Good news, bad news

Good news, bad news

Yesterday, I've got a phone call from my DS. The good new: I'll be picking up my P85D at the San Diego Tesla Service Center tomorrow, December 19. The bad news: instead of the ordered "new-generation" seats, the car will come with the old-style seats. The "new-generation" seats will become available in "January or February." At that time, Tesla will deliver a loner to my home and drive my car to the Tesla Service Center. When the seats are replaced, my car will be driven by Tesla back to my home. Convenient? Yes, but I am still disappointed.

brian_in_TX | 18 December 2014

There is so much information about this exact scenario on these forums you can't possibly be surprised by this news? I'm sorry you are disappointed but I know you will love your car.

jbunn | 18 December 2014

What are you disappointed about? Would you rather they schedule delivery when the seats are ready? You get your car tomorrow, and you get the new seats when they become available, and you don't really need to do anything.

Sounds like the best possible compromise, and more than Tesla needed to do.

mrspaghetti | 18 December 2014

@jbunn +1

wrinkledoc | 18 December 2014

Champagne Problems, what if when we get the next gen seats we find out that our collective buttocks preferred the original seats.

mrspaghetti | 18 December 2014


heh, when I was a kid I threw a fit because I didn't get to watch a movie when it came out. When I finally did get to see it, the movie sucked.

Mystery Lab | 18 December 2014

@wrinkledoc, Interesting thought, but the mental image is not a pleasant one.

My guess is that my PD (due for pick up on Dec. 28) will have the same arrangement. I'm thinking that this lets me try out both kinds of seats.

Looking forward to my post Christmas reward.

TytanX_ | 18 December 2014

Why update the map with end of 2014 when it will be out of date again in 2 weeks?

Bighorn | 18 December 2014

My condolences.

sundoc | 18 December 2014

hmm... from my vantage point that's good new, good news :)

johncrab | 18 December 2014

"I like this Veuve Clicquot but it isn't a vintage year." :)

FelixMendeldog | 18 December 2014

Obviously, the “Next Generation” Recaro seats are in tight supply. I should not expect them to become available as an option on cars other than the P85D for six months to a year.

@valrud, you really should not confess (even to yourself) that you’re “disappointed”—you’re picking up a P85D tomorrow. In the immediate future—when Recaro makes enough of these new seats—Tesla will swap your seats. Tesla is going to additional trouble and expense so that you can enjoy your car until the Recaro seats arrive instead of doing the easier/cheaper thing: they could have just delayed completion of your car.

sbeggs | 18 December 2014

good point!

Anthony J. Parisio | 18 December 2014

I heard that the airbags in the new seat were not right. Made for a bad batch of seats that are being redone. This is the reason for delay. Suppliers!

carlk | 18 December 2014

You're apparently another glass half empty type of guy. I would look at this as getting a new car now and will have a new set of seats in another couple months. Two happy occasions for the price of one.

Red Sage ca us | 18 December 2014

Uhm... What color are the seats that need to be replaced? Black? Grey? Tan?

david.baird | 18 December 2014

Can you imagine any other car manufacturer offering such awesome customer service? Nope...

Captain_Zap | 18 December 2014

Maybe the title should be "Good News and Better News".

Bighorn | 18 December 2014

I felt sorry for myself because I had no Next Generation seats, until I met a man who had no feet.

LEvans | 18 December 2014

Yikes, you are whining about this when they are making extraordinary efforts to deliver your car in December so you have it for the holidays and then make it right by replacing the seats in your car with no inconvenience to you?

No other car manufacturer would do this. First of all they would have shipped your car with the defective seats with improperly configured airbags and then slowly and quietly changed over to the improved seats in January or February putting you and your loved one's safety in jeopardy.

Is that what you really want? If you are still feeling "disappointed" about Tesla installing new seats in your car in January or February, over the holidays go volunteer at a hospital and you will see what real "disappointment" is about.

Paul1839 | 18 December 2014

What is Tesla going to do with the "used" seats after the swap?

trixiew | 18 December 2014

@Bighorn +3

I might be pissed if they gave me my finished car but didn't have the battery yet. Upgraded seats? Pffft. Have a field day, be wild, drink a gigantic latte in them.

