Front windshield blurry at bottom edge

Front windshield blurry at bottom edge

Has anyone else noticed that the bottom edge (about 2") of the front windshield appears blurry and makes objects distracting?

kent | December 14, 2012

Yes, mine has the blur at the very bottom inch or so. I honestly don't see it from my driving position. I've had one passenger notice it, but I don't notice it after the first month.

tezco | December 14, 2012

Mine is also quite distorted (I'd say the bottom 2 or 3 inches are the most affected). Since I am tall, this primarily affects my view of the hood and a small section of the road immedately in front of the bumper.

David den Boer | December 15, 2012

Same here -- bottom 2 inches or so. I have to really look for it though (in most cases).

Volker.Berlin | December 16, 2012

This seems to be a general issue that has been reported by many if not all Model S owners and actually was already present on the beta models as well (at least the red one I saw in Geneva in March this year). The rear window has the same issue. I'm not sure what to think about it. Maybe it's normal, but I cannot remember noticing it on any other car so far. Certainly annoying to some degree.

JimBl | December 16, 2012

I have noticed it, but it is minor in my car and not a distraction for me. I am not sure I would even accept an offer to have it swapped out for free. That would mean a day without my S, and that's unacceptable. ;)

Tomas | December 16, 2012

Finally there is thread for this topic.
I've had my S since October (VIN 13-something) and the distortion drives me nuts. In fact, driving the car gives me motion sickness. Other than the fact that I'm prone to get it, I'm not sure what is causing it. It could be the wicked acceleration, the tight suspension... or the window distortion. I'm curious to know if anybody else is experiencing this. I'm 6'6', so i really notice it.

When I pointed it out to the guys at the service center they told me that all the cars have it- in varying degrees.
As always, they are super nice and eager to help, so they offered to replace it, which i did. Ops! The new window is worse than the first one. I figure I'll live with it a while and wait until they, hopefully, figure it out. Unfortunately, though, this may not be fixable. A while back, I was researching "drag coefficient" and came across an article that said that although a gently inclined windshield decreases drag it may result it some distortion. So, I guess the good news is that this may not be a Telsa manufacturing flaw; but the bad news is that it may be unavoidable. However, given the apparently wide range of the amount of distortion, I hope they can improve the manufacturing to minimize the problem.

Love my P85 and live Tesla!

Tomas | December 16, 2012

Also, speaking of distortion, does the distortion around the edge of the side mirrors bother anybody as well?

rwang | December 16, 2012

Yes. seeing same distortion in front and back. that really should be replaced. seems like a glass manufacturing defect.

tcunning | January 8, 2013

i just got my model-s today, and in fact posting this on the car's browser. What an amazing car. I also noticed the distoration on vin 3203. When driving i notice on the passanger side about 2 inches across the bottom. i didn't rememer seeing such a distoration during a test drive at an AMP event.

jat | January 8, 2013

I see distortion in the bottom inch or so of the windshield. The entire rear hatch glass squishes the image vertically, but that is probably a good thing since you get more visual coverage of what behind you out of what is already a pretty poor view. So, neither one bothers me (the front you can't see while you are looking at anything other than the hood).

Every other car I have had has had some distortion around the edge of the windshield, though certainly not as much as the Model S.

nickjhowe | January 8, 2013

@tcunning - congrats. The windshield distortion has been discussed at length elsewhere and is a 'feature' of the cars shipped so far.

TonyF | January 8, 2013

I've got that too - but it is in no way a detraction for me.

TheAustin | January 8, 2013

Tomas, I'm willing to bet that your motion sickness is caused by none of those things...My prediction is that your body (specifically, your stomach) is reacting more to the regenerative braking than anything else...The regen braking is a fast deceleration that slowly tapers down, whereas standard braking is a slower deceleration that gradually increases. This difference is harsher on your body, and almost certainly the cause of your (and my) motion sickness. Just think, you probably have a lot more instanced of face deceleration due to regen braking than you do quick, stomach-dropping acceleration during the course of a normal drive.

Brian H | January 8, 2013

Someone said this was standard on late-model premium cars, intended to break up sun reflections off the hood when it is at low angles to the horizon. Cracking is a flaw; the distortion is not?!

RickT | January 8, 2013

Yes, the front windshield and vanity mirrors are distorted on my Model S but I can live with it. Much worse is the limited rear view. I've adjusted the seat to the bottom stop and still can see no more than the grill of the car behind me at a stop light. Can't see much of the road behind me at all while driving. It's like driving a panel truck - you have to rely on the side mirrors. I love the car but this is a safety issue, especially for the occasional driver. Tesla should add a longer focal length rear camera to use in lieu of the rear view mirror.

jat | January 8, 2013

@RickT - I just leave the rear-view camera on in the top half of the display. Combined with the side mirrors and the rear view mirror, there are no blind spots. I don't really see the need for longer range on the rear-view camera -- to me it seems perfect as the rear window takes over where the camera fades out.

bp | January 9, 2013

Would it be useful to display the rear-view camera on the dash, instead of just on the main screen?

