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When will Model S get the new Mercedes stalks?

When will Model S get the new Mercedes stalks?

One disadvantage (except perhaps for long term Mercedes drivers) of the Model S is the awkward placement of the steering wheel stalks, where the blinkers' stalk is placed lower than where most drivers expect it to be. Luckily Mercedes (finally!) rectified this issue in 2011 by following a more industry standard stalk placement, albeit that the blinkers' stalk is still combined with the wipers. Also the gear stalk on the right is positioned slightly better in the 2011 design.

All new Mercedes's since then have the new stalks. But Tesla is still stuck with the old Mercedes stalks, so I was wondering if anyone new if / when they would be upgraded. It's probably best to ask this question to Tesla directly, of course.

Maybe it will only happen for the Model X or Model E, or maybe Tesla will design their own and not use Mercedes as organ-donor any longer. In any case, a relatively easy upgrade for the Model S would be to swap to Mercedes' new stalks.

Old:

New:

New (front view):

Leon Mege | 4 septembre 2013

How difficult is to just remove the stalk?
I personally never use cruise control so I would not miss it... Does anybody have a tip for me? Could you just unscrew
The whole stalk?

chrisdl | 4 septembre 2013

You can definitely snap of the stalk. I've seen it in showroom cars done by visitors being either clumsy or just wanting a souvenir, who knows. I would not recommend it, though.

If you're handy, you might even be able to retrofit the new stalks yourself.

PaceyWhitter | 4 septembre 2013

I would doubt that Tesla would change it in the MS unless Mercedes stopped making the old stalks.

As you said, Mercedes made the change in 2011 and that didn't cause Tesla to update theirs in the 2012 or 2013 MS.

If and when they overhaul the interior that change is likely.

SamO | 4 septembre 2013

@leon

If you aren't using cruise control then you will NEVER get the lowest wh/m possible. This may not matter, but if efficiency is important to you . . .

JohnnyMac | 4 septembre 2013

The Tesla turn signal placement is similar to that of my 2010 E Class. Although it is arguably perhaps a bit low, I much prefer it to the new Mercedes placement. Our 2013 ML has the new turn signal placement and I am constantly finding the placement to be (wait for it...) too high.

HGP16 | 4 septembre 2013

As others have written, everything about driving an ICE-car seems a bit off after spending time in a Tesla. We've re-educated ourselves about locks and keys, ignition, shifting, braking, and many other things. I have learned to live happily with the stalks as positioned. (But I do have a tough time when I have to drive my wife's Volvo!)

nhurst | 4 septembre 2013

SamoSam - I believe that you can get lower wh/hr without the cruise control than with. Constant speed driving is not the most efficient.

andex23 | 4 septembre 2013

@ samoSam

I am with nhurst. I have not been able to achieve a lower wh/mi with cruise. The cruise is very aggressive at maintaining speed and I find that I can easily drop the wh/mi by 10-15% without cruise and modulating the accelerator.

I thought the same as you until I drove the exact same route in similar temperatures and verified the results.

AmpedRealtor | 4 septembre 2013

I find the stalk placement in Model S to be perfect if you keep your hands where they are supposed to be on the wheel - at the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions.

fluxemag | 4 septembre 2013

The two rental cars I've driven since getting my MS had me swiping my left hand to signal and whiffing completely.

chrisdl | 4 septembre 2013

For those of you who got used to the awkward Mercedes stalks (which aren't even used by Mercedes themselves anymore): that is normal. I regularly drive my wife's E-class (and before that her ML), so I'm used to them myself.

But saying that you are re-educated to driving a Tesla, while all you re-educated yourself in regarding the stalks is an old-fashioned Mercedes part which Tesla took over to save money in developing their first mainstream car (all respect to that) is beyond me. Anyway, just saying.

gooshjkc | 4 septembre 2013

I have a feeling Mercedes isn't going to let Tesla use their new stalks until they come up with a new one themselves. Tesla should come up with their own. And if so, hopefully something far ahead then what's out there (like the 17" screen).

kback | 4 septembre 2013

@chrisdl - I'm surprised at your last post. I agree that having the turn signal and cruise control stalks similar to other cars would be preferred, because every time I drive my wife's ICE, or any other car, it leads to confusion. Then getting back in my Tesla, I have to re-adjust again.

