In what appears to be a continuing boom in Tesla’s recent disputed recall of its Model S and Model X vehicles in China due to suspension issues, US regulators are now investigating the issue.
The U.S. NHTSA announced on Friday that it had opened an investigation into around 115,000 Tesla vehicles over front suspension safety concerns, according to Reuters.
He said he would review the 2015 to 2017 Model S and 2017 to 2017 Model X vehicles after receiving “43 complaints alleging a failure of the front left or right front suspension links.”
Recall that Tesla had already published a “service bulletin” in February 2017 warning of the conditions that could cause the suspension to fail. Potential suspension issues with Tesla’s Model S are news. Numerous questions regarding Tesla’s suspensions have been discussed on Twitter and Reddit under the guise of Tesla vehicles having “whipped wheels” in recent years.
In fact, as we noted last month, suspension issues are one of the oldest ongoing criticisms of how Tesla is made (before Musk smashed the Cybertruck windows live on stage, before the Model 3s ended up in their bumpers and before The Y models saw their roofs fly away). Legacy complaints about the suspension go back years to Tesla’s original Model S series of vehicles.
We pointed out that the Chinese noticed the problem, which forced Tesla to 30,000 Model S and Model X vehicles manufactured for the Chinese market recalled due to suspension issues.
We also noted last month that a similar problem could affect up to 200,000 vehicles in the US market.
The problem concerns “a weakness in the suspension of the S and X models which can cause the linkage to crack after an impact”.
Remember that in 2016, we reported on an investigation into the suspension of Tesla vehicles. At the time, the problem was not just the suspension itself, but a potential cover-up of the problem by Tesla:
As the website notes, “where Tesla crosses the line here, it’s not the “crime” itself, but the cover-up. If Tesla has used a TSB rather than a recall to resolve a safety issue, if it has an institutional bias against ordering recalls, and if it uses NDAs as evidence to prevent owners from reporting faults, it could become the biggest auto safety scandal since the GM ignition switch affair. That’s a lot of ‘ifs’, but so far the evidence points to these very real possibilities. Watch this space for further developments in this disturbing story.
This video describes some of the early suspension issues well.
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