Model S

Why is Tesla removing the "LOW" regenerative braking setting???

I am hearing from reliable sources within the company that Tesla has removed the “Low” setting for regenerative braking, and I am trying to find out why. The “Low” setting has been a life-saver on numerous occasions on slick, icy, snowy road surfaces.

No possible rationale comes to mind why Tesla would want to remove such an *essential* safety feature of the car. Until I get a decent explanation, I can’t in good conscience download and install any more software updates in my car, as I need the “Low” regen setting as we enter winter. Which means every time I get in the car, it now bugs me to download software, and I guess it’ll be doing that for the next six months or even permanently.

Anybody know the reason, and also, in which specific software update is the "Low" removed?


  • It’s not insider info. Owners have noted it for months on brand new vehicles. It’s not something that would affect your old car with a FW change to the best of anybody’s knowledge. Zero evidence that it’s a safety issue since you don’t know what else has changed concomitantly in newer cars. Rumor was that it allowed them to increase the EPA range.
  • If you learn how to control regen with the accelerator pedal you can have anything from zero to maximum anytime that you want.
  • @murphyS90D
    Ice and unexpected slowing can throw older models into a slide. Has nothing to do with modulating the pedal skillfully when a deer jumps out. Neutral can sometimes save you, especially in a RWD car.
  • > @Bighorn said:
    > It’s not insider info. Owners have noted it for months on brand new vehicles. It’s not something that would affect your old car with a FW change to the best of anybody’s knowledge. Zero evidence that it’s a safety issue since you don’t know what else has changed concomitantly in newer cars. Rumor was that it allowed them to increase the EPA range.

    Well my vehicle is June 2020, Long Range+ Model S. It still has the LOW setting. I have found from numerous first hand experiences going back to 2013 that the LOW setting is essential to slowing down on icy/snowy road surfaces. I learned the hard way: almost wiped out at speed on an Interstate that, around the bend ahead, suddenly turned to ice and snow as a snow squall passed by and dumped a couple inches on the road. Letting go of the accelerator pedal caused the car to swerve 45º one way, then 45º the other, and I was just about to lose control of the car when I realized it was the regen kicking in and acting as a heavy brake so I actually had to accelerate gently to "release" the braking as it were. Ever since, I've used the LOW setting for icy roads, and not had that problem.

    Question is, why the hell would Tesla sneakily remove such a feature -- a SAFETY feature -- without explaining to owners why they're doing it? If there is newer, smarter technology in the car that eliminates the need for a LOW setting, fine, but EXPLAIN it. And I don't mean waiting for Elon to get around to answering a question about it from one of his 40 million followers on Twitter. I mean, issue a detailed explanation up front, maybe as a blog post on the Tesla site.

    Communication: the one thing Tesla is atrocious at, is the one thing we need most desperately at times like this.
  • You’re not listening. I’ve been telling people for 8 winters to use low regen in icy conditions. You do not have the most recent car that had low regen removed and have no idea if the technology now addresses the traction control issue. Maybe CTFO, especially since it does not even apply to your car.
  • I can't believe that even with low regen missing, that you are not better off in a AWD Tesla than a typical 2WD sedan in adverse weather...

    I try never letting off the pedal and going to full regen, to improve ride smoothness for passengers, and to reduce the power going to the batt, and regen, which increases efficiency.

    Have a half million miles in 2WD manuals. It is a skill that is well practiced.

    Obviously, for those that actually have ice, low regen is another tool in the toolbox, but not as important as winter tires and a well practiced driver IMO.

    Growing up in the upper midwest in the 70's, most everyone got along without all the fancy tech we take for granted now. Sandbag in the trunk and snow tires, almost no one had 4WD.
  • BH - Don't you think Tesla should address this, especially now that winter is approaching? Oh that's right. Tesla doesn't communicate with customers. They just add and remove features willy-nilly.

    Contrary to what Tesla designers think, not everyone drives the car in coastal California.
  • Also not a safety issue. You can modulate pedal pressure identically as you would with the brake pedal. Question is whether or not Tesla is going to be (or already has) implementing anti-lock braking into regen. Or perhaps the opposite of slip-start. My thoughts without actually knowing, is 1. +1 @Bighorn to increase EPA rating. Or 2. so that Teslas can take full advantage of electric propulsion to reduce wear and tear of parts like brake pads. My take is that Tesla does NOT want to service their vehicles. They want nothing to do with making extra parts for repairs that could otherwise be avoided, and have those parts be manufactured for new vehicle sales rather than unnecessary maintenance.
  • @barrykmd
    One of Tesla’s earlier blog posts was about people living with a Model S north of the Arctic Circle. And of course, Norway is a huge market.
    Like for the OP, this subject matter and Tesla’s communication regarding it is entirely irrelevant to their car and future purchases, in your case. As such, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to discern your actions from those of a bona fide troll.
  • Bjorn Nyland ran his M3 into a snowbank last year.

    Bjorn lives in Norway where there is snow, and is experienced in winter driving as shown in his vlogs.

    Therefore, we can conclude that all Tesla's are unsafe at any speed.
  • Bjorn also has a history of doing crazy shit with his cars to generate views😅
  • BH - This forum is overwhelmingly populated by the Koolaid crowd who will follow the Pied Piper of Fremont anywhere. It's virtually impossible to get honest answers here, if it doesn't show Tesla in a positive light. perhaps that's why activity on this forum has dropped off so much recently.
  • No one here is drinking Tesla koolaid. We love our cars and we push against FUD. When we experience problems we report them and when problems solved we report that as well.
  • Attempts to “provide balance” have jumped the shark.
  • I was hoping Tesla's own forums weren't as bad as TMC when it comes to true believers, partial information, and confirmation bias, but, well, that doesn't seem to be the case with some of y'all.

    Can't turn to Tesla for info, can't turn to the owner community for info. Kinda sucks.
  • How many very recent owners have experienced ice yet, do you think? Your assertion that the new tech is dangerous is unfounded and alarmist. Whatever. The sky is falling, but you don’t even own the car. Bizarre.
  • OP, sorry you feel that way. I would say don't worry be happy and rice Tesla.
  • UPDATE: I checked with a Tesla executive and the message I got back was my particular car will have the "low" setting for regen "for the lifetime of the vehicle" and that only much more recently-manufactured vehicles (mine was manuf in May 2020, bought in June 2020) have "low" (in fact, "low" and "standard" both) removed as features. So there's been a change to new cars. Am very curious how the new cars handle ice/snow. I guess we'll find out. Anyway, I'm relieved my recently-purchased S won't lose the "low" setting.
  • Exactly. See first post.
  • evcarfan91 - If you have a good rapport with this executive, perhaps you can ask him what other changes were made in the new cars without low regen so it isn't unsafe in winter climates. Any current speculation about new safety features is purely that - speculation.
  • Ha, one does not generally have a good rapport with Tesla executives. They choose to have a good rapport with you, or you are chopped liver. I'm chopped liver.
  • > @Bighorn said:
    > Exactly. See first post.

    No, not exactly. A lot of rumours and speculation by hyper-confident superfans doth not make for fact. Unless I get it in writing from Tesla, I don't consider it fact. I still consider Tesla's bungling of this whole episode just that: a classic bungling of communications between the company and the customers. Completely normal for Tesla, unfortunately.
  • You defiance is charming. Go salve your ignorance.
  • Whatever
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