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Tesla may backtrack on controversial yoke steering wheel

Tesla model s vs tesla model 3
(Image credit: Tesla)

Tesla's Yoke steering wheel, which debuted in the new Model S, caused quite the stir when it was announced. While some people swear that they like it, others argue it's a safety hazard. CEO Elon Musk has been quick to disagree (opens in new tab) with the naysayers, but there’s evidence Tesla might be considering a backtrack of sorts.

According to one Twitter user (opens in new tab), a “Tesla hacker" according to Elektrek (opens in new tab), an updated Tesla service tools menu now includes mention of a real, circular steering wheel. Like the one you’d find on the Model 3, or an older Model S.

According to shared screenshots, there's an option for both "Round" and "Yoke" steering wheel configurations.

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This isn't the first move away from the original Model S configuration, either. That infamous yoke steering wheel also does away with physical stalks and an old-fashioned horn — you know, the part of the car you slam with your palm when someone cuts you off. 

Recent reports (opens in new tab) point to a real horn coming to a future Tesla Model S yoke and now it seems likely the whole yoke could be removed, too.

Right now Tesla isn't offering the full circular experience, but this report does suggest that it may be an option in the future. Despite Musk’s insistence (opens in new tab) that it would never happen, future Model S buyers may not have to readjust to an unfamiliar steering system after all.

There's still no word on what the state of play will be in terms of stalks for indicators and whatnot, but we can only hope they’ll make a reappearance as well.

Tesla isn't normally one for backing down on its ideas, no matter how weird and whacky they might be. That's either because it's proven right in the long run or, at least, less wrong than many expected. 

In terms of the yoke however, maybe someone at Tesla is getting the message. Sometimes changing something that was functioning perfectly fine isn’t always the best course of action. And when it comes to wheels, round ones work best.