An open letter To Mr. Elon Musk regarding fog lights

An open letter To Mr. Elon Musk regarding fog lights

An open letter To Mr. Elon Musk, Chairman & CEO of Tesla Motors Corp.-

Mr. Musk-

It has recently come to the attention of the Tesla enthusiast community that the fog/ground lights have been recently eliminated as part of the Tech Package for the Model S. Unfortunately, this was done “silently” without any notice to those who had an existing car deposit or a car in the build and delivery process. In addition, the picture gallery on as well as your showrooms still display cars with lights included, thus those recently ordering have reason to believe they are still included.

It has been stated by one customer that the email reply (ostensibly from yourself regarding this)was:

“You're right, we should have said something. Essentially, the "fog" lights were not actually helpful in fog or in any reasonable scenario we could envision, and were actually bad in some situations. They made Model S worse, so they were deleted.”

While we certainly applaud not wanting to include anything adverse on the Model S, such lights are not useful for just foggy conditions. As ground lights, they allow more peripheral illumination and near-field fill lighting, which several customers have indicated is indeed useful. In addition, fog/ground lights are often considered aesthetically pleasing contributors to a vehicle’s appearance. Finally, the “solution” to the issue of removing and replacing the lamp with a plastic “filler cap” detracts from the beautiful appearance of the car.

You have previously expressed sentiment along the lines of: “We don’t want to build the best electric car, we want to build the best car period”, and as such you are competing in price and features with other luxury sedan makers. They have found a way to incorporate fog/ground lights in a safe manner that contributes to the functionality and appearance of their cars and we, as your customers, have come to expect such options to be available to us.

We request one of the following remedies:
1) Restore fog/ground lights as part of the Tech Package (including retroactive installation for all purchasers), performing whatever redesigns necessary to eliminate any “bad situations” where they may have posed a problem.

2) Reduce the price of the Tech Package by an appropriate amount, refunding any purchasers of the package who will not receive the lights. Make the (redesigned) lights available as an option for this same amount.

We, the current and future owners of the Tesla Model S, appreciate the significant advancement in design and engineering the car represents. We desire the Model S to be “World Class” in all respects. Removing features that are easily obtainable on even lesser cars is not the way to do it.

Respectfully –
Your Ever Growing Ownership and Enthusiast Community

- - - Updated - - -

I am the author of the above letter, which I wanted to keep as applicable as possible to all owners who wish to "sign" by voicing their support for.

As such, I am outlining my specific circumstances separately here: I've been considering a Tesla Model S for a number of months. The Tech Package (including foglights) has always been an option I had decided I would order. The initial description on the web site, the pictures in the gallery , online videos, and the cars I've seen in person (as recently as a showroom visit on 4/13) have always depicted fog/ground lights.

I placed my $5K deposit on 4/5, and only recently have come to realize that the lights have been eliminated. I am a big supporter of Tesla, but doing this without any notification and without changing the price for the Tech Package is not the way to continue to engender my loyalty.

I believe Elon/Tesla did the right thing by listening to customer feedback regarding items such as the floor mats, visors, etc... My hope is that this thread is a CONSTRUCTIVE venue to provide feedback that I believe the user community might wish to provide.

Finally, lets face it... this is a high-tech bad-boy of a car. It DESERVES to look every bit the advanced machine it is... c'mon let's have the awesome looking lights back... we are paying high 5- and even 6-digit prices for these machines...

dsecrist | April 22, 2013


I reserved the car in Nov '11, and while I didn't finalize until Mar '13, I fully expected fog lights on my multi-coat red vehicle when it arrives next month.

ebullio | April 22, 2013

Well put,
I didn't know this happened and would be disappointed not to get the fog lights.

dko | April 22, 2013

* signed *
I reserved in february 2012, finalized in april 2013. I too was expecting fog lights.

Norbert.Vienna | April 22, 2013

Fog lights are essential in areas where you face this kind of nasty weather
It is not a very nice move doing such adjustments secretly to the people who believe in your
Maybe you use the wires for the parking sensors which you sell to us seperatly
But please keep in mind that you promise to sell a car which improofs by the time

I agree to the letter above

san5man | April 22, 2013

I agree vehemently! The fog lights make the car look even more bas ass!!! Please include them. They are useful in low visibility situations.

