VW Is Ditching Capacitive Touch for Real Steering Wheel Buttons



Photo: Volkswagen

A second automaker has realized that going all-out on capacitive touch buttons is the wrong move. First, Honda backtracked, giving the 10th-generation Civic a physical volume knob to replace the touch-sensitive controls. Now, Volkswagen’s CEO says the company will follow suit.

Thomas Schäfer posted on LinkedIn saying, among other things, “We are sharpening our portfolio and our design, plus creating a new simplicity in operating our vehicles. For example, we are bringing back the push-button steering wheel! That’s what customers want from VW.”

This is joyous news for anyone who has ever used the capacitive-touch steering-wheel controls in various Volkswagen products. First introduced in the Golf, the touch-sensitive control pads made their way to the Arteon, Jetta, ID. Buzz, ID.4 and Tiguan. Well, Volkswagen has realized the error of its ways, and has decided to go back on the trend it helped start. Sweet baby Jesus and the grown one too! It’s a miracle.

Photo: Volkswagen

We aren’t entirely sure when the change will take place, but it’s likely Volkswagen could bring back clicky, easy-to-use physical buttons as part of a mid-cycle update or model-year change to the above mentioned vehicles.

As for the capacitive touch buttons found elsewhere on the dashboard, VW hasn’t said anything about those. There’s hardly a real button anywhere inside most of VW’s most recently updated models, a design choice that has made some people very frustrated. If we’re lucky, the capacitive-touch backlash will be enough to encourage every automaker to back away from this technology.

Schäfer also talked about stepping up the brand’s electrification efforts. He said VW plans to launch 10 new electric vehicles by 2026.

“One thing is clear: We are continually working on offering our customers what they really want,” Schäfer wrote. “#Volkswagen will be the love brand once more!”

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