Tesla Issues Recall for 40,000 Model S, Model X Units to Address Power Steering Issue

Fortunately, it's fixed through an over-the-air update

Tesla Model S Plaid
(Image: Tesla)

2017 – 2021 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles may encounter a loss of power steering in certain conditions.

The EV automaker alerted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to the issue on November 1. According to the company’s statement to regulators, “The electronic power assist steering system (EPAS) system may experience a loss of power steering assist when driving on rough roads or after fitting a pothole.” Such a loss would require greater steering effort on the driver’s part — considerably more so at lower speeds.

There are a couple important notes for Model S/Model X owners, though. This problem does not render the vehicle completely undrivable. Instead, it just takes more steering effort to maneuver the vehicle. Additionally, while this issue actually came about from an earlier firmware update on October 11 (2022.36), Tesla rolled back the update on October 19 to correct the issue.

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Between October 11 and November 1, the automaker noted 314 cases where the vehicles put out alerts related to tweaked power steering calibration values. That’s how engineers were able to identify the issue, and Tesla has since rolled out a new firmware update that already corrected the problem. “Firmware release 2022.36.5 reverts the calibration values for the EPAS to pre-2022.36 values.”

The issue affects 2017 – 2021 Model S and Model X vehicles — 40,168 in total — that received Tesla’s over-the-air update.

If you noticed a loss of power steering, this is your explanation. No action should be required on your part, as the automaker already rolled out the October 19 software update. According to their statement, 97% of vehicles that could have encountered this issue have already seen the fix. However, as this is an official recall, Tesla will notify owners by mail of the issue as required by law by the end of the year. Dealers were alerted to the issue on November 3, so if the update doesn’t apply itself for some reason, owners should be able to seek help through their nearest service center.