As we previously reported, Tesla owner Prerak Patel was driving his brand-new Model Y electric crossover when the steering wheel came off in his hands. After some back and forth, Tesla has decided to replace the entire car. However, the interesting part is how the whole story unfolded.
The Tesla Model Y owner only had his new EV for about a week before the steering wheel detached on its own while he was driving his family on the freeway. Fortunately, he was able to pull over safely, and no one was hurt. However, needless to say, the Tesla needed to be towed away.
Sadly, it seemed the Tesla Service Center was going to hold Patel responsible for the problem, initially charging him over $100 (approx. £83) for the repair. He tweeted at Tesla CEO Elon Musk and included screenshots of his interactions with Tesla service, as well as the initial bill. The service centre did eventually reverse the charges for the repair.
As the story goes, while Tesla service looked into the Model Y in greater detail, Patel continued to stew over who should be responsible for such an issue, and how it should be handled. He was also worried about the safety of the car, in general. According to Teslarati, Patel told NJ.com:
“My main intent is really to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other family, what happened to us. They should investigate this and make sure what they did wrong doesn’t happen again.”
Patel proceeded to put out a poll asking people on Twitter to choose whether he should accept the Model Y back with the steering replaced, or expect Tesla to provide him with a brand-new car. Of course, Twitter users voted for the new car, and it wasn't even close.
Tesla did end up replacing the Model Y with a brand-new one. The EV maker also sent Patel a letter (shown in the tweet above), explaining that it was going to repurchase the Model Y that had the steering wheel fall off. However, Tesla says there was no defect or non-conformity, and that it actually isn't liable, but it's acting in goodwill. There has not been any related recall.
Patel's new Model Y will come eventually, and Tesla promised to prioritise it. That said, at the time of writing, the company hadn't yet provided him with any details regarding a potential delivery date.
Source: Prerak Patel (Twitter) via Teslarati