Tesla suspension complaints prompt NHTSA probe of 115,000 cars

The Tesla logo seen on a car.
NHTSA is investigating suspension parts on nearly 115,000 Tesla cars.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether faulty suspension parts on nearly 115,000 Tesla Inc. vehicles can result in damage to the tires.

The agency said it received 43 complaints about the issue involving 2015 through 2017 Tesla Model S and 2016 through 2017 Model X vehicles.

NHTSA said 32 of the complaints involve failures that occurred during low-speed parking maneuvers and 11 while driving — four of those at highway speeds.


“The complaints appear to indicate an increasing trend, with 34 complaints received in the last two years and three of the incidents at highway speeds reported within the last three months,” the agency said.

In a 2017 service bulletin, Tesla said: “Some Model S and Model X vehicles may have been manufactured with front suspension fore links that may not meet Tesla strength specifications. In the event of link failure, the driver can still maintain control of the vehicle but the tire may contact the wheel arch liner.”

Tesla suspension issues led to a recall of 30,000 made-in-America Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles in China last month. Tesla blamed the problem on drivers in China.

Times staff writer Russ Mitchell contributed to this report.