That's not good.

Fed Up Feds

You'd better hope Tesla's Full Self-Driving feature is all CEO Elon Musk makes it out to be, because as a Tesla driver, you may suddenly find yourself deprived of a steering wheel while on the road.

Following two accounts of Tesla vehicles exhibiting such a shocking lack of quality control, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now stepping in to launch an investigation into the automaker's 2023 Model Y SUV, The Associated Press reports.

According to an agency document filed on March 4, the investigation involves a little over 120,000 vehicles.

The culprit in both cases was a missing retaining bolt that connects the steering wheel to the steering column, the agency said — a clumsy and highly dangerous oversight.

Out of Control

An incident made its rounds on social media last month when a distressed owner of a brand new Tesla Model Y tweeted that his steering wheel fell off while driving down a highway only after five days of owning it.

Fortunately, with no car trailing him, the owner was able to stop the vehicle safely. But the damage had been done: his faith was understandably shattered.

Customer service didn't prove to be much help and actually wanted to charge him for repairs, so the owner tweeted directly at Musk, pleading for a refund.

"It's not even week and getting [a] bill for faulty steering wheel," he wrote. "Isn't it [the] company's responsibility to fix it?"

"I would greatly appreciate [a] refund and keep the car as we lost trust and family is not feeling safe driving it back."

In the end, Tesla offered to replace the vehicle, but clearly, the incident did not go unnoticed by the feds.

Umpteenth Probe

A lack of a simple bolt may be a relatively easy issue to amend, but the production line mishap has only added to the mounting piles of investigations that Tesla is under.

The NHTSA is already investigating Tesla's Autopilot driver assistance system after dozens of vehicles crashed into emergency vehicles with the feature turned on.

The company has also incurred the scrutiny of the California DMV, and reportedly the Justice Department, over the marketing of its misleadingly named "Full Self-Driving" feature.

Loose steering wheels are only the latest in a string of controversies the Elon Musk-led EV company has been embroiled in over the last couple of years. But Tesla is unlikely to respond to these latest reports as it disbanded its communications department years ago.

More on Tesla: Tesla Has Totally Paused New Installations of "Full Self-Driving" After Safety Concerns

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