Norwegian Driving Schools Ban Teslas Due To Its Turn Signals

The lack of a traditional turn signal stalk have put Tesla at odds with Norway’s driving schools. 

While many Tesla-stans will welcome any changes with their EVs in spite of how ludicrous it may be, not everyone however may be too keen on some of the deviations from convention that the American automaker is pushing. And the most high-profile example of this is to be the recent case of Norwegian driving schools banning the use of Model 3s as instructor vehicles, because it lacks a normal turn signal lever. 

A trend that first began in the Model S and X, Tesla has since replaced the conventional indicator stalk with two force touch buttons embedded in the steering wheel of its recently updated Model 3. And this change has hence begun the current imposed rejection of Norway’s driving schools in using this EV to teach learners how to drive. 

Now the nub of this turn signal issue surprisingly stems from it being supposedly harder to use the indicator while on the road. It has been reported by driving school instructors for the force touch buttons (which are funnily enough to both be squished on just one tiny corner of the steering wheel) to be more difficult to access and activate than the conventional stalk, which in turn poses an increased risk of potential incidents.

Moreover, this problem is actually more widespread than what many might have imagined to be a rather trivial matter. In fact, a forum of 3,000 driving instructors in Norway have already echoed the sentiment for its students, particularly young and inexperienced drivers, finding it challenging to operate the turn signals on these new Teslas, especially when navigating roundabouts.

If taking Tesla at their word, the reasoning for doing away with the stalk is that it believes activating a turn signal will soon be unnecessary with the advent of self-driving. Cynically too, given the automaker’s current favourite hobby is ditching every part possible in their cars in the supposed pursuit of minimalism, removing the physical stalk does also save the EV manufacturer on another part (and hence cost) to produce. 

It would be remissed to mention as well that modern Ferraris do indeed feature a similarly stalk-less turn signal setup with its twin indicator buttons on either side of its typically busy steering wheel. But expectedly, driving schools don’t tend to have a fleet of prancing horses as learner cars. 

Tesla’s issue with Norwegian driving schools comes amid wider problems it faces in the Scandinavian region, as strikes against the EV manufacturer in Sweden (which began in October last year) is only growing stronger every passing day. Though in spite of all this, its 82.4% market share in Norway for 2023 means that the automaker still healthily tops the country’s new car sales chart for the third straight year.  

And it does bring about the rather interesting question of if everyone is driving around in one particular type of car with an inherently odd quirk, should the country bend its driving instruction to suit what the population may be most familiar with?

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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