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An honest review of the yoke

Bub.com

New Member
Jul 3, 2021
2
25
Seattle
3 days with my Plaid, which is amazing. But the yoke ruins it.

I just posted this to the NHTSA:

This has to do with Tesla's new yoke steering wheel. I find myself awkwardly trying to make simple 90 degree turns. However, a more significant turn, such as a legal U turn, is altogether more dangerous. First you must twist your arms upside down to execute the turn, or you need to rotate grips but the wheel is only designed to be gripped while straight/upright. This causes a very real threat of missing your hold on the wheel. Then as you try to controllably/slowly straighten the vehicle the steering wheel rips through your hands before you can complete the turn. God forbid anyone attempts a hasty 3 point turn with a car approaching. In addition, I am a six foot tall male and my knees actually come in contact with the wheel as the lower outside corners of the trapezoidal shape protrude down and out. If I am gripping the outside of the wheel, at 9 and 3, my hands can also contact my knees. This is with the wheel tilted/moved up to its highest position. Then there's the turn signals which are much too easy to engage accidentally or engage incorrectly (touch left when you mean to touch right). The roll wheel which controls radio volume and track fwd is mm from the turn signals which are activated simply by touch, not depressing a button, which means inadvertently activating them happens commonly. To see if the turn signals are activated your eyes must find small blinking arrows at the bottom of Teslas 'videogame' display - what the car's cameras are detecting such as other cars, trucks, stop signs etc - the needlessly distracting display cannot be turned off. All of this made worse on a temptingly fast car. This wheel design is made for a track, not for consumer driving. People will die from this design, all in the name of "cool". Tesla has made other flashy design errors while trying to attract attention such as the model x's falcon wing doors, but they didn't pose danger. This one most certainly does.
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,606
3,640
Colorado, USA
This (along with many other first-hand accounts) confirms my fears of this once I found out Tesla didn't implement the yoke properly. This would require a significantly boosted turn response so that you NEVER crossed up your arms going full lock to full lock. Think F1 race car. 90deg upright us full lock one way and then 90 upright the other way is full lock in the other direction (give or take). This would also make the steering input far too twitchy for the average driver on the street and the learning curve to master it would be too drastic for the casual driver to feel comfortable with. This 2.3 turns lock to lock with a yoke steering wheel is recipe for disaster and fixes NO problems anyway was having. People say it clears up the IC but the simple answer is to adjust your wheel better.

Used to be that a Tesla was a car that ANYONE could drive. Sure it did a ton of different things but the basics were more basic that a traditional car. I'd let people drive all of the time w/o the slightest bit of concern. Having owned crazy sports cars and custom vehicles in the past that required a 10-minute explanation before they could even start the thing grew old. I loved just letting people drive themselves and see how dead simple these cars are (read: were). Now, suddenly, a Tesla requires a learning curve for someone who's never driver it. Not a good pivot for a company that was killing it in it's simplicity when people who had never driven them thought they were so complex.
 

Skotty

2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
2,511
1,854
Kansas City, MO
The turn signals are capacitive touch buttons? That is not a huge deal, but it's also a bad idea. The first Chevy Volts had capacitive touch buttons on the center stack. Most people seemed to have the same experience with them. They are cool at first, but they quickly become annoying, and in the end, not too many people liked them. I can deal with losing the turn stalk, but they should be very clear and real buttons, IMO. Do they have any haptic feedback? That can make capacitive touch buttons slightly less annoying. I'm guessing no.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,773
7,990
Maine
The turn signals are capacitive touch buttons? That is not a huge deal, but it's also a bad idea. The first Chevy Volts had capacitive touch buttons on the center stack. Most people seemed to have the same experience with them. They are cool at first, but they quickly become annoying, and in the end, not too many people liked them. I can deal with losing the turn stalk, but they should be very clear and real buttons, IMO. Do they have any haptic feedback? That can make capacitive touch buttons slightly less annoying. I'm guessing no.

Buttons can work, but in the Volt, not only was it very easy accidentally to press one, but changing temperature between max and min was interminably slow.
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,773
7,990
Maine
This (along with many other first-hand accounts) confirms my fears of this once I found out Tesla didn't implement the yoke properly. This would require a significantly boosted turn response so that you NEVER crossed up your arms going full lock to full lock. Think F1 race car. 90deg upright us full lock one way and then 90 upright the other way is full lock in the other direction (give or take). This would also make the steering input far too twitchy for the average driver on the street and the learning curve to master it would be too drastic for the casual driver to feel comfortable with. This 2.3 turns lock to lock with a yoke steering wheel is recipe for disaster and fixes NO problems anyway was having. People say it clears up the IC but the simple answer is to adjust your wheel better.

