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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Steering wheels detach on Teslas

Tesla is under investigation by U.S. regulators over complaints the steering wheel can fall off certain new Model Y vehicles while they’re in use.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it’s aware of two incidents in which the wheel detached from the steering column while drivers were operating the 2023 model year SUVs. The preliminary evaluation, opened March 4, applies to an estimated 120,089 vehicles, according to a filing posted on NHTSA’s website.

The affected vehicles were delivered to owners without the retaining bolt that holds the steering wheel in place, the agency said. NHTSA is assessing “the scope, frequency and manufacturing processes associated with this condition.”

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The move by NHTSA is the latest in a series of investigations targeting Tesla, its products and its chief executive officer, Elon Musk. The Austin, Texas-based automaker last month recalled 362,758 electric vehicles after NHTSA said Tesla’s automated-driving technology could increase the risk of a crash.

Fed survey: Economy steady

The economy proved resilient to start the new year, marked by steady consumer spending and stabilizing manufacturing activity, contacts surveyed in the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book said.

“Overall economic activity increased slightly in early 2023,” the Fed said Wednesday in the report, published two weeks before each meeting of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

However, the outlook going forward is less optimistic. “Amid heightened uncertainty, contacts did not expect economic conditions to improve much in the months ahead,” the report said, drawing from anecdotal information collected by the Fed’s 12 regional banks through Feb. 27.

The comments support economic data that’s largely surprised to the upside so far in 2023, notably robust job growth that’s powered consumer spending. Officials are looking to Friday’s employment data and next week’s consumer price index among key data that’ll help determine the path of policy.

From wire reports