Tesla will, thankfully, be able to fix this one with an OTA update.
Fortunately, this issue will be fixed with a quick over-the-air update. However, this is still a recall in the eyes of both the NHTSA and Tesla. The automaker previously recalled the Model S for steering-related issues recall the Model S for steering-related problems back in 2018.
With that out of the way, 40,168 cars are potentially affected, with model years ranging from 2017-2021 for both the Model S and X. The NHTSA has assigned a recall number to the issue: SB-22-00-014.
The issue stems from an update of Tesla's own firmware update 2022.36. The update was released on October 11 this year and included new calibration values for the electronic power assist steering system (EPAS). As Tesla puts it in the recall materials, the idea was to detect uninvited or unexpected steering assist torque.
However, the new calibration packaged within update 2022.36 essentially did the opposite. The NHTSA says that beginning on October 18, Tesla was getting reports related to its power steering calibration from the update.
The result? A potential loss in power steering assistance.
Let's say you hit a speed bump a little too fast - one that is impossible to see because the city didn't paint the white markers well enough. The car will read and classify this as the unexpected steering assist torque we mentioned above. The result is the effect above on the car's EPAS.
Then, you're driving a Tesla with no power steering and 19-inch+ wheels. Laborious would be an understatement. On October 19, firmware update 2022.36.5 changed things back to pre-2022.36 values to fix the issue while Tesla works out a more permanent remedy.
As of November 1, 97% or more vehicles with the 36.5 update, or Tesla's latest, won't need to take further action. However, the remaining three or so percent (around 1,200 cars) can have the update done OTA for a whole $0.00.