Yoke or not, some Teslas may need the fallacious airbag

Tesla might have put in the fallacious airbag for Mannequin S and Mannequin X house owners who opted to modify from the obtainable steering yoke again to the steering wheel, or vice versa. 

That’s based on recall paperwork posted late final week by the federal authorities and dated November 3. 

The frontal airbag itself is completely different between the 2 steering setups, and Tesla lays out the hazard: “An air bag that isn’t designed to operate with the alternative steering yoke or wheel might deploy incorrectly, rising the chance of damage throughout a crash.” Tesla says it’s not conscious of any accidents associated to the change, although.

2022 Tesla Model S Plaid

2022 Tesla Mannequin S Plaid

The pool of potential autos made a part of this recall is small. Tesla might want to bodily examine 159 autos within the U.S., based on recall paperwork, and it’ll notify house owners by January 2, 2024. 

The recall began with situations famous in Europe by Tesla Service in October. There, at the very least 12 autos with spherical steering wheels have been retrofitted with yokes however not with the brand new airbag model designed for the yoke. An engineering examine of autos within the U.S. and U.Ok. later decided that at the very least two steering-wheel autos had acquired the airbag supposed for the yoke. 

2022 Tesla Model S Plaid

2022 Tesla Mannequin S Plaid

Tesla delivered its first yoke-equipped Mannequin S Plaid in June 2021. Whereas it and the Mannequin X are the primary regular-production autos to include one, Tesla wasn’t the primary automaker to entertain the opportunity of a yoke. As Inexperienced Automotive Studies identified final yr, GM had thought of a steering yoke within the Nineteen Eighties in ideas.

However there might have been good cause why different automakers hadn’t made the leap. Those that took the earliest deliveries of vehicles with the yoke appeared to put on the reward of the setup, however Client Studies then evaluated a Mannequin S with the yoke early on and known as it not only a ache to make use of however a attainable security concern, steered tougher accident avoidance and livability points at parking speeds. 

Toyota bZ4X yoke layout

Toyota bZ4X yoke format

Toyota’s Lexus luxurious model might have discovered a solution to do the yoke higher, although. As Inexperienced Automotive Studies sampled final yr, a Lexus RX 450e yoke (not but for the U.S.) combines steer-by-wire tech with a variable-ratio system permitting simply 150 levels of rotation lock-to-lock—probably avoiding most of the points CR pointed to.

The yoke isn’t the one steering-wheel challenge Tesla has needed to face in latest months. The NHTSA in March introduced an investigation of a number of alleged situations by which Mannequin Y steering wheels fell off whereas the car was in movement. That challenge, associated to a unfastened fastener, prompted a small recall this previous June.