Another day, another Tesla joke about the uber-hated steering wheel yoke. When the newest Tesla Model X electric SUV and Model S sedan came out, fans and critics couldn’t stop talking about the yoke. Now that some time has passed and regular people have had a chance to test it out, the complaints have only increased. What is Elon Musk addressing with the newest update?
Elon Musk says Tesla has fixed the horn issue on the yoke (no joke)
According to Business Insider, Tesla and Elon Musk have heard the complaints about the yoke. There are many, but Musk says the automaker has addressed one of the biggest complaints. No, it isn’t the shape of the yoke. No, it isn’t the uncomfortable nature of the yoke. Musk and Tesla have decided to jump on the horn issue.
While there have been plenty of complaints about the yoke, the horn has been one of the biggest annoyances. Instead of having a standard horn on the yoke, it uses a small button to set the horn off. Apparently, the automaker has been working on the horn issue since November. The new Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles should have the horn in the center like a regular steering wheel.
Responding to Ross Gerber on Twitter, Musk said, “If you mash right side of yoke with your palm, horn will trigger.” He also noted that the company is just waiting on a firmware update.
Tesla drivers will be able to use the horn by pressing in the middle of the yoke
The Model X electric SUV and the Model S sedan received the new rectangular steering yoke as part of a redesign. While some die-hard fans of the brand embraced the exclusivity, the rest of the general public did not. The yoke steering wheel was harder to use and uncomfortable for those with longer commutes.
Instead of using the conventional stalks for windshield wipers, high beams, and turn signals, Tesla made these into buttons. The small buttons are touch-sensitive and conveniently located, albeit unintuitive. When drivers hopped in the newly designed Tesla Model X and Model S, it was clear the yoke would be an issue. Drivers would accidentally turn on the wipers or horn by brushing over the steering wheel while driving.
But one of the biggest issues noted with the horn situation on the yoke is that the horn was hard to find and utilize in emergencies. In complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers called the yoke a “safety hazard.” The horn placement was not intuitive and left drivers frustrated in stressful situations, unable to honk the horn when needed.
The NHTSA has received numerous complaints about the yoke
Unable to locate the small button, Tesla drivers had to take eyes off the road to mash the small button.
“Some owners told the agency they’d nearly gotten into crashes because they weren’t able to honk in time to alert other drivers or pedestrians.”Business Insider
In a complaint on the NHTSA website, one driver said, “The yoke is DANGEROUS, stupid, offers no benefit. The horn is way off center, meaning it’s always in a different place, depending on the turn position. This is criminally stupid, and almost caused 3 accidents already for me.”
While Mr. Elon Musk says on Twitter that Tesla will fix the issue soon, he offered no timeline or other information about the update. He did not respond to comment requests from Business Insider, either. For now, perhaps drivers should practice honking with the small button on the yoke until the software update is released. Simple solution, really.