Numerous owners have reported that their steering wheels are showing advanced wear and tear.
Tesla has announced a material upgrade for its controversial yoke steering device. Besides being impractical to use, Tesla's yoke appears to fall short of customer quality expectations. Several owners have expressed disappointment with the steering wheel's build integrity, with some examples showing signs of wear from nearly new.
According to a screenshot posted to Reddit, a Tesla Service official told customer u/Global_Chaos that an updated version will soon be made available: "A new yoke with improved materials will be available to service in July 2023."
The message goes on to say the customer should not replace their existing steering wheel until the "improved parts are available." If this is credible, this should come as a relief to Model S and Model X owners across the country, many of whom have experienced peeling yokes.
We've reached out to Tesla for confirmation and will update the article accordingly if we receive a reply.
Of course, a peeling steering wheel isn't the end of the world, as it does not affect the way the vehicle operates. However, when you're spending close to (or over) $100,000, you expect the steering wheel to remain intact for many years. It will be interesting to see what Tesla charges for this or if it chooses to replace these damaged components for free.
Last year, sources claimed that the automaker was replacing worn yoke steering wheels at no cost to the owner.
Unlike most premium brands, Tesla chooses not to use leather, favoring an eco-friendly alternative it calls 'vegan' leather. We've seen issues with this upholstery before; owners have reported instances of their headrests and seats bubbling, causing ungainly damage to Tesla interiors.
Astonishingly, the automaker says the wear occurs because of contact with things like lotions, hand sanitizer, and hair gel.
Some owners may enjoy the yoke, but for the most part, the design hasn't found many fans. Tesla even responded to this, offering the Model X and Model S variants with a conventional steering wheel as a no-cost option. A retrofit option for those who already ordered the yoke was also offered. This sold out in just a week.
Hopefully, there's some truth to the claims posted above, as customers have waited far too long for a quality alternative to their peeling yokes.
Even if it's true, it will be interesting to see whether Tesla can deliver on the July 2023 due date. As we've seen before, the company does tend to struggle with introducing products on time. The Cybertruck, first announced in 2019, has still not reached production, although the company claims it will finally sail down production lines by the end of this year.
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