Tesla recalled more than 40,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in the US due to an issue that could potentially result in reduced or lost power steering assist, according to a safety recall report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this month. The vehicles were built from 2017 to 2021.
A firmware release that updated calibration values for the vehicles' electronic power assist steering system caused certain vehicles to misclassify rough road conditions as unexpected steering assist torque, resulting in a potential power steering issue, the NHTSA report noted. Shortly after Tesla deployed firmware release 2022.36 in October, the electric carmaker identified an increased rate of alerts related to the calibration values on certain vehicles that had the firmware installed.
Reduced or lost power steering can be dangerous -- especially when traveling at slower speeds -- because the increased effort needed to steer the vehicle can increase the possibility of a collision, according to the NHTSA. At this time, Tesla is not aware of any incidents related to the issue that have caused injury or death.
Tesla has released an over-the-air software update to recalibrate the power assist steering system, and no further action is required for owners of affected vehicles that have firmware release 2022.36.5 or later installed.