Tesla Took Steering Components Out of Its EVs Without Telling You

  • The semiconductor shortage led to parts being left out of Teslas
  • Model 3 and Model Y units are affected, but none have reached America yet
  • CNBC confirmed the reports thanks to two Tesla employees

Up until pretty recently, Tesla had it going. The brand had managed to dodge the semiconductor shortage pitfalls that are costing the auto industry billions. Now, the techiest of EV brands is being caught empty-handed thanks to the shortages. As a result, the brand removed electronic control units from Telsa Model 3 and Model Y units. But they did it without telling anyone.

Robots assemble a Tesla Model 3 in one of the brand's factories
Tesla has recently expanded production to keep up with demand | Mason Trinca via Getty Images

The chip shortage made Tesla cut parts out of the Model 3 and Y

That is, Tesla did it without telling anyone until CNBC got wind of it. The news outlet heard thanks to correspondence seen firsthand, as well as thanks to two (obviously) anonymous employees. As of February 9th, 2022, Musk and Tesla have not disclosed the removal of the control units from the Tesla Model Y and Model 3. Thankfully, you shouldn’t panic about the excluded parts just yet.

These are not parts essential to you being able to drive your Model 3 to the store. Instead, these electronic control units relate more to the brand’s controversial autonomous driving software. These units help the EVs navigate while steering assistance is active. In modern cars, it’s often an electronically assisted system that moves the wheel with you. No word yet on whether or not these cars will not have power steering. Per CNBC’s sources, that also means these units won’t be able to use any features that incorporate any sort of steering assistance. Hopefully, those that coughed up the $12,000 for FSD won’t be affected.

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American Model 3 and Model Y owners aren’t affected- yet

A group of Tesla Model 3 EVs outside one of the brand's factories
Model 3s outside one of Musk’s factories | Ding Ting via Getty Images

For you American Tesla Model Y and Model 3 owners, you’re in the clear. For now at least. CNBC says the affected units have gone elsewhere. Customers in China, the UK, Australia, Germany, and other parts of Europe will be affected. Again, given the ambiguity of what specifically these control units do, we just don’t know what systems will be affected.

Obviously, the big concern here is that there won’t just be a Tesla recall/over-the-air update to fix this problem. If you’re unlucky enough to have landed on one of these units, you’ll have to have a physical part installed at a Tesla service center. Unfortunately, that likely means a recall of some kind will have to be issued.

Is there going to be another Tesla recall?

A blue Model Y EV outside a factory
Tesla’s Model Y outside its Berlin plant | Patrick Pleul via Getty Images

Right now, it’s hard to know the scale of this potential impending recall. At the end of the day, that all comes down to how quickly Tesla can get their hands on the semiconductors needed to fabricate the now-missing parts. It could be 100 units, it could be 100,000. One thing’s for sure: the brand can’t afford any more bad press right now, and a massive recall would put a serious dent in Tesla’s stock price.

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