Tesla could be considering the option of letting customers choose between the traditional round steering wheel or the Yoke that the automaker introduced in the new Model S last year.
Tesla hacker @greentheonly on Twitter is known for digging deep into software and coding to find what the automaker could introduce down the road. In the past, green has uncovered coding for the activation of the cabin-facing camera, among many other discoveries.
Green’s latest discovery in Tesla coding is something labeled as “PROC_GTW_X_STEERING-WHEEL-YOKE-SWAP.” When the prompt is opened, it gives the user an option to choose “Round” or “Yoke.”
Initially, when Tesla started delivering vehicles with the Yoke, there was no intention of making it interchangeable with a traditional steering wheel. Teslarati was told by employees last Summer that Tesla would deliver all Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid builds with the Yoke. It was unclear whether the Yoke would make it to other vehicles. There was no plan to communicate the option of choosing the steering wheel before delivery. As of now, the Yoke is the standard wheel design on all Model S and Model X builds.
This was somewhat controversial as many orderers complained that they were unaware they’d be receiving a car with a Yoke. This then catalyzed concerns from some drivers who wondered if the Yoke was legal and aligned with NHTSA safety standards. The agency uses a self-certification process, where manufacturers can make changes to a vehicle as long as they are done in good faith with the safety of passengers in mind.
The Yoke has started to warm up to plenty of people. One commenter in green’s post stated that the first 100 miles with the Yoke were difficult. However, a month into the ownership experience, they would not consider driving with a traditional round steering wheel again.
The Yoke has been relatively popular among Tesla owners, and retrofits available through third-party manufacturers are available.
Tesla has not confirmed whether it will offer the option to customers. The company also does not operate a press department in the United States, so the company was unable to provide any context on what its plans were.
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