More than 100,000 Tesla vehicles are being investigated for potential safety problems by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
At issue is the front suspension system for the 2015-2017 Model S and the 2016-2017 Model X, the NHTSA said Friday, with as many as 115,000 vehicles affected. The agency has received 43 complaints alleging failure in the left or right front suspension force links.
The problem can result in a front fore link that doesn’t meet the automaker’s strength specifications, Tesla said in a 2017 service bulletin, in which case “the driver can still maintain control of the vehicle but the tire may contact the wheel arch liner.”
Three-quarters of the failures the NHTSA received complaints about occurred while parking, while the rest happened while driving.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
On Nov. 20, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Tesla in the U.S. District Court in California over suspension issues in Model S and X vehicles claiming vehicles have defects that can result in the front and rear suspension control arm assembly components prematurely failing.
In a blog post in June 2016 Tesla denied any safety defect in Model X or Model S suspensions, but acknowledged NHTSA had asked the company to informally provide information about suspensions without opening a formal investigation.
The NHTSA investigation arrives the same week that Tesla issued a recall for more than 9,500 vehicles over concerns about parts of their roofs flying off and loose bolts messing with the driver’s ability to steer.
It also arrives about a month after Tesla recalled about 30,000 vehicles in China over potential suspension problems, which the company reportedly claimed were caused by “driver abuse” rather than any defect.