The yoke is most definitely no joke. Some or all of Tesla’s first 25 deliveries of 2021 Model S Plaid sedans on Thursday evening featured one of the automaker’s most controversial details: the yoke-style steering wheel.
The feature set off plenty of debate when it was revealed in first photos of the Model X Plaid and Model S Plaid in January. Although it was expected to join the lineup at some later date—when it had been given more of a third-party safety blessing, perhaps—there it was, in the first models built for sale.
Earlier this year, the yoke surprised everyone—even U.S. regulators at NHTSA, who told CNET then that it “cannot determine if the steering wheel meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.” Then in March it released a statement confirming that it was “actively engaged” with Tesla.
Stalkless steering wheel in 2021 Tesla Model S
Now NHTSA is unwilling to…