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Tesla Model X recalled for not playing nice with road salt

It seems road salt can corrode a power-steering motor bolt, which may spell trouble for drivers of older models of the electric SUV.

Tesla Model X
Road salt is a necessary evil to cars.

Road salt: public enemy No. 1 for auto enthusiasts. The de-icer used on so many US roads is apparently not treating the Tesla Model X well, as the automaker on Wednesday announced a new recall specific to the electric SUV.

Tesla says it has issued a recall for the Model X after noticing excessive corrosion of a power-steering motor bolt. Specifically, the recall affects Model X vehicles built before mid-October 2016, and the problem is worse for those SUVs running around in cold climates. The automaker did not reveal how many vehicles the recall affects, though judging by the production timeframe, it's likely not a massive number.

According to Tesla, areas using calcium or magnesium road salt make the corrosion worse, compared to areas dumping sodium chloride on roads. If corrosion gets to a really bad point, the bolt could fracture and lead to the loss of power steering. The sudden loss of power steering increases the risk of a crash. The issue will be more obvious at low speeds with more force required to maneuver the Model X.

Tesla said the vehicles are still safe to drive and it will contact owners to schedule a service appointment, though it didn't provide a timeframe for when the recall will start. Once owners get their Model X to a service center, a technician will replace the bolts and apply a sealant to prevent corrosion in the future. If there are broken bolts present, owners will also get a new steering gear and all of the work will be done free of charge.

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