- Tesla recently unveiled a revamped version of its popular Model 3 sedan.
- Tesla fans have applauded the sedan’s new looks and longer range.
- But some don’t like that Tesla moved the turn signals to buttons on the steering wheel.
You know what they say about reinventing the wheel. Well, Elon Musk is reinventing Tesla’s turn signals, and some fans of the company aren’t too happy about it.
The electric-vehicle maker unveiled its long-awaited, refreshed Model 3 sedan on Thursday, introducing a slew of upgrades that have Tesla devotees swooning: modernized styling, ambient lighting, longer range, and more.
But Tesla also said goodbye to the Model 3’s steering-wheel stalks, a decision that’s rattled some fans. Some went so far as to say they wouldn’t buy the new Model 3 because of the lack of stalks.
Look inside the new Model 3 and you’ll notice there aren’t the usual pair of stalks protruding from the steering column. The turn signals have been relocated to a pair of tiny buttons on the left side of the steering wheel. That’s the part that people seem to be most mad about.
The windshield spritzer is on the opposite side. To shift into drive, reverse, or park, Tesla owners will need to use their car’s touchscreen. (Previously, the Model 3’s gear selector was the right stalk.)
Users on Reddit and X complained that the blinker buttons would be cumbersome to use, particularly in situations where you need to signal while turning. In a normal car, the turn-signal stalk stays in the same place and is easily clicked no matter where the wheel is rotated. If you were making a sharp three-point turn in a parking lot in the new Model 3, however, the buttons could be upside-down and backwards.
“It’s going to be terrible in countries that have roundabouts, that’s for sure. All the changes are so hot except for this one,” one Redditor said. “The old man in me would either fumble and press the wrong buttons, or just not bother indicating at all lol.”
Others said they’d prefer easy access to basic features and that it would be difficult for them to overcome years of muscle memory. Many called the decision just plain “stupid.”
“Wow that’s a lot of improvements. But I hate how they removed the stalks,” an X user said. “I’d very much rather have physical buttons & controls for crucial everyday controls.”
Some said they simply wouldn’t buy a Tesla equipped with the new way of signaling and selecting gears.
“It’s a dealbreaker for me,” one Redditor said. “It’s just too annoying, and I’m not going to compromise on turn indication.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
Tesla made the same update to its more expensive Model S sedan and Model X SUV a couple of years ago. But those models cater to wealthy EV enthusiasts, and Tesla doesn’t sell very many of them. The Model 3, on the other hand, is a huge seller and is supposed to be for everyone. As more mainstream EVs hit the market, a sedan without turn signals might become a tough sell.
There’s good news for anyone bothered by the direction Tesla is going here. There are plenty of Model 3s out there with regular turn signals — and once the new models hit the road, used ones are about to get really cheap.