Xerogas | 18 December 2014
Captain_Zap | 18 December 2014


Maybe those with older seats could get a discounted upgrade.

trixiew | 18 December 2014

hahahahaha Xerogas!

donaldmeacham1 | 18 December 2014

I talked with my DS tonight and my P85D will be coming with the performance seats to be exchanged for the up graded seats when they are available. No big deal

MileHighMotoring | 18 December 2014

Am I the only one thinking about all the sweet deals on lightly used Tesla seats we're going to see in a few months? I'll take two.

Iowa92x | 18 December 2014

Outstanding this is news to you. My 12 yr old daughter knows the seat debacle.

Tiebreaker | 18 December 2014


Ralph_G | 18 December 2014

Oh gosh, that's terrible for you. I'd love to see another manufacturer even try to come close to that kind of service. Somebody help me out with the total millions of cars GM had to recall this year to fix a part they new was defective but yet continued to use it. Ya, you've got it tough.

tga | 18 December 2014

If I were a cynic, I'd say this is less about "great customer service" than it is about getting as many deliveries done in Q4 as possible...

Captain_Zap | 18 December 2014


I think the greater factor is that they don't want these people to wait any longer than they have to.

jbunn | 18 December 2014

We have friends that are picking their new car up tomorrow (Friday) at Fremont. I think there are getting a regular S85, but they also had some seat related delay that pushed their delivery date back twice with a total delay of a week.

It was coming down to the wire as they have vacation planned, and wanted to take possession before Jan 1, to get the tax deduction on the '14 taxes.

Are their now three different types of seat? The base, an upgraded base model, and the next generation due soon?

geekdad.604 | 18 December 2014

I think @valrud has every right to feel disappointment.

Irrespective of the price of these P85D's or the financial status of the people who buy these cars, the fact is that Tesla makes build to order cars. Buyers get to pick their specific options and pay for them accordingly as a complete product. While I wouldn't call this a bait and switch it's still not completely cool to offer to sell customers on a feature and short-deliver on it later.

Yes, Tesla has a good track record of service and, I believe, a genuine desire to make customers happy. It sounds like they are going to make good on their commitment to deliver the final product, but it's late nonetheless.

And while yes, buyers get to have their cars sooner this way, Tesla also benefits from being able to deliver their products and book revenue and #'s of cars sold sooner. They also prevent a factory backlog if this truly is a supplier problem.

I'm sure there will be some kind of goodwill that Tesla could offer for the inconvenience, even though it's a small one.

I for one hope my P85D gets delivered with next gen seats later this month. :)
(Though I'll be prepared if they don't now that we've all read about this issue).

Brian H | 19 December 2014

Uh, what would you have had them do? Stop all deliveries? Get real.

geekdad.604 | 19 December 2014


Uh... No. I didn't say that. My point was for those telling @valrud he shouldn't feel disappointed.

Given the same situation, I would be happy to have my car in hand. And, yes, feel slight disappointment that my car wasn't truly complete after paying over a buck-fifty. First world problems indeed... For REALZ.

hpjtv | 19 December 2014

Now if they replace the seats, there will be a whole bunch of "used" seats for the rest of us to upgrade, what then will they do with the even more "used" seats from these upgrades?

bonaire | 19 December 2014

Slightly used seats may be useful during the reconditioning of the cars going into the CPO program.

J.T. | 19 December 2014

@geekdad.604 Delays happen in every industry. When you're dealing with air bags especially after the recent recalls it's only prudent for tesla to insure that every car they deliver is as safe as possible.

Isn't that compensation enough?

Those of you who have yet to actually own and drive your own Model S truly have no idea how you're going to feel. So instead of projecting disappointment and letting it become a self fulfilling prophecy just stop airing every emotion you have because after you have the car for 10 minutes you're going to feel pretty foolish about trying to make this some kind of issue.

FelixMendeldog | 19 December 2014

@ Xerogas – exactly! +100 and LOL

@ geekdad.604 — your wrote “…And while yes, buyers get to have their cars sooner this way, Tesla also benefits from being able to deliver their products and book revenue and #'s of cars sold sooner. They also prevent a factory backlog if this truly is a supplier problem.”

Consider instead that is an enormous inconvenience for Tesla, and will put them to considerable time and expense, yet they are bending over backwards for their P85D customers so that they may enjoy their cars until the seats arrive.

• Is it truly a supplier problem? Yes, this is self evident: Tesla doesn’t make the seats, Recaro does. So if Tesla is willing to deliver the the car—complete except for the seats—then for whatever reason, Recaro didn’t supply Tesla them with enough seats. Airbag problems seem more likely than other explanations. It is also obvious that Recaro promised the seats to Tesla by the time Tesla needed them to deliver P85D orders, but Recaro has fallen short. Tesla will take the blame, and absorb the cost of making it right.

