A Tesla driver says his steering wheel fell off his brand new Model Y only five days after getting the car

Prerak Patel said it took 10-20 minutes for the police to arrive at the scene.
Police at the scene after the steering wheel fell of a brand new Tesla.Courtesy of Prerak Patel
  • Prerak Patel said his Tesla steering wheel fell of while he was driving down a New Jersey highway.

  • The driver said he'd received the Model Y just five days prior to the incident.

  • Patel said he was told a bolt was missing from the steering wheel connection.

Just five days after it was delivered, the steering wheel fell of a brand new Tesla Model Y. Prerak Patel, the car's owner, was driving down a highway near Woodbridge Mall in New Jersey with his wife and kids when the incident occurred.

"I was driving a normal speed in the left lane when all of the sudden I had this loose wheel in my hand," Patel told Insider. "By the grace of God, there was nobody behind me. I took my foot off the pedal, and I was able to pull all the way over to a divider."

Patel said it took 10 to 20 minutes for the police to arrive at the scene and that the car was later towed to a nearby Tesla service center.

Pictures of the steering wheel appear to show the wheel entirely detached from the steering column, only hanging on by exposed wires. Patel posted several photos from the incident on Twitter.

Patel has yet to pick up his car from the service center, but he said he was told by a service representative that a bolt was missing from the steering column.

He'd always wanted to buy a Tesla, he said, and saw an opportunity when the company lowered its prices for its Model Y and Model 3 on January 13. He ordered the car the same day the price cuts were announced.

Now, he's not sure he wants to drive the car again, feeling that he'd be putting his family at risk.

"If they give me that same car back, I won't feel comfortable driving it, " Patel said. "I've asked for a refund. I've asked for a new car."

Patel said he's been trying to negotiate the issue with Tesla's customer service department, but in the meantime, he's been tweeting through the issue, posting his exchanges with Tesla service representatives on Twitter and garnering  over 2 million views.


"My main purpose for tweeting is for them to improve quality control so no other family has to go through this," Patel said, adding that he want the company to take accountability publicly.

A spokesperson for Tesla did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

It's not the first time that a Tesla owner has complained of issues with the car's steering wheels. In 2020, Tesla driver Jason Tuatara posted photos of a Model 3 steering wheel that had fallen off. At the time, the New York Post reported that a Tesla representative had told the driver the car was missing a bolt that connected the wheel to the body of the car.

Read the original article on Business Insider