Deletion of lighted vanity mirrors and rear led reading lights

Deletion of lighted vanity mirrors and rear led reading lights

We have received our time to build email and we were very excited about finally doing so until we read the report about there being no vanity mirrors with lights in a car which was going to cost us over $109000(before rebate) and was touted as the world's best "Premium"/Luxury car. It was the last straw for my wife. She was ready to put up with the lack of cup holders in back, cheap console etc. but no vanity mirrors with lights did it. Now she wants me to cancel and get an ICE car like a MBZ, BMW or Jag etc. What a shame! I really enjoyed the handling and performance but they are removing features which are standard or optional in $20K cars. It just so happens that my wife is senior exec with an international news wire and knows a lot of columnists and media people. She had been excitedly telling them about our new car but now you can imagine reading articles with headings like "Tesla customers canceling orders over no vanity mirrors and cup holders in rear" or 'Tesla makes a great car for the extinct Spartans" etc. etc.

We are not the only ones irate over this. There are a lot of upset people over at The Tesla Motors Club site - .

I wonder who made This "brilliant" decision at Tesla motors.

pbrulott | July 30, 2012

Thanks for your post njvx. I have to admit I was always fearfull of those little things that added together would be a deal breaker. I'll continue to wait and see as my turn will likely be Q1 2013. Maybe by then, they'll find a solution like the radio antena for the non pano-roof.

Tesla wants to inovate... with the powertrain, the battery, the LCD dashboard but they said they didn't want to inovate on the exterior design (Elon said that). Well, i start to think they should have left it at that i.e. create a luxury interior design from what exists today on the market in that segment. Just too many comments on the topic to be unoticed

BTW I can swear I saw a post talking about " Changes on the Spec web page" post yeaterday and can't find it anymore. It was specifically talking about those two deletions due to rear headspace and fron visibility for tall drivers. Anybody saw this post? Was it deleted?

stevenmaifert | July 30, 2012

@pbrulott - There was indeed a thread about " Changes on the Spec web page" It disappeared sometime yesterday. When I tried to access it from my browser history, I got an "access denied" web page from Tesla. Don't know why and won't speculate.

Cindy.holland | July 30, 2012

I also read this yesterday so you were not imagining this!

Crow | July 30, 2012

My wife must not be a very typical woman. Her reaction to that rumor was, "Who uses that thing, anyway?" I agree with her. I can't ever recall needing a lighted vanity mirror. It's too bad that it is so important to you. Maybe 2.0 will be more suited to your taste.

I honestly don't think there are a lot of people irate about this. I think there are a lot of people who don't care and a few who are upset and posting about it constantly.

BYT | July 30, 2012

I am defiantly getting a Model S, I am not in an uproar about the loss of Vanity Mirror lights, but I’m also not happy about it and I can’t say I care less about it, because I do care. Interior lights and checking the mirror at night is still important to me if not for any other reason, important to my better half.

mbcaffe | July 30, 2012

admittedly is disappointing that some amenities are not there, however it took quite a few years to put in cupholders and lighted mirrors. I am just happy to get a fantastic sports sedan! I am happy to trade in my BNW 535.

Brian H | July 30, 2012

Who are you defying?

andex23 | July 30, 2012

You want nice cupholders, buy an RV. It has TONS of them, plus more reading lights than anyone could use at one time. It literally has a kitchen sink! That's luxury.

Mel. | July 30, 2012

When did tesla delete the lighted vanity mirrors and other bathroom lights? I had no idea that they were planning on trying to turn the S into a super minivan.

Cattledog | July 30, 2012

I think for many of us it's simply a worry that there will be death by a thousand cuts. BTW, I posted a picture to that "Changes on the Spec web page" page, it's unfortunate if there is censoring going on of (mostly) constructive criticism.


nvjx | July 30, 2012

stevenmaifert@a... | JULY 30, 2012
@pbrulott - There was indeed a thread about " Changes on the Spec web page" It disappeared sometime yesterday. When I tried to access it from my browser history, I got an "access denied" web page from Tesla. Don't know why and won't speculate.