Litennn | April 22, 2013

I have a Red P85 coming in May and was expecting fog lights.


tjyudman | April 22, 2013


GeekEV | April 22, 2013


Although I was not expecting fog lights because I didn't get the tech package, I do agree with the sentiment about not changing things on existing reservations/orders without CLEAR communication. Also, the computer generated vehicle pictures on the design studio and the My Garage page clearly show things that aren't a part of my car (such as the fog lights and the chrome accents) because I didn't get the tech package. If I were going based on those pictures, I would have been expecting them.

Marcel.vdbosch | April 22, 2013

A Signature performance plus without foglights. Cannot imagine that.
Expect these on my #S422 in the Netherlands aug/sept.

EJH | April 22, 2013

I agree with all of the above.
I wanted them, and still do.
(P85 Red, Toronto, May 18 2:00 PM!!!)

PS, the P85 badge comes under the same category.

I have no worries, however, as I do not believe that Tesla will leave us feeling cheated.
In the meantime, perhaps we should wait for the deliveries before we react.
Best to all.

Xfrank | April 22, 2013

Less is more.....NOT IN THIS CASE!!!

kcf2 | April 22, 2013

I'm taking delivery of my S60 in four days, and this is the first I've heard that fog lights won't be installed as part of the tech package I ordered and am paying full tech package price for. I absolutely believed fog lights were included in the tech package, and I'll be very disappointed if the lights are not installed and Tesla Motors does not make amends.

Silent | April 22, 2013

Better replace the fog lights or an outside supplier will start making add on parts that you can not control, then your cars will start looking like you did not design them and owners will take over, Oh wait, that is what you said you would do.

Listen to your owners, replace the fog lights. I am looking at an MB E-55 Model S wagon and it has fog lights, I don't want that to be the reason I get it instead of the Tesla.

jeroens | April 22, 2013

No foglight? I'm still fully expecting to get them… Were there when I ordered and assume if any change is 'announced' it is for future releases/cars.

jeremys | April 22, 2013

Picking up my car on 5/6. I certainly hope the fog lights are there. Even though I have to manually turn them on in my BMW and Land Rover, I always like to drive with the fog lights for the additional ground illumination.

CarlE_P439 | April 22, 2013

Sorry to be a party pooper: I have fog lights on my MS but I rarely use them.

mrspaghetti | April 22, 2013

If you read the info at the bottom of the design studio it says something like ”subject to change”. Also, it looks like they've added ”cornering lights” to the tech package where there were none listed before.

I don't sign this, nor could I believe anyone who seriously considered buying a Model S would not do so because of the complaint in this thread.

kilimats | April 22, 2013

wow people will complain about anything this days

Sudre_ | April 22, 2013

Even if people want the fog lights because they think they look cool they should get them if they were listed at the time of purchase. Sure TM can make changes as things progress but don't change things for those who already ordered without asking, phase them out. I don't think it would have been to hard to send an e-mail asking who, fog lights or cornering lights?... or both for a little extra.

mrspaghetti | April 22, 2013


That seems reasonable, until you realize that logic requires Tesla to put every minuscule change up for public referendum. Not a good way to run a business, in my opinion. That's exactly TM and every other manufacturer include a statement to the effect that stuff is subject to change without notice, or a poll.

If they have to wring their hands and get sign off for switching from "fog" to "cornering" lights, what's next? Taking a poll on changing the shade of red for the tail lights? The mechanism the cup holder uses to grip your Big Gulp? (Should it be those little springy fingers, or the collapsing ring style?)

borodinj | April 22, 2013

While it may be impractical to notify customers of changes like these, the reality is that Telsa is selling a premium sedan, and virtually every car to which you can compare it offers fog lights as standard equipment. Like others, I prefer having fog lights. No, I don't use them often, but I like that they are there when I need them; I also prefer them aesthetically to a blank plastic space reminding me where they should be. If Elon really believes that they were functionally poor, then the better response would be to invest in better units, not to simply remove them from the features list. Disappointing move. I get my car Friday, and I hope they will be there.

carlk | April 22, 2013

That's not good if true.

miamimd | April 22, 2013

Agree!! I will be very disappointed if I don't see the fog lights on my car.

