, which relates to steering.

The suggested fix for owners of affected cars is to either contact Tesla via its customer service department or undertake an update of the car’s software.

While the ADR doesn't seem to specifically address 'steering feel' as a requirement, a smooth feeling for the driver could be considered important for effective control of a car, and ADR 90 lists one of its requirements as "failure of any non-mechanical component of the steering system must not prevent effective steering of the vehicle".

The suggested fix for owners of affected cars is to either contact Tesla via its customer service department or undertake an update of the car's software.

While the ADR doesn’t seem to specifically address ‘steering feel’ as a requirement, a smooth feeling for the driver could be considered important for effective control of a car.

"Owners of affected vehicles should either contact Tesla to make an appointment to have the vehicle software version inspected and updated to version 2023.38 or later, free of charge, or update their vehicle's software as they usually do using main screen."

This comes a little over a week after Tesla paused deliveries of its updated Model 3 due to issues accessing the rear centre rear child seat top tether point, meaning it risks not meeting requirements under ADR 34/02, Child Restraint Anchorages and Child Restraint Anchor Fittings.

Chris Thompson
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Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in...
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