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Tesla Might Change Its Tune on the Controversial Yoke Steering Wheel

A Tesla interior with a yoke steering wheel

When Tesla debuted its Yoke steering wheel on the new Model S, many people had mixed reactions. It became even more controversial when CEO Elon Musk confirmed the company had no plans to offer a regular round steering wheel on the car. However, it looks like the EV maker could be ready to change its mind.

Ditching a regular wheel for a nontraditional butterfly design took many by surprise. People either love it or hate it, and we’ve seen a lot of arguments on whether it’s safe or not. And while it could pose a hazard in emergency maneuvers and be impractical for slow 3-point turns, it does have a few benefits.

For one, The butterfly “yoke” design requires users to keep both hands on the wheel at a safe 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position, which is also an ideal location if airbags deploy. It also gives users improved visibility of the dash and road. That said, it’s still highly controversial due to not having a regular horn, turn indicator stalks, and other essentials. Those are all “force touch” buttons on the wheel itself.

We’ve seen a few instances where Tesla Model S Plaid owners manually added a regular steering wheel then hacked the software to make it work. Obviously, that’s not an ideal situation, but it looks like a resolution could be on the way.

According to tweets from “Tesla hackers” found by Electrek, Tesla’s updated service tools mention both a round wheel and the yoke. Furthermore, the users found evidence of an option letting owners sign up for a steering wheel swap where they could choose which style they’d prefer.

Tesla nor CEO Elon Musk have made any such mention of this becoming an option for Model S or Model X owners, but the groundwork is ready. If the company does allow for swaps, it probably won’t be a free switch, but we’ll have to wait and see.

via Electrek

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »