Tesla Models Face Urgent Recall Over Steering Yoke and Airbag Problems

Tesla Model S and Model X owners who switched between the steering yoke and traditional steering wheel may be facing an unexpected safety risk. Recent recall documents reveal that the frontal airbag, designed specifically for each steering setup, might lead to incorrect deployment during a crash, increasing the potential for injury.

Unveiling Tesla’s Steering Yoke and Airbag Issue

According to documents released by the federal government on November 3, Tesla acknowledges a crucial difference in the frontal airbag between the steering yoke and traditional steering wheel configurations.

This discrepancy poses a hazard, as an airbag not intended for the chosen setup may deploy incorrectly, compromising passenger safety. Despite the acknowledgment, Tesla asserts it is not currently aware of any injuries related to this issue.

The pool of affected vehicles is relatively small, with Tesla planning to physically inspect 159 vehicles in the U.S. By January 2, 2024, the company hopes to notify the affected owners. The recall originated from instances noted in Europe, where vehicles reconstructed with the steering yoke did not receive the corresponding airbag version. 

An engineering study in the U.S. and U.K. revealed that even some vehicles with the traditional steering wheel received the airbag designed for the steering yoke.

You may also see: Tesla Model 3 Facelift Unveiled at French Owners Club

Early Instances and Industrial Context:

Tesla introduced the steering yoke-equipped Model S Plaid in June 2021, marking a distinctive move in vehicle steering design. While Tesla was not the first automaker to consider a steering yoke—GM explored the concept in the 1980s—early user feedback and safety evaluations have raised concerns. 

Consumer Reports, in particular, highlighted potential challenges in accident avoidance and parking speed maneuverability with the yoke.

A notable example of yoke experimentation is Toyota’s Lexus RX 450e, which incorporates a variable-ratio system and steer-by-wire technology to address usability difficulties. This alternative approach aims to mitigate the challenges identified by users and evaluators, offering a potential solution for future steering innovations.

Tesla’s Broader Steering-Wheel Challenges:

This airbag-related recall is not the only steering-related issue Tesla has faced recently. Back in March, NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) began an investigation into instances of Model Y steering wheels detaching while driving. This earlier issue, attributed to a loose fastener, resulted in a small recall in June.


Q: How will Tesla notify affected owners about the recall?

Tesla plans to notify owners of the affected 159 vehicles by January 2, 2024, regarding the recall. The owners will be given direct access to information regarding the notification procedure.

Q: Are there any observed injuries linked to the mismatch in airbags?

As of the current information, Tesla states that it is not aware of any injuries related to the incorrect deployment of airbags due to the steering setup mismatch.

Q: How does the yoke-equipped Model S Plaid differ from traditional steering wheels?

The Model S Plaid equipped with a steering yoke introduced by Tesla in June 2021 represents a departure from traditional steering wheels. However, user feedback and safety evaluations have raised concerns about its usability and potential safety implications, leading to the recent recall.

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Aliha Zulfiqar
Aliha Zulfiqarhttp://thetricenet.com
With a major in English Language and Literature, I'm a dedicated SEO Content Writer. Also, I love to write about technology. With over 2 years of experience, I've had the privilege of contributing to various renowned platforms. As I look forward to the future, I am committed to refining my work and delivering content that stands out.

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