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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Yoke or not, some Teslas may need the mistaken airbag

Tesla could have put in the mistaken airbag for Mannequin S and Mannequin X homeowners who opted to modify from the accessible steering yoke again to the steering wheel, or vice versa. 

That’s in response to recall paperwork posted late final week by the federal authorities and dated November 3. 

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

2022 Tesla Model S Plaid

2022 Tesla Mannequin S Plaid

The pool of potential automobiles made a part of this recall is small. Tesla might want to bodily examine 159 automobiles within the U.S., in response to recall paperwork, and it’ll notify homeowners by January 2, 2024. 

The recall began with situations famous in Europe by Tesla Service in October. There, at the least 12 automobiles with spherical steering wheels had been retrofitted with yokes however not with the brand new airbag model designed for the yoke. An engineering research of automobiles within the U.S. and U.Ok. later decided that at the least two steering-wheel automobiles 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 automobiles to include one, Tesla wasn’t the primary automaker to entertain the opportunity of a yoke. As Inexperienced Automotive Stories identified final yr, GM had thought-about a steering yoke within the Eighties in ideas.

However there could have been good purpose 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 Shopper Stories then evaluated a Mannequin S with the yoke early on and referred to as it not only a ache to make use of however a potential security concern, recommended more difficult accident avoidance and livability points at parking speeds. 

Toyota bZ4X yoke layout

Toyota bZ4X yoke format

Toyota’s Lexus luxurious model could have discovered a option to do the yoke higher, although. As Inexperienced Automotive Stories 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 concern Tesla has needed to face in latest months. The NHTSA in March introduced an investigation of a number of alleged situations during which Mannequin Y steering wheels fell off whereas the car was in movement. That concern, associated to a unfastened fastener, prompted a small recall this previous June.

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