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No fully leather-free (vegan) option being planned for the Model 3

Discussion in 'Model 3: Interior & Exterior' started by PrimumViveri, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. PrimumViveri

    PrimumViveri Member

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    There has been a lot of discussion of the materials used inside the Model 3, and whether there are vegan-friendly options. When it was announced last summer that Tesla was switching to a non-leather synthetic material for all its seating/interior, media coverage widely touted this as a win for those seeking cruelty-free alternatives. The one possible exception was the leather-wrapped steering wheel, but articles mention that alternatives have been made available upon request.

    I recently received an invite to configure my Model 3, and didn't see any mention of the steering wheel material in the process, so I contacted support. Unfortunately, based on the response, it does not seem to be possible (or even planned) to have a fully leather-free Model 3:

    > Please be advised that the steering wheels in all Model 3’s at this time are wrapped with leather.

    > Please be advised that the interior is made with a premium engineered material, with the exception of the steering wheel. As it stands now, we haven’t been made aware of plans to change the steering wheel material.

    I wanted to post this as to advise anyone who might be assuming that the "non-leather interior" includes the steering wheel. My hope is that an alternative will be made available soon, otherwise I'll be canceling my reservation.
     
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  2. 03DSG

    03DSG Active Member

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    Conflicting information, following thread Post #1:

    Model 3's Non-Leather Steering Wheel

    After learning that Model S and X have leather steering wheels as standard, I was concerned about what the Model 3 would have. Though some folks have requested vegan steering wheels for their cars, it was hard for me to imagine the same for the Model 3.

    I sent an email to Tesla sales to ask for more information. The steering wheel on the Model 3 does not have leather. Yay! But the entire car may not be vegan, however. Boo.

    Here's the response:

    Tesla Sales said:

    My name is Chanel and I’m an Inside Sales Advisor here at Tesla. Thank you for your interest in our vehicles and products. Model 3’s are leather-free because unlike Model S/X, Model 3 does not have a leather steering wheel. Please be aware that our interiors are not 100% vegan due to various adhesives that may not be actually vegan; however, It is free of any animal hides. I hope this information helps!
     
    • Informative x 1
  3. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

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    Is it really that bad?


    If you do, I move up one spot. Tanks
     
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  4. PrimumViveri

    PrimumViveri Member

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    Just following up with further confirmation from Matthew (an Inside Sales Advisor) that there is no vegan option for the Model 3:

    >Thank you for your email! My apologies for the delayed response. The steering wheel in the Model 3 is made of leather, just as is it in our Model S and Model X vehicles. There is no option to request a different material on the steering wheel.
     
  5. doubleohwhat

    doubleohwhat Supporting Member

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    I've been told the Bolt LT is mmf (moo moo free).
     
  6. dwolvin

    dwolvin Member

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    Can't speak to the glue, but no leather in my 3, just picked up last week.
     
  7. jeremyz

    jeremyz Member

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    When I asked Tesla, this is the information I got back:

    The steering wheel on the model 3 is a non-leather material. It is a premium engineered material that lasts longer than leather, commonly found on private jets and yachts.
     
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  8. fr100

    fr100 Member

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    The steering wheel doesn't feel too much different than the seats or armrest. Maybe it's not exactly the same material, but it's not drastically different from what I can tell.
     
  9. PrimumViveri

    PrimumViveri Member

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    Thanks for the comments, all!

    @doubleohwhat, great to hear, I've been looking into alternatives, and the Bolt is definitely on the list.

    @dwolvin: Can you clarify how you were able to determine that the steering wheel material isn't animal leather? When I looked at the display model in the store, the material (and the way it has stitching, etc) did make it seem like it was actual leather.

    @jeremyz: Interesting, it seems the right hand's not talking to the left (because I've consistently heard the opposite from Inside Sales and the rep in the store). Where did you receive this response from?

    Another recent article seeming to say the steering wheel isn't synthetic:

    > Plus, it’s just the upholstery that’s made of the fake stuff, so vegans will still have to dirty their hands with a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
    Alternatives to Leather Upholstery
     
  10. jbadger

    jbadger TR#506, 3#1206

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    Hmm, my steering wheel feels to be the same material as my seats. Also, PrimumViveri, that article you linked to doesn't site any sources.
     
  11. Rob R

    Rob R Member

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    It is pathetic that Tesla cannot give a consistent answer to a rather basic question. I would prefer a leather free car, but not being a vegan it is not essential. Does any maker sell a fully vegan car, including adhesives etc?
     
  12. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    I've had cars with leather steering wheels all my life, but if I had the choice, I would opt for some alcantara-like material that is often found in race cars. So much more grip, plus a very pleasant touch-and-feel.
     
  13. Daniel in SD

    Daniel in SD Member

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    I doubt anyone makes a fully vegan car. They get parts from suppliers all over the world. I recently learned that many tires are not vegan (stearic acid).
     
  14. mongo

    mongo Active Member

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    Given that petroleum based products (gasoline, oil, plastics) are derived from crude oil which is the partially reduced remains of marine organism such as fish, it is all dependent on how recent of a death you consider vegan...
    Fossil fuel
     
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  15. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    An alcantara material wouldn't last for a life of a car. I've had it on shift-knobs before and it wears out pretty quickly.
     
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  16. adaptabl

    adaptabl Member

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    Real leather is the best.
     
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  17. Daniel in SD

    Daniel in SD Member

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    I'm not a vegan but I'm pretty sure that is wrong. Buying non-vegan tires results in the killing of animals today, that's the difference.
     
  18. drawfour

    drawfour Member

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    I'm not vegan either, but my understanding is that it's about whether or not the animal was intentionally killed, as opposed to having died a natural death.
     
  19. dwolvin

    dwolvin Member

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    I'm not exactly sure how I'd prove it to any satisfaction, but I't fairly sure the steering wheel is synthetic. I'm a motorcycle rider most of the time, and this stuff isn't like even the fanciest Italian leather. It feels like rubber.
     
  20. RedModel3

    RedModel3 Member

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    Hmm. I test drove a car in Nashville yesterday (privately owned) and the steering wheel certainly didn't feel or look like leather.
     

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