Tesla under investigation over suspension issues

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Words: Matthew Hansen
1 Dec 2020

America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — the NHTSA — has confirmed that it is launching an investigation into a range of Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles over a potential issue with the front suspension system.

The suspension issue in question concerns suspension components in the front end that can potentially damage front tyres. According to the group, approximately 115,000 vehicles could be impacted by the issue.

The NHTSA has received 43 complaints thus far from Model S and Model X owners — 32 observing failures at low speed and 11 observing failures while driving. “The complaints appear to indicate an increasing trend,” says the NHTSA, “With [...] three of the incidents at highway speeds reported within the last three months.”

The news dovetails with a class-action lawsuit that was filed against Tesla on November 20 in regards to front and rear suspension failures taking place prematurely. Harsh suspension impacts are said to accelerate the chance of a failure.

Tesla appears somewhat aware of the issue. In 2017 it issued a service bulletin stating “front fore links that may not meet Tesla strength specifications. In the event of link failure, the driver can still maintain control of the vehicle but the tire may contact the wheel arch liner.”

Maybe even more noteworthy is that Tesla recalled approximately 30,000 vehicles in China over front suspension problems — the firm noting that “the environment in China required stronger suspension due to local roads and driving conditions.” Reuters notes that Tesla was requested to issue the recall by Chinese regulators.

Tesla is yet to respond to any of the claims.


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