RobS | April 22, 2013

I'm very sorry to hear this. I for one love the extra visibility the fog lights offer on my MS. To get to my house I travel through lots of winding roads and hills with few street lights, and I always keep my fog lights on. (Except when my brights are on which causes the fog lights to automatically turn off.)

Mocaptain | April 22, 2013

I would trade my fog lights for cornering lights any day,

nkohlimd | April 22, 2013

I fully support and agree with this letter. We all purchased based on the specs and description of the car. Any additions are bonus and should not be expected but are much appreciated but omissions from the specs when purchased are not fair. They made good on the alcantara headliner and I am hopeful they will do the same for the fog lights.

ddruz | April 22, 2013

Cars ordered when fog lights were specified should get them, period.

Once Tesla decided to drop them all their pictures should have reflected this immediately so as not to be misleading.

JohnnyMac | April 22, 2013

Signed. Black P85 being built and had been expecting fog lights as part of the tech package.

MSNGIRL | April 22, 2013

Wow, is this really true? I sure hope our car has them when its delivered. I use our current vehicles fog lights a lot. I don't think its fair to remove something that you were promised when you placed the order. If Tesla is going to do away with them, they need to announce the changes.

whatasteele | April 22, 2013

I really hope that it comes with fog lights I too had that understanding when ordering the car. Please tell me what else is changing. I just found out about the plus package for the performance which I would have waited for if I was told that it was in the making. The fog light debate is yet another thing that I hope they honor in time of my delivery. My car goes into production May 6th and then it should be ready a few weeks after. Please include the fog lights and the plus package for the performance (I know the plus will cost extra, but the fogs were suppose to be included at no extra charge)

riceuguy | April 22, 2013

Ok, so I get my car on Saturday with Tech Package. I probably wouldn't have noticed missing fog lights for several weeks, and while it's disappointing, I seriously wouldn't expect Tesla to refund $150 or whatever they work out to, and I'm CERTAINLY not considering canceling my order. Look, they didn't charge us more when they added cornering lights, and they've been super conservative on the specs (0-60 are faster than advertised, etc.). I get that it's frustrating, and even a disappointment, but to say you'll get a Mercedes instead? Come on people, let's be rational. If fog lights are the deciding factor between this and a Mercedes, you should seriously get the Mercedes because clearly the little challenges of dealing with a startup will drive you crazy.

mrspaghetti | April 22, 2013


What color is your car? If you're around the Rice area I'll keep a lookout for you :)

mrspaghetti | April 22, 2013

Oh yeah, and +1 @riceuguy too

riceuguy | April 22, 2013

@MrSpaghetti, after a long stint in Houston (mostly in and around the Rice area), I moved to Austin about 7 years ago. But once the superchargers are in on I-10, you will likely see my Silver 60 (no pano--silver roof, that's how you'll know it!) in the Village or at Goode Company Taqueria sometime shortly thereafter! I gather you're in West U? I'm picking it up Saturday at noon...finally!!!!

Tim10 | April 22, 2013

I hate signing things like this but agree as well. I expected my car to be delivered with fog lights and cornering lights as I ordered the tech package. Just dropping this un communicated to people who already are locked iin is kind of a crappy way to treat someone who put a deposit down 4 years ago. Yet another aftermarket additional to add to the list of a supposedly premium vehicle.

Six | April 22, 2013

I would think the proper way to handle this would be:

1) Tesla decides to make a change
2) Puts a notice on the web site of the change and the cut off date for orders before the change occurs (could be immediate but not retroactive and notice would be helpful)
3) All cars ordered after the posted change date are made with the change and those before do not have the change.

Telsa and Elon are driving for direct sales. They need to manage their customers with great communication since the do not have dealers to do it for them.

nkohlimd | April 23, 2013

agreed. Simple and fair.

myTesla | April 23, 2013

it's not only with this issue. tesla found out during last winter, that the model s experienced serious problems with the handling under cold conditions. Instead of fixing it, they just decided to introduce a cold weather packet for those who face minus degrees.
customer has to pay for lack of testing and fixing a problem?

Even before we get our car after one year being on the market?

We gave an huge credit without interest to Elon and got that back in return?


