The company said a missing bolt was the culprit

Tesla has improved the build quality on the Model 3 vastly in the last few years, but there are a lot of wrinkles yet to be ironed out. This is more or less the story with the other products too. The cars suffer from paint issues, panel gaps, etc., but this incident perhaps tops them all.

In the U.K., a brand new Tesla Model 3’s steering wheel has fallen off while it was in motion. Quality has never been the company’s strongest suit, but this is outrageous and life-threatening.

Imagine It Happening On A Highway

A Month-Old Tesla Model 3's Steering Wheel Falls Off While Driving Exterior
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Jason Tuatara uploaded a picture of the dislodged steering wheel assembly of his brand-new Model 3 on Twitter. The tweet read “@elonmusk Steering wheel fell off today! Concerned that the rest of the car will fall to bits too! Can this be looked into as to why it’s happened to a car just over 1 month old!”

The Blackpool resident took delivery of the car around a month before the incident occurred. He reported that the steering wheel came off as he was backing the car into his driveway. Jason had driven the car for 20 miles that day and feels fortunate that the car steering didn’t come off that time. Jason contacted Tesla and the car was collected within one-and-a-half hours. He even got a 2019 Jaguar as a loaner car. Why not a Tesla?

A Month-Old Tesla Model 3's Steering Wheel Falls Off While Driving Exterior
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This isn’t a dodgy panel or a paint issue. So, obviously, it has dented Jason and his husband’s confidence. According to NY Post, the owner said that “I am slowly getting back behind the wheel and have been assured by Tesla that it’s still the safest car to buy in the UK and it could not possibly happen again. But my confidence has been completely knocked by this incident.”

Speaking about the resolution, he added that “Tesla confirmed that the steering wheel was not fixed to the body of the car with a bolt, and they are looking into what happened on production. The Driving and Cecile standards agency here in the UK is also doing a full investigation.”

No matter how good the cars are, such incidents will scare you every time you get into the driver’s seat.

Conclusion

A Month-Old Tesla Model 3's Steering Wheel Falls Off While Driving Exterior
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Tesla isn’t the only guilty automaker to have committed such a blunder. The Ford Fusion had a design issue where the bolt in the steering wheel was not long enough and got free after some time.

Some owners even reported the wheel getting loose or falling off. Hyundai also recalled over 40,000 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport models in 2018 for the same issue. It needs to be seen if this was a one-off incident or will Tesla recall more cars.

Tesla Model 3 specifications
Performance Dual Motor Long Range Dual Motor Standard Plus Rear-Wheel
Acceleration 0-60 mph 3.2s 4.4 s 5.3 s
Range 310 miles 322 miles 250 miles
Top Speed 162 mph 145 mph 140 mph
Wheels 20" Performance Wheels 18" Aero Wheels 19" Aero Wheels 18" Aero Wheels 19" Aero Wheels
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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