When Tesla introduced its yoke steering wheel on the new Model S, many people had mixed reactions. Controversy grew even more when CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the company had no plans to offer a regular round steering wheel for the car. However, it looks like the EV maker might be ready to change its mind.
Many were surprised to abandon a regular wheel for a non-traditional butterfly design. People either love it or hate it, and we’ve seen a lot of arguments about whether it’s safe or not. And while it might pose a hazard in emergency maneuvers and be impractical for slow 3-point turns, it does have some advantages.
For one, the butterfly “yoke” design requires users to keep both hands on the steering wheel at a safe 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position, which is also an ideal position when airbags deploy. It also provides users with improved dashboard and road visibility. That is, it is still very controversial, since there is no normal horn, turn signal stalks and other essentials. These are all “Force Touch” buttons on the wheel itself.
We’ve seen a few cases where Tesla Model S Plaid owners have manually added a regular steering wheel and then hacked the software to make it work. Of course, this isn’t an ideal situation, but it looks like a fix could be on the way.
Accordingly Tweets from “Tesla Hackers” Tesla’s updated service tools found by Electrek mention both a round wheel and the yoke. Additionally, users found references to an option for owners to sign up for a steering wheel swap, where they could choose which style they prefer.
Both Tesla and CEO Elon Musk have in some way hinted that this will be an option for Model S or Model X owners, but the basics are in place. If the company allows a swap, it probably won’t be a free swap, but we’ll have to wait and see.
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