My personal after-purchase wish list: Performance Inverter Upgrade and seat/ interior upgrade

My personal after-purchase wish list: Performance Inverter Upgrade and seat/ interior upgrade

So for those of us with a little buyers remorse that we didn't go for the full P85 version (but did get the 85kw), it would be awesome to be able to upgrade to a Performance AC inverter. I know it's just one part, so it shouldn't be that difficult to pull off...

Also, for those of us who got a 2012 Model S with textile interior, it would be REALLY nice to be able to add in the lumbar support, if not the seat heaters and memory. Speaking for myself, I didn't realize the 12 way seating would not be included in the textile interior and I really need it. I would be happy to pay for it.

I figured other owners might feel the same way, and that it would be good to throw out there.

irishstoutaz | 17. Mai 2013

We would have liked the Performance Inverter and actually asked if it was possible to get a P85 with the non-Performance 85 Leather interior but was not an option.

Tesla-David | 18. Mai 2013

@IanB52. While I can't speak to the performance inverter issue, which would be a nice upgrade, I can give you some hope on your second item. I have been actively engaged in discussion with Tesla for over two months on my Textile seats and their lack of functionality. They were initially unresponsive and told me nothing could be done, which prompted a letter from me to George Blankenship. I don't know if that letter had an impact, but a week later I was contacted by Tesla headquarters and told the their engineering team has been quietly working on integration of heated/memory seats for customers that purchased textile seats with their 2012 configuration. They have not finalized the pricing for this fix as of yet, and I was told that my local service representative (James Maddux/Seattle/Westlake) would have more details when they were available. So we will be able to upgrade our textile seats in the hopefully near future. I would contact your service representative and relay this message. Keep us posted on the inverter issue, as I would also be interested if that upgrade ever becomes a possibility.

gasnomo | 18. Mai 2013

Upgrading to the Perf inverter from standard is not possible, one piece or not. The motor is physically connected to the inverter. This question has been asked and Elon and George have answered it numerous times.

shs | 18. Mai 2013


This is very good news. Thanks for passing it on. Please let us know when you hear more.

Tesla-David | 18. Mai 2013

@shs. I certainly will. Thanks to you for the information you provided, which got me going on resolving this problem.

DouglasR | 18. Mai 2013

One thing to keep in mind is that the guys at the top are engineers, not bureaucrats or bean-counters. If confronted with a problem, their natural instinct is to solve it rather than to find reasons why it can't be solved. This is particularly true if they know you are willing to pay for the solution. I had two instances where I was initially told something couldn't be done (adding a twin charger and buying a Roadster-to-S adapter), but later accommodated. Persistence pays off.

ian.a.brown112358 | 18. Mai 2013

Well, that's really good news and not so good news. I guess day to day the seats are more important. For the inverter, I might just have to wait the 10-15 years till the motor needs replacing. By then with new bigger batteries I imagine the S will be really, really fast. Just dreaming, anyway.

shs | 18. Mai 2013

Thank you Tesla David for taking this on. Every time I drive our MS, I marvel at how brilliantly executed the car is, from performance to ergonomics to styling, etc. So I have had to ask myself how features included on cars 1/3 the price of the MS were not included on my car, simply because I actually wanted textile seats rather that leather. At first it seems to make no sense from either an engineering or business point of view. But then I thought of the 40 kWh battery. Obviously Tesla wanted to offer a relatively low cost version of the Model S and configured the various options accordingly.

Management thought of the textile interior as the low cost interior, but sales, wisely or not, found that they could use the “no animal products, vegan option” textile interior as a sales tool when talking about the car to people like my wife and me. And, BTW, our demo car had the textile interior AND the full driver profile functionality. It was a very nice car. We were sold. I suspect that many if not most of the people who chose the textile interior didn’t do so for cost reasons. And very few people wanted the 40 kWh battery. Tesla obviously misread the market here.

When I realized the problem, e.g. no driver profiles, as we were finalizing, and/or approaching delivery, we were told by various Tesla representatives that we might get lucky and get the new seats for free if they ran out of old seats, we could pay $1500 for leather, $2500 for the new textile seats and lose our delivery slot, or that we could negotiate with service after delivery for upgraded seats at hopefully a more reasonable price.

So after delivery, I wrote an email to Customer Experience about the latter option. Hence a few days after writing a check for $90K plus at delivery, we were told that critical components were not included in our car’s build and that such an upgrade would not ever be possible. When I commented that it didn’t make sense for several reasons, I was told, “We had to save money somewhere. We saved money on your car”, an insensitive remark at best.

Obviously with Tesla’s current textile seat offering this problem no longer exists. It seems that Tesla has it right now. Although I have been assured, even recently, that such an upgrade was not possible for the 2012 textile seats, I am again hopeful that Tesla can put this right. I am more than willing to pay a reasonable price for such an upgrade. Too bad they were not more flexible on this earlier, e.g. I believe they were delivering car with both the old and new textile interiors in the same week in March we got our car.

DouglasR | 18. Mai 2013

@shs - I think it was less a matter of misreading the market than trying to produce a car by a particular date and at a particular price promised years before. They had to simplify, limit our choices, charge extra for options that otherwise might have been included (at a higher price), and bundle features so that the total number of combinations was manageably small. We hear so often that this is a $90k car that should have the features of other cars in that range. In truth, it is a $50k car which becomes $90k when you add the features you want. For many of us, those features were not available in the combinations we wanted (e.g., I wanted my Performance car, but didn't want the big wheels and didn't want to pay for them). For others, those features were not available at all (e.g., parking sensors, folding mirrors, etc.). And in the case of textile seats, the features were not available in the combination you wanted, even if you were willing to pay for that combination.

shs | 18. Mai 2013

@DouglasR - I’ll argue with you, but only up to a point. Coupling the higher performance motor and inverter with the 21” wheels makes sense if the 19s couldn’t handle the higher power of the performance option, or couldn’t make full use of it. On the other hand, there is no logical reasons why I should not have mirror tilt, or mirror or steering wheel memory, or my wife an I have different Steering Modes simply because we prefer the textile seats. I really don’t see that that is the same as the coupling the various aspects of the performance option.

Tesla-David | 19. Mai 2013

%shs. I used many of the points in your narrative above in my letter to George Blankenship. I am waiting to see what the upgrade costs will be to fix the missing hardware features and seat upgrade, that would enable the textile seats comparable to cars being delivered today. I think they now realize they made a mistake, but unfortuanetly we the early adopters will be on the hook to pay for the fix for that mistake. I will be surprised if it works out to be a modest cost fix.