Tesla is recalling certain 2019-2021 Model 3 and 2020-2021 Model Y electric cars to address front suspension lateral link fasteners that could loosen over time.
A pair of these fasteners attach the lateral link to a vehicle's subframe. If not secured to the proper specification, the fasteners could loosen or separate from the subframe, according to the official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall notice. This could cause the lateral link to separate from a vehicle's subframe, potentially shifting wheel alignment and increasing the risk of a crash, the agency said.
A total of 2,791 vehicles are potentially involved, although only 2% are estimated to have the defect in question, according to the recall report.
The need for a recall was determined base on a review of manufacturing records, according to the report. The problem was first noticed in June based on service repairs of Model 3 and Model Y EVs, and confirmed after a look at records indicated fasteners on some vehicles may not have been properly torqued at the factory.
Tesla Model Y
Tesla service centers will tighten or replace the fasteners, as needed, free of charge. All Tesla stores and service centers were to be notified this week, while owner notification letters are expected to be mailed December 24, the NHTSA said.
Tesla has faced suspension issues before, prompting a 2020 federal safety probe over Model S and Model X suspension failures, although in that case related to a faulty part and not assembly.
A potential brake-caliper issue announced earlier this year was an assembly issue, however. That also affected the Model 3 and Model Y, leading to a recall of nearly 6,000 vehicles.
Tesla's biggest recalls so far have not been battery or propulsion related. In 2018 it recalled 135,000 vehicles for faulty displays. And in 2018 it recalled 123,000 vehicles for a potential corroded steering bolt—with no accidents yet.