That sums up the problem neatly.
It's terrible with a standard ratio.
Hopefully the NHTSA will step in and rescue Muskla with a ruling that forces them to replace it.
 

Dan D.

Member
Dec 7, 2020
670
751
Vancouver, BC
Challenge:

Two cars drive this stretch of road. Whitney Portal Road to Horseshoe Meadows Road, near Lone Pine California.

Let's say Tesla MS Plaid/LR vs P100D or GT3.

Drive at best typical fast speed, nothing excessive, no close racing or endangering anyone.
At the bottom drive back up. Plaid/LR driver then gives his car to the other driver who has never driven a yoke. Repeat test.

If times are the same on both runs then I'll agree that the yoke is equivalent to a wheel.
 
Last edited:

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,654
2,719
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
Because using your palm to spin the wheel is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Did no one review that with you in drivers ed?
What they did in Driver's Ed was decades ago when there wasn't much of power steering on anything. These days doing a palm turn is quite easy.

Just for fun I put painter's tape on my steering wheel and drove around trying not to touch it while making turns. It wasn't hard. Besides which, there IS a top and bottom to the yoke, only it's flat. How in the world can people get so overwrought about something this simple is beyond me. I guess they're just stuck with what they learned in Driver's Ed lo those many years ago and cannot change. Being 77 I've learned a lot of new things and adapted many times, from unpowered steering, to pushbutton shifting, to not using a clutch any more. The yoke doesn't look all that hard. It still goes all the way around, except it has flat spots on top and bottom, which you can still put your hands on!

Come on, people! Realize that change has always been with us and adapt. I feel the yoke will be easier to put my legs under when I drive, and as for going around roundabouts, who cares if you have to put your hands on a flat part of the wheel? It's not going to burn you, after all. I feel you're running around as if your hair's on fire.

If it really bothers you, you could just buy a Honda and leave the newer technology to the rest of us. And, yes, I know I'll get dislikes from this comment, but it's true.
 

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
3,687
3,853
USA
What they did in Driver's Ed was decades ago when there wasn't much of power steering on anything. These days doing a palm turn is quite easy.

Just for fun I put painter's tape on my steering wheel and drove around trying not to touch it while making turns. It wasn't hard. Besides which, there IS a top and bottom to the yoke, only it's flat. How in the world can people get so overwrought about something this simple is beyond me. I guess they're just stuck with what they learned in Driver's Ed lo those many years ago and cannot change. Being 77 I've learned a lot of new things and adapted many times, from unpowered steering, to pushbutton shifting, to not using a clutch any more. The yoke doesn't look all that hard. It still goes all the way around, except it has flat spots on top and bottom, which you can still put your hands on!

Come on, people! Realize that change has always been with us and adapt. I feel the yoke will be easier to put my legs under when I drive, and as for going around roundabouts, who cares if you have to put your hands on a flat part of the wheel? It's not going to burn you, after all. I feel you're running around as if your hair's on fire.

If it really bothers you, you could just buy a Honda and leave the newer technology to the rest of us. And, yes, I know I'll get dislikes from this comment, but it's true.
They still, in 2021, teach you to keep both hands on the wheel while making a turn. Palming the wheel is still unsafe.

Please stop making excuses for this ridiculous design choice. It’s a clear case of a man-child opting for form over function.
 

omarsultan

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 22, 2013
4,070
14,765
Northern California
The turn signals are capacitive touch buttons? That is not a huge deal, but it's also a bad idea. The first Chevy Volts had capacitive touch buttons on the center stack. Most people seemed to have the same experience with them. They are cool at first, but they quickly become annoying, and in the end, not too many people liked them. I can deal with losing the turn stalk, but they should be very clear and real buttons, IMO. Do they have any haptic feedback? That can make capacitive touch buttons slightly less annoying. I'm guessing no.
Buttons have haptic feedback.
 
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Ruffles

Member
Jun 13, 2017
467
700
Snohomish WA
I think this will be just like the single center screen when the 3 came out. People claimed it would be distracting and you have to take your eyes off the road etc. and its turned out to be a big nothing burger. Its different, you get used to it in a few days, and move on. If you truly hate it, the aftermarket will come to your rescue. Its ridiculous to claim "People will die from this design, all in the name of cool". Just stop. Tesla is not the first to play with steering wheel design and won't be the last. Wildest steering wheels ever made
 

omarsultan

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 22, 2013
4,070
14,765
Northern California
My experience has been the polar opposite of the OP. First week was a bit rough, but after that, got quickly acclimated and felt the wheel and yoke were functionally a wash with the yoke offering better design and aesthetics. However, after a month, I have really become a fan of yoke + stalkless controls in terms of ergonomics and efficiency.

YMMV
 

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