Tesla Model S’s shoddy yoke is more of a quality assurance roadkill


The infamous Tesla Model S yoke is even worse than anyone thought. This half-wheel – a steering trapezoid, if you will – launched on the $95,000 Model S in 2021. Not only did its design make it extremely difficult to steer during any type of low-speed maneuver, but now the yoke literally crumbles for some customers after just 12,000 miles of riding.

The yoke is the perfect symbol of everything that is wrong with Tesla: luxury cars built with often mediocre methods and materials at best.

The Model S yoke is a joke

If you haven’t seen a Model S yet, its new steering wheel is apparently stolen from KITT, David Hasselhoff’s 1982 Pontiac Trans Am in the camptastic Knight Rider TV series. While Lexus uses a similar design, the yoke is almost universally hated by the drivers and the critics alike—so much, in fact, that it spawned a third market of substitutes and thingssome of them starting at $3,000 apiece.

Now, an influx of social posts highlighting the poor quality of the half-wheel is coming fast. As The reader reportsit all started with the owner of a Tesla Model S Long Range (priced at $115,000 and up), who saw his yoke begin to crumble at the 24,000 mile mark.

A TikTok influencer and owner of a Model S Plaid (from $170,000) posted a photo of piece of hardware missing after 12,000 miles. Then, “a mile away,” he posted another photo explaining that “it’s already gotten worse.”

Tesla production is a quality assurance road kill

I’ve never seen anything like this problem in any car steering wheel I’ve ever used – and you probably haven’t either. As automotive journalist Lewin Day points out in the Conduct article, “the fundamental truth is that most automakers have found ways to create steering wheel finishes that last 100,000 miles or more without excessive degradation.

The use of shoddy components like in the yoke is particularly surprising for an automaker that sells cars at Porsche-level prices (even if they’re electric). You’ll find similar quality control issues at Tesla oversized touch screens. Tesla had to settle a class action on faulty touch screens which seemed to have malfunctioned because they weren’t designed to withstand the usual temperature variations of a car’s interior.

This example of a touchscreen, like the missing bolts and nuts, is particularly concerning because Tesla’s apparent disregard for quality impacts driver safety. In reality, Federal investigators have asked Tesla to inculcate stricter safety standards for Autopilot early 2021, only be ignored.

The yoke is an apt metaphor for Tesla’s problems

If you think it’s just some moaning on the internet or an overzealous federal authority trying to destroy Musk’s stellar reputationjust keep in mind that Tesla came second to last in consumer reportss 2021 Car Reliability Survey.

To paint the full picture of a Tesla’s unreliability, a friend who’s owned a Model 3 for four years just shared a full history of the repairs needed since buying the car new: a broken chair adjustment, three swaps of car computers, two 12 volt battery swaps, two incidents of audio system failure, a window that did not open after an unrelated service repair, a broken cabin camera, a charging port that did not didn’t close properly, an AC filter replacement due to musty smell and, worst of all, three times the car turned off for no reason while driving.

Oh, and the seat belt was not installed correctly twice after a repair. Tesla’s mistakes breed more mistakes.

In the end, I feel like we have the perfect metaphor for Tesla’s quality issues and those of its founder. erratic vision, misdirectionand broken promises. Elon Musk promises to deliver the world’s first fully self-driving car, while being still figure out how to build the steering wheel.


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