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Of all the Tesla gimmicks, the steering yoke might be one of the silliest. It turns out that the yokes aren’t only an obstacle for many drivers, but they are also made with low-quality materials. Some Tesla owners report ugly steering yoke wear before the car has 30,000 miles. 

Are Tesla steering yokes really falling apart?

Steering wheels get used more than any other part of the car. It stands to reason that they would see more wear. However, it usually takes much more than 30,000 miles to wear through the material – a lot more. 

According to The Drive, a Twitter user named “The Kilowatts” had a Model S Long Range with the yoke, which had three sizeable chunks missing after only 24,000 miles. And Mr. Kilowats wasn’t the only Tesla owner to find the yoke disintegrating in their hands. 

A TikTok person called  “jf.okay” also posted photos of a degrading Tesla yoke after only 12,000 miles. Really driving the nail in, another Twitter user posted similar wear and tear after only 4,000 miles. 

Why are people so dedicated to protecting Tesla? 

Interior of a 2022 Tesla Model X. It's not recommended by Consumer Reports because of missing technology.
2022 Tesla Model X interior | Tesla

Even worse than the degrading steering yoke were the commenters blaming the drivers instead of the company that made the steering device. Commenters blamed everything from personal shaming, drinking, and even fingernails on the rapid degradation of the steering yokes. 

One of the more common ways that commenters rushed to divert blame to the user instead of the billion-dollar corporation was accusing drivers of using too much hand sanitizer or lotion. Is that meant to suggest that if you want to keep your Tesla steering yoke intact, you must wear gloves, never drink alcohol and have your nails trimmed short? Even if those were the cause of the damage, no other new car requires this level of care to keep bits from falling off. 

What does Tesla have to say about the quality issue?

As per the company’s infamous corporate policy, it has said nothing. Tesla famously decided to forgo PR, meaning thoughts, questions, and comments can be shouted into the ether. Still, there’s no one listening, except maybe Elon Musk, if he’s not too busy trying to buy companies he doesn’t like. 

Despite the company’s lack of PR response, it has seen some serious quality issues over the past few years. Consumer Reports gave only one Tesla model a reliability score better than 1 out of 5. The only model that did better than the worst possible score was the 2022 Tesla Model 3, which still only managed a 3 out of 5 for predicted reliability.

aside from reviews, customers have reported new cars showing up with unseated windows, misaligned body panels, and even one instance of a car delivered to a customer without brake pads.

Like it or not, it’s weird

I get that people get excited about Tesla. The brand’s ethos is centered around hype. These cars have offered many people a new car that is nothing like the other cars on the market. There is a social standing associated with the buzzy EV maker as well. Elon Musk has worked hard to find his audience, and he is playing directly to them. All of these strange social factors, along with real advances in battery tech, make Tesla’s standing in the world make perfect sense. 

However, the fact remains that most car makers have worked out how to make steering wheel finishes last well over 100,000 miles. If Tesla wants drivers to trust something as complicated as self-driving cars, it might should work on something simpler, like keeping the steering wheels from falling apart first.


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