The new interior, which can already be ordered with the new Tesla Model S Refresh, has caused quite a bit of discussion with its rectangular steering wheel, a so-called yoke. Many commentators were of the opinion that this steering wheel shape would be illegal in the EU.
However, the Dutch authorities now contradict this. A spokesman for the Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer (RDW) confirmed to RTL Nieuws that “the shape of the steering wheel is nowhere prescribed in EU or UNECE legislation”.
According to RDW, steering wheel actuation forces must be applied. “The larger the diameter, the smaller the force.” There are also requirements for the deceleration caused by your head hitting the steering wheel. “More common rectangular handlebars”
“Many cars already have a flattened steering wheel on the bottom. Not only is it easier to get into, but it’s also easier to see the position of the steering wheel. The trend is for more and more cars to have a rectangular steering wheel. The number of turns from far left to far right is also not regulated. As long as this is from -90 to +90 degrees, there is no reason why you should have a top edge. Then two handles are sufficient. “
The steering wheel can take other forms, according to RDW. “The legislation intentionally refers to ‘steering control’ instead of ‘steering wheel.’ It intentionally gives room for alternative forms.”
With the Dutch authorities approving the the yoke, it would legal in every other of the EU countries.
Conclusion: The new Tesla steering wheel is legal in the EU.
This article was published in German.