Brian H | January 9, 2013

No! Never! The more suggestible might get confused about whether they were going forward or backward! There're already too many accidents with people confusing the goose pedal and brake!

bbmertz | January 9, 2013

I discussed the front windshield distortion issue with a Tesla service advisor today. He indicated that while the distortion was not intentionally designed, it is not considered a defect. Tesla would consider replacing the windshield if the distortion was excessive, but would not guarantee that it would be any better afterwards due to the curvature of the windshield and since it cannot be observed until after it is installed. Since Tomas mentioned above that the distortion was worse after he had it replaced, I am going to stick with my windshield as is, since it only appears on the bottom inch in my car.

nrb | January 17, 2013

>> In fact, driving the car gives me motion sickness ...

Had the same issue, although at the time of the test drive I couldn't figure out what was causing it. I suspected the air suspension, until my wife (who was in the backseat) pointed out afterwards that the windshield distortion really made her feel queasy. Hope they come up with a fix for it in time for my reservation, because right now I won't get any passengers in the car.

Brian H | January 17, 2013

Block it?

JackB | January 17, 2013

Im wondering if a small strip of dark tinting might do the trick?


Vawlkus | January 17, 2013

That might exacerbate the problem actually.

Brian H | January 17, 2013

Not if it's opaque.

Getting Amped Again | January 17, 2013

I would rather have the opaque tint with dot transition than seeing the distortion. All of my cars have had this, albeit only for about an inch or so.

Even if the solid and dotted region extended up 2" from the bottom it would look better (and make you less dizzy) than the distortion, which I'm afraid is going to attract my eye merely because it's "there".

dstiavnicky | January 18, 2013

I hope the windscreen distortion matches my eyeglass prescription ;0

Brian H | January 18, 2013

You'd be seeing about like this: O j[e'r yjr eromfdjoy;f fodyptypm ,ysyvjrd ,u rurh;sdd [trdvto[yopxzm/

That was your post re-typed with my fingers starting out in different positions on the keyboard. <8-{

noel.smyth | January 18, 2013

i notice it only because i know to look for it. when driving and looking forward i never notice it.

gldlcks55 | February 24, 2013

Just got my 60 kw MS a week ago. I noticed the distortion immediately especially on the freeway where the white strips of the road where curving at the bottom 2 inches of the windshield. I am very sensitive to visual cues due to my motion disturbance problem and this is not helping. I'm going to have it checked and replaced if possible.

lolachampcar | February 24, 2013

I was RainX'n my windshield the other day and noticed it curved back towards the roof line about four inched down from the top. I then looked up traveling under a road sign and noticed the sign "bent" just like the center line "bends" at the bottom of the windscreen.

The top bend is definitely there to keep flow attached when transitioning from the windscreen to the roof line. I suspect the compound bend at the bottom of the screen that is driving a similar distortion is likewise an effort to control flow. Heck, once you have put on non-standard bend into the glass you might as well do two.

That's my guess.

lolachampcar | February 24, 2013

one non-standard bend.... Sure wish there was an edit button.

Jvaret | February 24, 2013

I have the same problem and the Tesla LA service center put me on a wait list for a (free) replacement windshield -- they said that Tesla has been having problems with the glass supplier and are waiting to get new windshield glass delivered that doesn't have the distortion band

Mark Z | April 4, 2013

I notice a new distortion after 6000 miles. My electrician wanted the Model S in the driveway for HPWC installation. The vehicle sat in the late afternoon sun for several hours. The interior was 96 degrees when I decided to vent the panoramic roof. Later, when driving the Model S, I noticed an area of distortion through the REAR glass that was NOT there before.

I am sensitive to this issue because I did my test drive in Scottsdale and took photos of distortion through the rear window. I was pleased that I did not have distortion at delivery and have enjoyed an undistorted rear view for months. The heating of the rear window on a normally warm day in Southern California is normal, but I had avoided this situation until yesterday. I would suggest that owners check for any distortion after delivery and monitor it over time.

One other change occurred a few weeks ago that may have added rear window heating, the recently shipped Parcel Shelf. The combination of a warm day, afternoon sun on the rear window and the dark parcel shelf would add to the heating.

kyleket | April 4, 2013

@Mark Z

May I ask, do you have tinted side and/or rear glass? If so, what percentage?

