NHTSA Contacts Tesla Over ‘Yoke’ Steering Wheel in Model S/X

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Both the Tesla Model S and Model X recently got a major line refresh, but US regulators are calling the new ‘yoke-style’ steering wheel into question, wondering if it meets federal regulations.

On Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Roadshow that it had reached out to Tesla regarding the new yoke-style steering wheel, according to CNET.

Continuing, the regulator said that, at first glance, it “cannot determine if the steering wheel meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.” If it turns out the wheel does violate the regulations, then Tesla will have to replace it with one that doesn’t.

Some analysts, including those at Roadshow, have detailed why they believe the new steering wheel to be a safety risk. One way or another, the NHTSA will need to inspect the steering wheel, and if it determines it to be a safety risk, then something will have to change.

Beyond the steering wheel, Tesla also removed the PNRD shifting stalk in the new design and replaced it with force touch buttons and improved Autopilot capacities. It’s clear that Tesla believes its buyers to be heading in the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) directions, and this bold new design proves it.

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