However, there are many other differences in driving a Tesla Model S that we all have adapted to and learned to love. Examples:
-Get in, push brake, shift and go - no ignition.
-Stop, put in park, get out and walk away. No button to turn off.
-Shift lever on steering wheel column - atypical for most current cars.
-Regenerative braking - complete paradigm shift. Took some getting used to, but love it.

There are probably many others, so to say there is no re-educating yourself in driving a Model S beyond the placement of the turn signal and cruise control is certainly not accurate. Again, all that said, I'd prefer it if the turn signal were in the traditional location, but I love my Model S and this is a very minor issue to me.

Still grinning:-)

TikiMan | 4 septembre 2013

I actually now realize when I drive other vehicles, what a pain in the ass it is to have to move your left arm up to signal. Tesla did it right, it's just everyone doesn't realize all other car companies have been doing it wrong for decades.

TikiMan | 4 septembre 2013

kbackman,

You don't need to push the stalk, and hen go into drive or reverse. The e-break releases as soon as you go into drive, reverse, or neutral. Again, Tesla did it better than everyone else.

chrisdl | 4 septembre 2013

Kbackman:
I totally agree.
My previous post was in regard to HGP16's post above, and perhaps others saying that the old Mercedes stalk placement is the way it should be.
Note that I only talk about the position of the stalks, not the functionality they provide. Nothing wrong with that (except perhaps the overloaded "main" stalk for blinkers, high beams, wipers, and windshield washers).

Bob W | 4 septembre 2013

I think the new Mercedes stalks are kinda ugly.

I quickly adapted to the position of the cruise control and turn signal stalks in the Model S. I use the cruise constantly, as I think it would be way too easy for me to get a speeding ticket in the Model S if I didn't (because with the quiet motor, there are no audio clues to telling you how fast you're going). I think the new cruise control position would be much less convenient.

I love the fact that the Model S remembers that I want to keep cruise control ON (armed, but not set), all the time, unlike other cars that turn off cruise control every single time you turn off the car, requiring two steps to get it going again.

One tip: If you let a friend drive your Model S, turn the Cruise Control OFF (amber light on stalk goes off). That way when they grab it by mistake, as all new drivers do, nothing will happen.

kback | 4 septembre 2013

@Bob W - great tip re: cruise control! It's too easy to set the cruise control by mistake. My wife did just that when I was teaching her how to drive the S. I then turned it off, and problem solved.

kjohnsen1320 | 13 juillet 2014

I'M SURPRISED NO ONE HAS MENTIONED THE LIFE SAFETY ISSUE HERE! WHEN LEAVING A FREEWAY, WHERE THE CRUISE CONTROL IN USE, AND ATTEMPTING TO SIGNAL A RIGHT TURN AT THE END OF THE OFF-RAMP THE CAR ACCELERATES IF THE WRONG STALK IS USED. THIS HAS HAPPENED TO ME SEVERAL TIMES BECAUSE MY LINCOLN MKX TURN SIGNAL IS AT THE TEN O'CLOCK POSITION. IF THE CRUISE STALK WERE TO BE BENT SLIGHTLY TOWARD THE DASH (FARTHER FROM THE STEERING WHEEL)I BELIEVE IT WOULD SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. IF LEFT AS IS, I WONDER IF TESLA COULD BE FACING A LAWSUIT WHEN SOMEONE IS INJURED OR KILLED AS A RESULT OF THIS. I ALSO THINK IT IS UNSAFE TO HAVE THE CRUISE CONTROL LEFT ON AFTER THE CAR IS TURNED OFF AND ON AGAIN........ESPECIALLY WHEN THE ABOVE SITUATION CAN OCCUR ON A CITY STREET(POSSIBLY EVEN THE NEXT DAY).

J.T. | 13 juillet 2014

@kjohnsen I'm sure you've heard the term "driver error." If you cannot use your car controls properly don't drive until you can. That way no one will be in any danger which seems to be your biggest concern.

michael1800 | 13 juillet 2014

I'd suggest suing Lincoln based on your observations. The nerve of those guys!

CraigW | 13 juillet 2014

To all non-Mercedes drivers - don't despair, you are not alone in hating the Tesla-Mercedes stalk arrangement. I have had to live with it for 1.5 years and I still hate it.

Tesla: for the love of all the non-Mercedes drivers out there; please change your steering column stalk design.

