Tesla Model 3 with heated steering wheel begins US deliveries

(Credit: ABK Tesla/Instagram)

Tesla Model 3 customers who are taking delivery of the newest builds of the all-electric sedan are reporting that their vehicle has a heated steering wheel, a feature Tesla included in some of the “refreshed” versions of its mass-market cars.

It has long been speculated whether the Model 3 would be receiving a heated steering wheel. In early December 2020, Tesla hacker green discovered some upcoming features that would be included with the refreshed Model 3, including the powered liftgate, new USB-C ports, and a heated steering wheel. In fact, some owners of newer Model 3 production models felt that their steering wheel had become noticeably thicker compared to previous iterations, setting off speculation within the community that Tesla would be adding the feature within its vehicles. Additionally, owners in other countries, like Switzerland, stated that their cars had been given heated steering wheels.

On New Years Day, Tesla launched a refresh to the Model Y crossover, including some new door panel designs and also adding the heated steering wheel. Speculation regarding U.S. Model 3s also grew when Tesla added the feature to sedans built in China at the company’s Giga Shanghai production facility.

Now, owners taking delivery of new Model 3 builds are showing their vehicles do include the heated steering wheel, a desirable feature for cold weather climates.

Tesla Motors Club member 808BOB took delivery of their Model 3 on Thursday, noticing that his new car did include the heated steering wheel feature. The car was built in February 2021, the original posting says. According to photographs uploaded by the user, the button to activate the heated steering wheel feature is within the “Seat Heaters” menu and can be turned on by pressing the button with a picture of a steering wheel.

Tesla Motors Club | 808BOB

808BOB said in their posting:

“Hi all, just had my M3 delivered on Thursday… Love the car!
BUT, just wanted to confirm that my M3 HAS a heated steering wheel. I’ve been wondering if/when the car would get it…
I was surprised to “find” this option (still finding stuff). Located in the butt warmer section.
RED means it is turned on (it gets pretty warm in the 3/9 locations… you cannot adjust the heat). It was about 67F today, so I didn’t have it on for more than a minute.
Hope this puts an END to all of the speculation? 
Oh, VIN 902xxx
Delivered in the Bay Area.”

The difference between the heated steering wheel and the heated seats is that the steering wheel only has one temperature option, while the seats have three settings. 808BOB stated in their posting that some parts of the steering wheel, especially the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock locations, seem to be warmer than others.

Some users in the forum stated that new software updates could allow for variable temperatures like the seats. Currently, the vehicle is operating with Software v10.2 (2020.47.101.1).

808BOB stated that they had their car delivered in the Bay Area, so this is likely one of the first Model 3s outfitted with a heated steering wheel. Owners who live nearest to Tesla’s Fremont factory will usually be the first to experience new features because they live so close to the production facility. It is likely that owners outside of the area will soon begin taking delivery of Model 3 units with the heated steering wheel feature included.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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