Tesla Yoke Haters Already Bought All of the Steering Wheel Retrofits
Call it a retrofit or yoke delete kit—either way, it’s sitll sold out.
When Telsa decided to add a yoke-style steering wheel to its Model S and X vehicles nearly two years ago, it quickly became the center of criticism. Not only did it pose a problem for some drivers who preferred hand-over-hand driving, but some of the wheels also quickly disintegrated in low-mileage vehicles.
Ultimately, Tesla backed down from its yoke-only offering and decided to begin offering a traditional round steering wheel with the Model S and X. This left some yoke owners wanting to make the move as well. Thankfully Tesla decided to launch a retrofit kit for owners which launched earlier in March. There's just one issue: it's already sold out.
The retrofit went live on March 15, meaning that buyers have been able to purchase it for just over a week prior to it going out of stock.
While the product itself can still be found on Tesla's website, the automaker points potential buyers to its app in order to purchase it. However, the retrofit has been completely removed from the app, even preventing buyers from being notified when it returns into stock.
The cost for the wheel was a whopping $700, which included the price of installation. For comparison, the MSRP on a heated steering wheel for a Honda Accord is $426, though it can often be found for well under $300. A local Honda dealership quoted me $96 in labor for the installation, bringing the total cost (at MSRP) to around $522. So, in all, Tesla's price seems to be fairly on par with a premium marque.
It's not immediately clear how many steering wheels Tesla made available for its retrofit package. Normally, we would ask an automaker for figures directly, but Tesla dissolved its communications and public relations department back in 2020. It would appear that the automaker has experienced some overwhelming demand for its retrofit, given that it can no longer be purchased at the time of writing.
Now, just because Tesla customers bought out the steering wheel kit doesn't mean the yoke is extinct. And even so, Tesla seems to prefer its creation, as the automaker appears to have developed yet another iteration of the yoke for the upcoming Cybertruck. If Tesla does implement the yoke correctly with drive-by-wire steering capability (hello, Lexus), some of the criticisms that the automaker faces today could simply disappear. But until that happens, we can see why customers are flocking to buy Tesla's sold-out retrofit kit.
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