The U.S is launching an investigation into 120,000 Tesla Model Y vehicles after reports of steering wheels falling off while driving. Reports on social media say that the cars in question were all brand new with very low mileage. This Tweet garnered 2.4 million views and over 6,000 likes. The vehicles were reportedly delivered to buyers without the retaining bolt that holds the steering wheel in place. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will be investigating Tesla to assess the frequency of this issue. This investigation could lead to a recalling of all 2023 Tesla Model Y vehicles, which is the company’s top selling product. One owner explained that he had lost faith in Tesla and asked the company for a refund. His request was denied but he was given the option of getting the car replaced.

An Orangeburg County industrial building has been purchased by a private investment firm that plans to renovate and sublease the building.

The 200,350-square-foot former Federal Mogul Friction Products plant at 2084 Rowesville Road has been acquired by Columbus, Georgia-based private investment firm Brooks Glover Group.

“They will be renovating for their own purposes and to sub-lease as well,” Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Merle Johnson said. “We continue to work with them to market and show the building.”

The facility was left empty when Federal Mogul closed its doors in May 2016. The Federal-Mogul plant manufactured brake pads.

Chinese recycling company Ecomelida Inc. announced in March 2018 it would locate in the plant, which is situated on about 44 acres.

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The company announced at the time it was planning to invest $52 million and create 200 new jobs over a five-year period. Construction began at the plant in 2019 and operations were expected to begin the first quarter of 2020.

But then the coronavirus pandemic hit and the world’s economy halted, eventually ending the project.

According to county property records, Ecomelida paid about $2.5 million for the facility.

In the 2022 tax year alone, the company paid $59,194 in taxes, according to property records.

The total taxes paid on the property since it was purchased in 2018 is $310,182.

Ecomelida sold the property to Oriental Horizon Inc. on Dec. 28, 2022 for $2.6 million, according to county records.

The county had provided Ecomelida with the fee-in-lieu of taxes incentive and invested in infrastructure, but no dollars ever went to the company, according to county officials.

On Monday, Orangeburg County Council unanimously passed a resolution acknowledging the property is considered legally abandoned as defined by state law.

“The abandoned designation is needed in order for the developer to take advantage of a tax credit under the Abandoned Buildings Act,” County Attorney Jerrod Anderson said. “The act notes the building has been vacant for five or more years and at least 66 percent of the building is unused.”

Anderson said any investment the company makes into the building will be credited to them on its state income tax.

Prior to Federal Mogul, the building was occupied by Kirsch Window Treatments, which produced custom mini-blinds, vertical blinds, pleated shades and window toppers.

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