Auto briefs

Tesla recalls electric car

WASHINGTON --- Tesla Motors is recalling more than half of its new $109,000 electric roadsters to address a problem with the steering.

The San Carlos, Calif., automaker said the recall will fix rear bolts that were improperly assembled by Lotus, the contract manufacturer of the sports car's chassis.

The recall affects 345 roadsters from the 2008 model year assembled between March 2008 and April. The electric car company has delivered nearly 500 Roadsters, spokeswoman Rachel Konrad said.

The government said Lotus was recalling 27 Elise and Exige vehicles from the 2009 model year to address similar problems.

A Tesla owner complained about poor steering around wide turns, leading the company to investigate. No injuries have been reported.

Tesla said the electric powertrain was not affected by the recall. It will send technicians to owners' homes to tighten the bolts and provide a free inspection and software upgrade.

Tesla, named for Nikola Tesla, a pioneer in developing efficient uses for electricity, was founded in 2003.

Big pickups still on top

WASHINGTON --- Large domestic pickups were the U.S. sales leaders, as usual, during May, according to Autodata Corp.

Ford Motor Co., the only domestic automaker not taking federal bailout money and not in bankruptcy, had its largest share of the U.S. market since 2006 and saw two more of its models move into the Top 10 behind its perennial best-selling F-Series truck line.

The Fusion sedan (the only vehicle in the Top 10 to see a sales increase from a year ago) was at No. 7, and the Escape small crossover utility vehicle was at No. 10.

The F-150 edged out the Chevrolet Silverado pickup, which barely squeaked by the Toyota Camry/Solara passenger cars.

Here were the top-selling vehicles, their sales numbers and their percentage of change from May 2008:

1. Ford F-Series33,381-22.3
2. Chevrolet Silverado 31,463-15.0
3. Toyota Camry/Solara31,325-38.9
4. Toyota Corolla/Matrix 23,576-55.4
5. Honda Accord 22,597-48.3
6. Honda Civic 20,723-61.1
7. Ford Fusion 19,7869.4
8. Chevrolet Impala 18,709-21.4
9. Nissan Altima 18,408-46.5
10. Ford Escape 16,391-7.2

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