• Cost: for each P85D ordered and delivered which needs a seat swap in the immediate future, Tesla must pay for at least all of the following, and likely many other things which I’ll think of while I’m doing the dishes immediately after I press “Submit”:

–Tesla must install seats which will shortly come back used/depreciated/possibly damaged—like when my wife left the ice scraper on the seat, then put her heavy book-bag on top of it…grrrr…

–Tesla must deploy loaner Teslas during the seat swap. Loaners must be insured, maintained, driven to the customer, etc; and loaners can’t be sold while they’re on loan, especially if a large number of seat swaps are about to happen in addition to the regular use of loaners for warranty work.

–Tesla must deploy rangers with the loaners/flat bed trucks to fetch the customer’s car, no matter how far from a service center.

–Tesla must pay their techs to pull the ‘old’ seats, install the newer Recaros, and test all seat systems: e.g. airbags, occupant weight sensors, power adjustments etc.

The P85D is a high margin product—and it needs to be when one considers the enormous cost of development compared to the tiny volume of cars expected to be sold. But margins shrink rapidly when—for example—supplier issues cause delays which cause unforeseen expenses (and we can be certain there were other expensive problems about which we will never know.)

There is no benefit for Tesla, rather an expensive and inconvenient hassle with which they are dealing in the best possible way for their customers. I’m sure they’re not thrilled with Recaro right now, and I can’t imagine the ability to report more deliveries in quarter four of 2014 is any consolation; but they create much goodwill when they do things like this for their customers. It’s really hard to believe anyone thinks complaining about the handling of this seat thing is justified.

williamweiss21 | 19 December 2014

Life is short - no whining, please.

iTesla | 19 December 2014

Tysons Corner Design Center received a silver P85D with the new seats. I sat in one (they didn't offer a drive although they had just returned from a quick spin) and the seat felt snug to my sides. A full figured person may not like he tight fit. If valrud after comparing the two designs wants the black performance seats, I'll sacrifice mine for his/hers.

neilhamrin | 19 December 2014

I think differently.
Life is long- no whining. So boring to hear all the negative comments for so many long years. Love my model S and hope you all remember how fortunate we all are that Tesla exists and we benefit big time.
Merry Christmas

Sam_S | 19 December 2014

Maybe you'll like the old seats and can keep them while negotiating a rebate from Tesla. | 19 December 2014

Mine is coming with the old seats next Tuesday. Cannot wait! Certainly Tesla want to move as many P85Ds as possible by the end of the quarter but I cannot imagine another company jumping through as many hoops to please their customers. As a Tesla shareholder as well as an owner, I will likely wait until I am near a Service Center next spring to get the seats swapped to save The Company the cost of the flatbed picking up and delivering my car with the new seats. Hopefully the DC store will have a P85D today when I drop by so I can finally sit in the new seat!

J.T. | 19 December 2014

#jfe to save The Company the cost of the flatbed picking up and delivering my car


Haggy | 19 December 2014

This way, you get to do all sorts of things on your seats and not have to worry about it too much, knowing that they will be replaced. Just don't drip on the carpets.

Captain_Zap | 19 December 2014


The carbon fiber spoilers were not ready when my car was completed due to a CF supplier snafu.

When Tesla got them in stock and the time came for my spoiler to be installed, I told Tesla to just keep it. I didn't miss the spoiler one bit! It turns out that I prefer the look of the red car without the spoiler.

Besides, I wanted my car yesterday and I would have taken it even if it had just a drivers seat and a due bill for the rest. ;-)

mclary | 19 December 2014

Cry me a river!!!


drron | 19 December 2014

At least Tesla did the right thing even though it cut into their profit. They did not do what Chevrolet did with the pickup trucks that had the poorly designed gas tanks under the front seat that when the vehicle was t-boned some of these tanks exploded killing and maiming people. Some of the Chevrolet executives documented that it would be cheaper to just pay off the families of those killed and maimed rather than have a recall and fix the problem. At least they thought it would save money until these heartless memos/discussions became wasn't so cheap after that discovery.... Dr. Ron

Brian H | 19 December 2014

The old seats are also updated from the original design. Probably work better for all-modes driving than the bolstered swervy kind.