I guess this thread may disappear soon too if there is too much criticism of TM policies. However, you will find over 10 pages on this topic at Tesla motors Club site here :

TonyF | July 30, 2012

Will they still have an unlighted mirror - or no mirror at all?

Suprkar | July 30, 2012

There was indeed another thread and I posted to it. Basically I waited to reserve my Tesla untill I could see the interior. I saw the alpha in Princeton NJ and immediately made my reservation. I thought the alpha interior was very nice and Tesla would improve on it. I was very let down when I saw the beta. I hoped the changes made to the beta interior were just temporary but I guess not. I test drove the car at the NY event. Good looking from the exterior and great technology, fast and all but the interior just looks cheap and not well thought out. I want this car very much, however I am faced with a choice. I drive on the inside of the car and would like the extras I have become used to to be included. Could it hurt to make the interior a little more luxury class? I am in the mid 4000 reservations and have to decide if I want to spend a considerable amount of money on a car with an interior I am not verry happy with. I know I could just drop my res and let everyone move up and maybe that is what will happen.

pbrulott | July 30, 2012

thanks folks,

my wife uses the vanity mirror really often and just told me it is deal breauker. she had a smile on her face because she finds it is a lot of money for a car. i told her she will have space to put her purse on the ground between the seats. net result is even. i'll wait until I talk to her about the rear reading lights :-)

Michael23 | July 30, 2012

I heard the reason was visibility and if so then I appreciate it being 6'8.

TikiMan | July 30, 2012

Wow, it's amazing what some people can't live without. My wife likes her visor / vanity mirror too, but, just an FYI... I have owned a LOT of nice cars where I couldn't remove the makeup stains from the visor, because my wife is constantly fixing and re-fixing her makeup in the car. So for me, I am ecstatic my wife won't be staining my $100+k car with her makeup stained hands. Besides, I can buy her a better lighted vanity mirror that will fit in her massive Prada handbag, for a few bucks.

As far as rear cup holders, it's a simple fix, and not that big a deal for me and my family. Also, Costco sells USB powered LED map lights that work fantastic on my laptop in dim light, so again, simple fix.

On the other hand, the center console isn't a simple fix, so I am glad Tesla is working on adding this as a future option. Otherwise, I don't know enough about the sound-system to judge yet, however, it's fairly important IMHO, and not something easy to fix.

Either way, I doubt

Brian H | July 30, 2012

Sounds to me like this should be a $100 option. For S 2.0, maybe even something more creative, like a passenger side fold-up dash mirror w/light! That way the sunshades aren't "compromised".

TikiMan | July 30, 2012

BTW... There is a HUGE reason why I don't share my cars with my wife. She treats her cars like $hit, and I don't. It's a good thing she has no say-so over my choices... LOL! :-)

BYT | July 30, 2012

The problem goes beyond our specific tastes. The majority of folks will see this as a HUGE design flaw and will no doubt point it out. I wast Tesla Motors to succeed for the future of my own purchase and the longevity of my portfolio that contains TSLA in it. Elon and Company also have a pretty big commitment to the Model S so it's imperative, regardless of how we feel, to address the basics of every car and the real needs. I would love to hear the justification for not having these basics, maybe they have something entirely different, a great alternate solution...maybe? The problem is, yes, only so much information is shared, we see something omitted from a specs page and we run with it because all we can do is speculate and until we get our cars, have a lot of damn time on our hands apparently... :)

@Brian, Maybe I am defiantly getting a Model S as my wife asked if there is a 30 day return policy if I am not fully satisfied with my car after taking delivery. I meant to say definitely however... :P Maybe also determinately? I am a little worried about the little "changes" that are coming after I have really committed and will loose $10k at this point if I wanted to go back. Secretly, I wouldn't dream of it, but don't tell my wife that. (Hope Larry doesn't read that). :D

My point is that some things are necessities in cars and are expected. Maybe there is a vision here that is beyond my nose and I am not seeing it? I can ask my rep., but how can I be sure that even they know what they are talking about?

Here's to more speculation and waiting until I take delivery and have all my questions answered.

