Tesla has raised the price of the yoke steering wheel option for the Model S and Model X in markets around the world. The substantial price increase adds another layer to the complex history of the controversial steering wheel design, from being the only choice for early buyers to now being an expensive add-on.
According to an update to the online configurator on Tuesday night, buyers in Canada who want the yoke steering wheel will now have to pay $1,350, a massive 285% increase from the previous price of $350. The price increase was similar in the US, where it now costs $1,000, a 300% jump from what is used to cost ($250). The price increases didn’t affect just North American buyers, with similar increases being reported in other markets where the flagship vehicles are sold, like China, South Korea, Taiwan, and more.
Tesla has increased the price of the Yoke steering wheel option for the Model S/X.
🇨🇦 $1,350 (was $350)
🇺🇸 $1,000 (was $250) pic.twitter.com/tBoaS2HJ9t
— Drive Tesla 🇨🇦 (@DriveTeslaca) September 6, 2023
The yoke steering wheel has been controversial since it first appeared in the Model S and Model X refresh in 2021. It was the only choice at the time, with CEO Elon Musk saying it provided an improved driving experience and gave an unobstructed view of the driver’s display on the dash. It was quickly panned by many of the first buyers, with many saying it was difficult to use in day-to-day traffic. This concern was mainly due to Tesla not releasing it with steer-by-wire, which would have reduced the turning radius of the wheel, making it much easier to use in parking lots and other scenarios where a full turn of the yoke was required.
Despite Musk saying the yoke was here to stay and that there was no chance of a round steering wheel option to come, Tesla heard the feedback and changed their minds, adding the round steering wheel option earlier this year.
When it was first added the round steering wheel was made standard, with buyers having to select the yoke if that’s what they wanted. It was also a free add-on. Soon after Tesla decided to make it a paid option, listing it for C$350 or US$250.
With the massive price increase now, the question on the mind of many Tesla fans is whether it means it is now considered a premium option, or whether Tesla is trying to discourage buyers from picking it. The steering wheel has had a number of ongoing quality issues, and is still waiting for the horn function to be added to the center airbag, something which Musk said was coming soon with a software update in early 2022.