I still 'screw up' my cruise control when I am trying to make a turn and it is still a dangerous situation when I have to stop and think what just happened. This stuff should be automatic, not require thought when accomplished.

jdb | 13 juillet 2014

@kjohnsen. As a long time driver of a 2009 Mercedes E Class who traded it in for the Model S and who finds the stalk placement very familiar do not understand your rant. There are probably millions of Mercedes vehicles worldwide now in use with that stalk placement which I find intuitively handy. Yes, this is not your Lincoln MKX. Hope that you do not attempt to put gas in the vehicle's charging outlet. By the way, didn't someone ever explain that a message in all caps is kind of not nice?

J.T. | 13 juillet 2014

@CraigW I never owned a Mercedes, I'm a Toyota guy and even though I'm past 60 I was still able to learn to move my hands to 9 and 3 and to use the cruise control effectively.

I am way beyond average intelligence, though.

ScottyNeutron | 13 juillet 2014

Coming from a Chrysler 300 (which has the old E class stalks), I find the Model S stalks very familiar and comfortable. Now, if they could just put a silver foot switch on the floor so that I can activate my high beams.........

chrisdl | 14 juillet 2014

Now that Mercedes stopped using their old stalks altogether, it's time for Tesla throw that old Mercedes junk overboard as well. The 20 year old Mercedes setup was bad when it was invented and it hasn't improved since. Go Tesla.

They'll disappear from the Model X before launch, mark my words.

TeslaTap.com | 14 juillet 2014

Solution #2 - Since no one liked my clever pull handle idea, perhaps a self-driving car is the answer. No more stalks, steering wheel, brakes, or accelerator! It would reduce the complaints by at least 50% and deal with those that haven't figured out how to drive yet.

bcimae.co.us | 14 juillet 2014

just 'cause the rest of the world is wrong is no reason to switch just to be like everybody else.

carlk | 14 juillet 2014

@bcimae +1. There is no absolute rule. It's just which one your are used to. It will be a pretty bad idea for people who own more than one Tesla of different generations.

AmpedRealtor | 14 juillet 2014

@ kjohnsen1320,

Your cruise control should not be enabled when you take a freeway offramp. Clearly the offramp has a lower speed than highway cruising speed, so if you are keeping your cruise control engaged long enough to fly through the offramp traffic light due to stalk placement, you've already made the larger mistake of driving the majority of the offramp at over 65 MPH. You are obviously trying to engage in a thought experiment, but what you propose is hardly possible in the real world unless you purposely act in the way that you describe.

By the way, typing in all caps is considered shouting. Word to the wise.

JPoldo | 14 juillet 2014

My wife's car is a new E-series cabriolet and I have great difficulty getting used to higher location of turn signal stalk. My slighter older E-series has it much lower and more comfortable. Maybe I won't have a stalk problem when driving a 2015 Model S next year.

chrisdl | 14 juillet 2014

You guys are killing me.

I guess that's why I don't come here so often anymore. Duh.

Galve2000 | 14 juillet 2014

All this talk about Mercedes is making me miss mine. You don't like where the Stalk is, get a different car. otherwise adapt.

What I find the strangest of all is that the cruise control Stalk feels COMPLETELY different than the other Stalk on the same side. I really don't understand how people don't register the tactile feedback -- The cruise control stalk is MUCH smaller than the other one. It is really not that hard to differentiate the two.

Then again next week will be the 1 year anniversary of the return of our last beloved Mercedes. The 1st year that my family has been Mercedes free since 1991. So I'm a bit biased.

Jonathan D | 14 juillet 2014

The location of the Tesla stock felt strange on the test drive, to be sure. After having the car for a month, now the stalk on my wife's car feels weird and the Tesla feels normal. It's all about getting used to it, and probably depends how often you switch driving different cars.

CraigW | 15 juillet 2014

Jonathan D,
You have a point.
My issue is with the basic design and I find Mercedes basic (old) design to be deficient. The primary reason is that the stalks are too similar and too close together. When you are in cruise control it is too easy to tap the wrong stock when planning to turn. Then your car makes an unexpected adjustment and the human has to stop and think about what to do. This is dangerous when it happens at 60-70mph, especially when it could easily be designed around.

TeslaTap.com | 15 juillet 2014

And this Mercedes is easier to understand? I count 13 buttons on the front of the steering wheel, and with 6 stalks another 27 switches/positions, for a total of 40! There may be more, but that's all I could see from the photos.

The Tesla has 7 on the front of the steering wheel (including the horn), and 20 switches/positions on 4 stalks for a total of 27.

Brian H | 16 juillet 2014

Always remember the stalks are positioned for a 9-3 driving style, not 10-2. Reduces risk of broken arms if airbags go off.