BYT | July 30, 2012

wast = want

Timo | July 31, 2012

BYT: The majority of folks will see this as a HUGE design flaw and will no doubt point it out.

What do you mean by "this"? Lack of rear cupholders, rear reading lights or vanity mirror (I like that name) light? I think those people that want those suffer from chronic vanity. No normal people need those, if you want those so badly that it is a dealbreaker go buy Maybach and hire a driver. In nvjx case it sounds like his wife already has a driver.

Model S is a drivers car that can carry your family with you. If you are not happy with that cancel your reservation and stop whining about insignificant vanity issues.

BYT | July 31, 2012

Timo, I am not whining and I am definitely NOT canceling my Model S.
You missed the point of my post entirely I think? Take a completely random survey of cars being sold over the last 20 years. How many cars equipped for 5 or more passengers are missing the reading lights in the rear or vanity mirror lights? I would venture to bet, not many. Tesla Motors maybe taking a page from Apple Computer to satisfying a niche market but I think they want to appeal to the broader market in time as well. TM has no problem selling to Timo, THAT'S GREAT, but Timo is one of a few, not 10's of thousands that Tesla will need to market to after all reservations are filled.

Like I said, I don't know what alternatives TM has to offer yet for these and I am taking a wait and see approach. I will not hold my opinion back however for anybody as that would be a disservice to Tesla Motors. I am obviously not in the minority here if even if does at times appear to be the case.

Brian H | July 31, 2012

loose = lose.

loose as a goose = lose it or use it (or versey vicey ;) ) .

MandL | July 31, 2012

Nintendo, iPad, Kindle Fire, iPod Touch... who uses an external light source for reading/entertaining themselves any more? I honestly can't see someone looking at this car for the first time and thinking anything beyond "no light in the vanity mirror? odd, but whatever." Granted, we've been navel gazing and obsessing about the Model S for months or years and any little tidbit, regardless of how much truth there is to it, can spin us up. It's extremely difficult to wait and see at this point, but when it comes to this kind of stuff that's what I'm going to try to do.

Timo | July 31, 2012

@BYT, my post was not only for you. I should have started new paragraph from "I think those people...". I just get disgusted by whining over things that I see as extremely trivial. I see something like lack of concealed storage about one million times more important than some vanity mirror light. I bet people that find vanity mirror light important enough to actually complain about it in car like this are extremely tiny minority. Definitely not majority.

I believe that majority of whiners about things like that here are just shorting TSLA stocks. Really trying to find something to complain and make big deal about something minor. nvjx starting post especially sounds a lot like that.

Cattledog | July 31, 2012

MandL +1 on tablets, some people are already there, many more headed that way. However, the purpose of those light in cars these days is more about safety and convenience - in my 5 series, lights go on when I unlock the doors when entering, go on when door is unlatched when exiting. Passengers can see the ground, see each other, see where their car is when parked in a large lot, see the creepy man in the back seat waiting to steal their cupholder, etc. Perhaps Tesla feels the lights in the door arms and at the rear view mirror do enough of that - I haven't seen the S in a dark environment, just two malls.


Crow | July 31, 2012

You know, I really wish we could hear about some deliveries so we could obsess about something else.

jerry3 | July 31, 2012

-- see the creepy man in the back seat waiting to steal their cupholder

No wonder there are no rear cup holders.

nickjhowe | July 31, 2012

Seems to me that we can nit pick forever over specific features, but at the heart of the discussion is a "spirit vs letter of the law" argument.

Yes, for many people it doesn't matter that much that there aren't cup holders or rear lights, but Elon has repeatedly said "...not the best electric car but the best car in the world..." Not having features that are in the most basic of runabouts seems counter to the spirit of his intent, if not the letter.

"Best" is a combination of handling, safety, economy, performance...and features.

The list of features that are common to virtually every "premium" sedan but are missing from the Model S seems to get longer and longer every day.

I really hope that the features are not being removed to meet the "at least 25% gross margin" commitment Elon has made to the market. On call after call he has held that up as a sacred cow. It won't cost much to include some of these features, but the costs add up and they all eat into the margins.

