Tesla has a not-so-great reputation when it comes to the build quality of its vehicles, with people complaining about big body panel gaps, paint errors, and plastic panels rattling inside. And although the American EV maker has made progress in this regard in the last few years, this latest reported problem, which surfaced on Twitter yesterday, paints a scary picture, especially since it’s not the first time it happened.
Twitter user @preneh24 posted that the steering wheel of his brand-new Tesla Model Y came off while driving with his family on the freeway, adding pictures and video of the dangling piece as he waited for a tow truck to show up and rescue him.
In his initial tweet, he notes that his family was excited to take delivery of the Model Y on January 24, and on January 30 the steering wheel fell off. Luckily, there weren’t any cars behind him and he was able to stop safely.
Back in 2020, a Tesla Model 3 owner who drove his car for around 340 miles since delivery found himself in the same situation, with the car’s steering wheel falling off while reversing into his driveway. Back then, Tesla collected the car and returned it the following day with the steering wheel properly attached, confirming that the car in question was missing the bolt that fixes the steering wheel to the steering column.
In this latest occurrence, @preneh24 says he lost faith in Tesla and wants a full refund for the car, which is understandable, seeing how Tesla Service initially charged him $103.96 for the repair, but then backtracked and removed the charge from his invoice.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that Tesla isn’t the only manufacturer out there to experience such problems, although it seems Tesla owners are much more vocal about both the features and the defects of their cars. In the past, Ford and Hyundai have issued recalls for a design problem where the bolt that fixes the steering wheel in place was too short and could become loose, resulting in the steering wheel falling off.