Cattledog | April 23, 2013

Six +1

Flaninacupboard | April 23, 2013

Car companies make unadvertised changes all the time. Some times it's with a "model refresh" sometimes it's just the "next year's" model, sometimes just partway through a run. Stuff moving in and out of different packages is really common.

Tesla should aim to be -better- than other mfgs, but with this they are certainly no -worse-.

murraypetera | April 23, 2013

Give us parking sensors to replace the missing lights.

jdb | April 23, 2013

I'm reading this thread and scratching my head, hard to believe that customers so worked up about such seemingly small matter as fog lights on this great vehicle. I have had signature performance for over 4 months with over 5K miles and did not even realize that I had fog lights. The headlights are more than sufficient in my opinion for visibility. And drive in the dark often, including bad weather and fog. Need to relax a little bit-car is magnificent with or without fog lights.

kubisf | April 23, 2013

A Signature Performance without foglights, it's a joke?
I am expecting the folights on my European #S200.

MSNGIRL | April 23, 2013

So if we receive a model s that doesn't have the fog lights, can we still add them? Someone mentioned the wiring would still be there and the socket would plugged, but it would be removed from the software to turn them on? The person said all you would have to do is plug the light in and it would then be available on the screen. Does that sound correct? Is it quite possible they were removed because of too many lights or some other DOT restriction? I just don't understand why. Maybe Tesla is going to make it an aftermarket option to make more money on accessories? I know they are just lights, but why go through all the trouble to put it on the car, to have it taken off?

jdb | April 23, 2013

"A Signature Performance without foglights, it's a joke?
I am expecting the foglights on my European #S200." @kubisf, You need to learn to read the posts. I did not say that my sig vehicle was without fog lights. said that I was not aware that it even had fog lights. Such small item in a great vehicle, the headlights have more than sufficient illumination. I have zero interst in whether vehicle has or does not have fog lamps. My point is that seems not worth getting worked up over such small item.

JPPTM | April 23, 2013

Just got off the phone with my DS at HQ in Palo Alto. I am waiting on a multi-coat red (pickup mid-May from Fremont). I had sent her an e-mail about a few issues, including the fog lights, and copied the e-mail to George B and Ownership. She called me pretty promptly, and confirmed that forward production of the Model S will NOT have fog lamps. I politely expressed my concern and disappointment, and the lack of any communication regarding deletion of a feature that virtually any other high-end car has. I noted that there needed to be a high-level response, and that maybe George B needed to post another blog on the subject. She could not give me a reason, but was going to push my concern up the food chain and see if someone more senior could get back to me with a good answer. YMMV.

booman | April 23, 2013

I could careless about the foglights, but Tesla's lack of communication is exactly the type of BS I expect from a Toyota/BMW/Lexus stealership.

This hurts Tesla's brand / image and needs to rectified quickly.

scaesare | April 23, 2013


Thanks for pushing this up the food chain at Tesla and updating us here. I'm inclined to call as well... perhaps with enough feedback they will realize this is not acceptable.

Please let us know if you hear anything further.


scaesare | April 23, 2013

As a note for those who don't care if they have them, or were ignorant that they even did: this thread was created for those who WERE interested in them and concerned they weren't getting them.

You can opt to NOT sign a petition, but please don't actively campaign against those who would like something if you are already satisfied. Wouldn't you prefer Tesla remain competitive with what a significant segment of customers expect of a similar luxury vehicle?


JPPTM | April 23, 2013

Follow up to my post of a few minutes ago...just received an e-mail from my DS:

Good speaking with you today! I received an answers about the fog lamps from my manager and have included it below. Let me know if you have additional questions.

Tesla continually evaluates ways to improve the performance, reliability, efficiency and cost of our products. With many Model S in customer's hands, we now have real world data to help inform our evaluations.

Cornering lamps, have replaced the fog lights and serve a valuable purpose in nighttime driving. The cornering light illuminate roadways, curbs, and other obstacles that may be outside the standard low beam's light path.
Cornering lamps will remain a part of the Tech Package for the foreseeable future. For the purposes of illuminating low and wide, cornering lamps are more effective than fog lamps.

...and there you have it....and I'm OK with it as I have hardly ever used fog lamps.