Am I still going to buy one? Yes. Am I frustrated that features seem to be being taken away or were never there to start with? Yes. Would I pay an extra couple of grand to get some of the "missing" features added into the car? Absolutely.

Larry Chanin | July 31, 2012

I am a little worried about the little "changes" that are coming after I have really committed and will loose $10k at this point if I wanted to go back. Secretly, I wouldn't dream of it, but don't tell my wife that. (Hope Larry doesn't read that). :D

Hi Ben,

I'm sorry too late I read your remark. This crude forum doesn't have the ignore feature. ;-)

Just kidding I would never ignore your contributions. :-)


Brian H | July 31, 2012

Elon further qualified the best in an interview, IIRC -- best in "all the dimensions that matter". Interior features don't make the best/matter list, it seems!

weeandthewads | July 31, 2012

A thread dedicated to lighted vanity mirrors and rear led reading lights? People willing to by an ICE because they don't have this option? This all about the engine technology and the range the batteries can provide. This is what changes the world and we want to complain about a missing light or mirror?

BYT | July 31, 2012

Thanks Larry! :D

@Brian, I am very loose with my spelling and grammar, I don't want you to lose our on correcting me however... ;), I hear you, in the grand scheme of things when the world looks back on the transition from the ICE to electric cars, this thread will never be mentioned.

On the other hand, my wife will certainly mention it, or my teenage daughter in the back seat who prefers a good paperback to the Kindle I bought her will bring it up for sure, and often. I just want the nagging to stop (is what I am already thinking).

I also want the Model S to be the best car it can be, and the devil is in the details. I don't mean to pick at a scab, just pointing out that maybe a little TM supplied NEOSPORIN may help ease the pain?

Brian H | July 31, 2012

That's very selfish! Puts all the work of matching loose approximations to actual intent on each and every one of your '00s of readers, instead of on the single writer. >;)

I.e., efficiency demands that you make that effort 1X instead of making all of us struggle to understand. It's only fair!!


About the reading light: I saw a late-nite commercial for a kind of clamp-light that would suffice. Clamp on one end, flexible body, directed beam. Only $9.98 + S&H! 2nd one free! Or SLT. |8-0

David70 | July 31, 2012

Come on Brian. You don't have to struggle any more than I do to know what Timo really means.
We all make typos occasionally and don't notice them until after hitting Submit. It's not worth going back and correcting every little mistake.

Brian H | July 31, 2012

Heh. I was teasing BYT, not Timo. Anyhow, half the (anglophone) world seems to have lost the ability to use loose, lose, loss. English makes a very poor phonetic language, of course. The merger of so many source languages means consistency is impossible; the benefit is a huge vocabulary and very flexible structure.

StephRob | July 31, 2012

I really can't believe there are many people who truly care about a lighted vanity mirror. As one of the rare, actual, make-up-wearing gender on this forum, I can tell you that the very few times I have tried to use a lighted vanity mirror at night, the light was so poor as to be useless. You're better off with a streetlight and a compact mirror. However, I think people are just worried about the creep towards a stripped down Yugo-like interior.

Crow | July 31, 2012

I just think my wife should put her make on in the bathroom. If she doesn't, I'll tell her that she looks beautiful just the way she is.

Crow | July 31, 2012

Edit....make up!

EFusco | July 31, 2012

Theses "little things" are important. Maybe not to everyone, but to those who they are important to they are really important and can be deal breakers.

My order's in and I'm thrilled to be getting the car, vanity mirrors or no.

But I'll drive this car on the order of 15,000 miles per year, often with my 3 children in the car with me. Often shuttling between work, school, sports, band, home and other activities and I hope to have this car for at least the next 9-10 years.

I can promise you that the lack of rear seat cup holders is going to be a recurring and frequent annoyance due to the fact that at least once a week we are forced to eat on the go with only minutes between kids' activities. I know that's not ideal, you know it's not ideal, but it's reality.

A car designed and promoted as a family car by Elon (hence the rear facing jump seat) leaving out an important element of lifestyle functionality is worrisome and I can assure you anyone who is not absolutely sold on having an EV and only an EV will most certainly have second thoughts given the importance cup holders are given by most other car makers (and not just RVs folks).

