Tesla Started Installing Replacement Steering Yokes, They Still Have the Ugly "Worm"

Replacement yoke on a tesla Model S 7 photos
Photo: u/hotdoc816 via Reddit | Edited
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Tesla wanted to wow everyone by launching the refreshed Model S/X with a yoke instead of the boring steering wheel. Besides the heated debate about its ergonomics, owners discovered that the material started peeling. Tesla promised a better-quality replacement, and four months later, the first owners got their new yokes. We don't know whether these are more durable, but they have the same "Tesla worm" between the letters L and A.
The yoke on the refreshed Tesla Model S and Model X proved highly controversial from the get-go, which is not unusual in the Teslaverse. While die-hard fans swore the yoke was an order of magnitude better than a round steering wheel for several reasons, regular folks hated it. The latter group scored an unlikely victory after Tesla conceded and offered a round steering wheel retrofit for the Model S and Model X.

The accessory proved so popular that Tesla reconsidered its supply chain and started delivering new cars with the classic steering wheel instead of a yoke. At first, you could order either of them without paying extra. Still, Tesla soon started charging $250 for the yoke, which probably made it a fringe purchase.

The drama didn't end for the yoke fans, though, as they noticed the materials were lower quality and, undoubtedly, unworthy of a luxury car. In layman's words, the faux leather started to peel off, sometimes after less than 10,000 miles. Since we haven't heard this happening to a round steering wheel, it's probably the shape that makes it more prone to peeling.

At first, Tesla replaced the yokes under warranty, but it got tired as people kept coming back with a ruined yoke. Some Model S and Model X owners were already at their third yoke replaced under warranty when Tesla decided to do something about it. In April, it notified the affected owners that no replacement would be offered until a new yoke, built with better materials, becomes available. The timeframe communicated was July. Since we're now in August, it makes sense that the first people got their replacement yokes.

The good news was shared on Reddit by a Model S owner who just got it installed by a Tesla Mobile Service technician. Based on his post, the new yoke is version H, whereas the original was version F. He is curious to see if the new steering yoke is good enough to last longer than 10K miles, especially as it is only two versions away from the one that peeled.

Visually, there's no difference between the replacement part and the original one. People who saw the pictures on Reddit even noticed that the new yoke still has the "Tesla worm," a distinctive "feature" of the original part. If you're unfamiliar, it's a slight bulge that goes through the Tesla lettering between the L and the A. As people pointed out, this is likely the airbag cutaway. You can even see it in the official pictures, including on the round steering wheel sold in the Tesla Shop.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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