Tesla’s new steering wheel intrigues NHTSA

Tesla’s new Yoke steering wheel questions. In particular the authorities who find themselves in the dark concerning the approval of the steering wheel.

With its new Model S and Model X, Tesla introduced the Yoke steering wheel. A “hoop” that no longer really has the shape of the traditional steering wheel that we have known since the car has existed. If customers wonder about the practicalities of such a steering wheel on a daily basis, the authorities are lost.

Asked by our American colleagues from Road & Track, the NHTSA (the American authority in matters of automobile regulation) admitted not knowing if the Yoke steering wheel meets regulatory standards: “At this time, the NHTSA cannot determine whether the steering wheel meets federal motor vehicle safety standards. We will contact the manufacturer for more information ”.

A round steering wheel planned by Tesla

On this side of the Atlantic, the question is similar. Because according to the texts to be respected for an approval, only three lines concern the steering column. The shape of the steering wheel is not mentioned at all. This therefore leaves a gap in which stylists can become embedded and give free rein to their imagination.

It is also necessary to take into account the realities on the ground. Because with its shape to make the steering wheel blush from KITT in the K2000 series, this steering wheel does not seem the most ergonomic for driving in the city or for parking maneuvers. This is probably why Tesla also imagined the presence of a round steering wheel for its two new models, as shown in a hidden image on the brand’s website.


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