Brian H | July 31, 2012

Yugo-like interior! Harsh and cruel, you are. Never rode in one, but I remember them selling for about $1,600, cash. ;)

brianman | July 31, 2012

"put her make on in the bathroom"
I think you just Freudian-slipped a bit of your love life. ;)

Tiebreaker | July 31, 2012

I had friends who in the 80's bought Mercedeses and BMWs, then sold them for lack of luxury, like cup holders and lighted vanity mirrors. Then they bought Cadillacs and Town Cars - "you get so much more luxury for a lot less money". BMW was and still is notorious on no or useless cup holders. See them all now...

Crow | July 31, 2012

I am going to ask my analyst about that. He'll probably say its my Mom's fault.

bsimoes | August 1, 2012

I do wish people would stop offering to pay more for things that should come standard. Sorry, but I feel that when I'm paying $80,000 for a car, a few things should be expected.

jaq1 | August 1, 2012

My first time to the forum so please take it easy on me. P# 6116 and the removal of the vanity mirrors and rear lights is not a deal breaker for me. However, when you are creating "Luxury" car it is not unreasonable to expect luxury features on such a car. My concern stems from the target market that Tesla hopes to attract. At 70-100K you are talking about a niche vehicle. I suspect that many within this group are uncompromising when it comes to the purported standards that should be apart of a luxury car. Yet Tesla seems to be requiring us to compromise on vanity mirrors, compromise on cup holders, and compromise on rear seat arm rests. Again, I am willing to compromise for thing that in my estimation are relatively small. I certainly, will not berate anyone who is disturbed by these nickle and dime changes. I say voice your concern now and pressure Tesla to get it right the first time.

Schlermie | August 1, 2012

I won't miss the lights on the vanity mirror, but I'm a little bummed about losing the reading lights in the back seat, because both of my kids tend to use those frequently. Sure, I can pick up another lighting source for the back seat, but those are a nuisance when they're not integrated into the car.

jerry3 | August 1, 2012


For what it's worth, Tesla has never said "luxury". They have said "premium". I take the difference to mean that they are using quality materials and state-of-the-art engineering but won't have all the luxury gizmos.

BYT | August 1, 2012

First of all, Welcome jaq1!!

"Luxury" or "Premium", I believe interior lights fit under a much lower category like, "Standard". It doesn't have to look like the inside of a night club, but people need to be able to see where they are sitting, where they dropped something, see where to sign their check before they deposit into the ATM in a questionable neighborhood, check that their hair is straight or look to see if there is food stuck between their teeth at night before the paparazzi flash bulbs catch you as you exit your Model S.

I will reserve judgment until I see how illuminating the car is under a no moon evening in the woods.

We will not know anything for sure however until we see a final product.

Steve_W | August 1, 2012

Every person determines for themselves what is important. I find it annoying that certain individuals take the attitude of no big deal if the car does not have item a, b and c, it is an electric car and accept it for what it is. If you wish to accept the car without certain features, that is your choice. But please do not belittle those that are upset with the fact that the car does not include features that they consider should be standard in a car (regardless of whether it is an EV car or an ICE car) are omitted.

I am very concerned by the direction Tesla is taking. I want them to succeed. I have no stock or other interest in them other than liking their car. I had 2 reservations (onbe signature and one production). I canceled the signature because the car does not include features I fell should be found in a $100k vehicle (e.g., blind side detector, collision avoidance system, etc,). These features are important to me. they may not be important to you. To each their own. That is why there are many, many cars to choose from.

A $20K car includes vanity lights and rear passenger lights. I do not understand why Tesla has deleted these features.

I am going to defer the production car for 6 months so I can see what the car actually includes before deciding whether to get the production model or cancel my order. I can not repeat on this forum what my wife said when she heard that the vanity lights and rear lights have been deleted. Comfort features are more important to the majority of car buyers than the performance of the car. Tesla needs to realize that, or they will have a hard time selling cars after the early adopters get their vehicles.