Autopilot can't resolve this one.
After months of waiting for his brand new Tesla Model 3 to arrive, Jason Tuatara finally had it delivered to his driveway in Blackpool, England on March 20. He originally placed the order back in early September, but there were continuous delays for unexplained reasons. But whatever. He finally had his dream car. Despite the pandemic lockdown, he decided to take his new ride for a short spin on April 26 when something very problematic happened.
As he backed out of his driveway, the steering wheel suddenly fell off. The good news is that nothing bad happened as a result and Tuatara was able to bring the car to a complete stop without any issues. Like any good Tesla owner, the next thing he did was announce what had just happened to the world via Twitter.
He directed the tweet with accompanying photos directly to Elon Musk and Tesla Services. "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!" Finally, Tuatara got in touch with someone from Tesla who expressed utter surprise at what happened. "The lady said she had never heard of this before," Tuatara told the New York Post. "Within 90 minutes, the car was collected and a one-year-old Jaguar was [loaned to me as a] replacement. I was surprised at it not being a Tesla but apparently, this was all the company had."
It took only 24 hours for the Model 3 to be fixed and returned. What was the problem, exactly?
"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," Tuatara said. "The Driving and Cecile standards agency here in the UK is also doing a full investigation."
Tesla has so far not commented on the incident. This isn't the first time we've learned of potentially serious quality control issues on new Tesla models. Just last month, a new Tesla Model Y owner posted a video detailing a number of factory defects, including a scratched wheel and interior panels, a cheap-looking headliner, and a broken latch. The latter was the most concerning.
Hopefully, there aren't more new Model 3s out there with wrongly bolted steering wheels because, quite obviously, this could become a serious disaster.