Documents published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) state that an estimated 1 percent of the vehicles being recalled may have the defect. These include select 2019-2021 Model 3 and 2020-2021 Model Y vehicles.
The car part in question is the brake caliper, which attaches to the wheel knuckle using two fasteners. The NHTSA explained that if a fastener is not secured in the correct way, it may loosen over time. In rare circumstances, the loosened part may separate from the knuckle, leading to the caliper making contact with the inner surface of the wheel rim.
The NHSTA said that it was not aware of any crash or injury resulting from the reported defect, though in very rare circumstances, if the caliper makes contact with the inner surface of the wheel rim, the wheel may be prevented from freely rotating, which could result in loss of tire pressure and heighten the risk of a crash.
Drivers may be able to identify the defect if they hear an abnormal noise, a result of the caliper making contact with the inner surface of the rim.
Tesla was first made aware of this issue in December 2020, after hearing about a field incident involving a 2021 Model Y with a missing fastener on the driver-side rear brake caliper. From December 2020 to January 2021, the company’s Factory Quality conducted a thorough review, looking for the root cause of the issue.
“A field study was initiated to validate whether other vehicles with the same or similar torque records showed the condition, during which time we identified one other vehicle with the same condition,” the NHSTA said. By May 2021, the company completed its review of all torque records of Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, confirming the origin of the issue and identifying the population that may have been effected. A recall determination was made on May 18.
Tesla said it was not aware of any crash or injury related to this issue. In response, Tesla Service will inspect affected vehicles and ensure that the brake calipers are secure.
In other news, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed this week that Model S Plaid vehicle deliveries will be delayed further.