RedShift | April 4, 2013

Fremont service center guy said the distortion is 'normal'.

I guess we just have to pretend its a 'feature' and not a bug.

Glass is a supercooled liquid. Centuries old glass panes have distortion at the bottom due to
Glass collecting at the bottom. Those and the Model S wind shields. | April 4, 2013 | April 4, 2013

Sorry-- thought this was a new thread....never mind

Brian H | April 4, 2013

Red Shift;
Flowing old glass is an urban legend. Old glass panes were cut from blown bubbles, and the convention was to put the thicker part of the cut at the bottom.

RedShift | April 5, 2013

Hmmm, it seems one of my high school teachers had fallen prey to this urban legend.

I learnt something new.

Mark Z | April 5, 2013

@kyleket: No tint on any of the windows.

The distortion is visible across the hatch glass when viewed from the rear view mirror. Mine is more pronounced on the drivers side and occurs in one band between the heater "wires" about 1/3 from the bottom. The distortion during the Scottsdale test drive was worse, so it will be interesting to compare after the summer heat. While a photo can show the distortion, it is more noticeable while driving. Below is a link to a photo I took in Scottsdale during the "Get Amped Model S Tour."

pebell | April 5, 2013

@MarkZ, thanks for that photo. Until I saw it, I figured this entire thread was (and I apologize to all the other posters) "nitpicking". But what that picture shows is nothing short of outrageous. I can only _imagine_ how distracting that is when the car is actually moving!

mikefa | August 24, 2013

Even the newly manufactured Models S are still installed with those defective windshields with annoying distortion problems along the bottom edge of the windshield... i wonder why Tesla has yet to tell their vendor/manufacturer to fix that annoying problem?... a quick fix would be just to broaden the black strip on the bottom edge of the windshield.

lolachampcar | August 25, 2013

I do not believe it is a defect.

I rainX'd my windshield when I first got my P85 and noticed that it had two distinct bends on the horizontal axis. I believe these were molded into the glass to keep flow attached to the wind screen as it traverses the car. If you happen to be at just the right height in the car, or you're looking through the lower part of the wind screen, you will see a distortion at each of the bend lines. I typically only see it looking at painted lines on the road through the lower part of the wind screen.

Luclyluciano | August 25, 2013

I test drove the Tesla and I am considering buying one. I noticed the distortion right away. I currently drive a CLS AMG and have owned 3 other S class Mercedes never with distortion. So yes, it's not normal and should be considered a manufacturers defect regardless of what's said.

I really like the car but things like this Make me wonder.

Bamboo8 | August 25, 2013

I noticed it but it's like the progressive lenses with the peripheral loss your eyes adjust and after awhile you don't notice it...

lolachampcar | August 25, 2013

I beg to differ. It is not a defect if designed in. It may not be for you but that does not make it a flaw.

I do not believe any of your MBs ever came close to the Cd of MS but then they just burned more gas to make up for an inefficient design :)

MS also does not have all those buttons in your MB. Is that a flaw as well?

My point is that different is not always a flaw. It is the first time I have seen a wind screen molded on this axis but I understand why it was and like the idea that someone has thought outside the box to gain an improvement.

AmpedRealtor | August 25, 2013

I just received my P85 on Friday... the distortion along the bottom of the front windshield is absolutely normal and not distracting in any way. My 2007 Prius has the same distortion along the bottom few inches of its windshield and my Highlander has visible distortions in the windshield in the middle of the field of view - far worse, in my opinion. The reason this distortion is more visible in the Model S is because of the steep angle of the windshield (low drag) and that wipers and front hood don't block that part of the windshield.

When are people going to stop beating up this car over things that are clearly not issues and that are present in other vehicles? Now that I have the car, it's clear to me that many of the complaints in these forums are overblown and some are downright inaccurate and off base.

hsadler | August 25, 2013

Lots of model cars have this distortion. Almost impossible engineering glass to not have it and yet conform to designs for aerodynamics. Some mfgs decide to forgo the aerodynamics a bit to accommodate a flatter windshield.

A quick fix by some is to include a black band around the border of the glass to cover it up - but it is still there.

Luclyluciano | August 25, 2013

@ Lola;y CLS has a pretty sharp angle windshield also, but if you are saying the model S is extra contoured at the bottom knowing about the resulting distortion, for design reasons, ok fine. I'll buy that.

petero | October 17, 2013

MY MS is an early build(P038xx) and my windshield has this distortion. I spoke to a friend who has a near, new MS and he says his does not have this distortion or it is much less.

I am curious if this 'problem' has been corrected and what TM does about replacing the early windshields?