Tesla’s yoke steering wheel is stupid for a number of reasons. You know it, we know it. And Tesla seems to know it, too: The company backtracked a few months after introducing the yoke, bringing back the normal, round steering wheel as a no-cost option. Now, as spotted by InsideEVs, Tesla is offering owners of yoke-equipped cars the chance to swap back to a conventional steering wheel — for $700.
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Here’s a brief timeline of the yoke. In January 2021, Tesla showed us a slightly refreshed Model S and Model X. In addition to the high-performance Plaid and Plaid Plus variants, and updates like better battery range, the big news was the steering yoke, sort of a flattened rectangle with no top loop.
The introduction of the yoke didn’t go as planned for Tesla. By mid-February, Tesla had dropped in Consumer Reports’ ranking of new-car brands, all because of the dopey yoke. By July, a video was making the rounds online showing just how inconvenient the yoke was in everyday driving. A month later, Tesla owners were taking to Twitter to show that not only was the yoke inconvenient while driving, it was also cheaply made, with the finish peeling off on cars with less than 20,000 miles.
Apparently, Tesla heard the call. By January 2023, the automaker had quietly added back the conventional steering wheel as a no-cost option on Model S and Model X. Now, just over two months later, the company will happily retrofit the steering wheel you should have had in the first place, for an easy $700.
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Found in the Shop section of Tesla’s website, the steering wheel retrofit includes the new part and the cost of installation at a Tesla service center. (The yoke-swap first appeared on Tesla’s website in January, InsideEVs reports, but customers couldn’t place the order until this week.) Ordering the swap sounds like a bit of a hassle — owners have to scan a QR code on Tesla’s website, which opens the Tesla smartphone app, which confirms that you own a yoke-equipped Model S or X before allowing you to place the order. Also, bad news: The wheel swap is already sold out as of this writing.
Considering that negative customer feedback was the reason Tesla made the switch back to a normal steering wheel in the first place, maybe this will be a lesson for the company to pay closer attention to what people actually want in their cars.