The controversial handlebar yoke used in the Telsa Model S may face a new problem: material quality. Several owners have posted photos on Twitter showing the coating on the yoke breaking down, leaving unsightly bald spots on the surface.
While steering wheel coatings deteriorate over time, the main issue is the short timeline over which the Tesla yokes are falling apart. Twitter user the kilowatt had a Model S Long Range fitted with the yoke of which three large chunks were missing after only 24,000 miles. Popular TikTok Creator jf.okay posted pictures of a quickly humiliating yoke on a Model S Plaid with only 12,000 miles on it. Twitter personality Meet Kevin also shared his experience, claiming that he had seen similar problems with his own Tesla after driving just 4,000 miles.
The Twitter community has put forward several theories to explain the problem. Many posters quickly turned against the owners, accusing them of causing the trouble through their personal vices.
Meet Kevin was jokingly accused of spilling beer into the interior, with a Twitter user hunting for a mugshot of his DUI arrest. Posters examined images and criticized jf.okay especially for excessive fingernail pressure on the yoke. Others falsely claimed that excessive alcohol consumption could be causing the problem by leaching ethanol from the skin. Fewer cut theories blame hand sanitizers or lotions that affect the coating on the yoke.
Some of these theories are more ridiculous than others, but in general, many of the posts on Twitter seem designed to unfairly shift the blame from Tesla itself. Either way, it seems unfair to expect drivers to handle their handlebars — or yoke — with velvet gloves.
Normally, The ride would contact the automaker for comment on the matter. However, Tesla’s famous lack of a PR department makes it impossible. If there is any official comment on the matter online, this article will be updated accordingly.
The basic truth is that most automakers have found ways to create steering wheel finishes that will last 100,000 miles or more without undue degradation. In the real world, people are going to use hand sanitizer and lotion. Some people even sweat excessively through their hands and even drink alcohol! Most people expect to be able to live normal lives without their car experiencing excessive wear and tear from such basic activities. But as always, Tesla’s quality issues aren’t exactly new.