It's no secret that Tesla's yoke-style steering wheel is polarizing: people either love it or absolutely hate it. Functionality aside, the wheel has some notorious quality issues that led to wheels virtually disintegrating in very low-mileage vehicles, often resulting in a warranty claim for replacement.
Tesla may be fed up with wasting money on warranty replacements. Recently, Reddit user Global_Chaos posted a screenshot of a chat with a Tesla service advisor on the /r/TeslaMotors subreddit. The chat revealed that Tesla is preparing to launch a "new yoke with improved materials" as early as this summer.
"A new yoke with improved materials will be available to service in July 2023," the service advisor reportedly wrote. "We do not recommend replacing the yoke until the improved parts become available."
It should come as no surprise that Tesla wants to improve the quality of its yoke-style steering wheel. When Tesla launched the yoke in 2021, buyers began complaining just months later of quality problems—namely, the material rubbing off—which isn't a great look for the automaker's flagship sedan. It also isn't the most friendly design for folks looking to drive their car hard on the track or in environments requiring a lot of hand-over-hand driving.
After deciding to make the yoke optional in January, Tesla launched a round-wheel retrofit for the Model S and X last month. Within about a week, the automaker sold out of round steering wheels, meaning buyers flocked to purchase the $700 accessory to replace their yoke. However, it would seem that Tesla may not just be improving the materials of the yoke, but it may also be redesigning the steering wheel to address usability concerns brought up since its inception.
During Tesla's last investor day, the automaker also showed off its latest iteration of the long-awaited Cybertruck. Inside, a new yoke-style wheel could be seen. The new style is closer to a hybrid between a yoke and a traditional round-style wheel, just with a flat top and bottom. Realistically, it's likely a lot more user-friendly when it comes to hand-over-hand driving.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also confirmed that the automaker expects to begin production of the Cybertruck during the summer. This would put production of the design-locked truck around the same time when the new yoke would be made available (according to the chat that the Reddit user had with the service center).
"We do expect production [of the Cybertruck] to start, I don't know, maybe sometime this summer," said Musk during an earnings call in January. "But I always, like, try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it's always very slow at first."
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