How About Us, MS Pioneer Owners?

How About Us, MS Pioneer Owners?

I have had my Tesla MS-85 since early July 2013 (ordered late May 2013). Since then there has been quite a few upgrades. Parking sensors (rear one is just a software upgrade), Alcantara headliner, Sub-zero weather packages (for my fellow proud pioneer MS owners in very frigid areas) and the yet to come Drop-in console and Retro-fit cup holders in the rear for our little ones.
Can Tesla please remember that without us, there won't be all the headlines and the profits and the current mad rush and allow free upgrades in cases like the rear parking sensor where it can be done as a software upgrade and offer us hardware upgrade at a reasonable price for the other!

I hope I speak on behalf of everyone that owns a MS since day one! What do you all think?

If you are a Tesla employee just looking in, PLEASE tell remind Elon that the first and still the best advertisement he has for Tesla is us, the current owners!!!

judimasters | August 28, 2013

I'm in full agreement! We "Early Adopters" deserve to be upgraded out of respect!

portia | August 28, 2013

I don't think the rear parking sensor is software only! people have reported/posted photos of the little sensors in the back.

I don't think ALL upgrades are necessarily possible for cars already delivered. What happens in other cars? Or in computers or phones you bought 3 months ago when they come out with new models? You wait 3 years or you trade in the not so old one if you really want it.

It may be a nice-to-have request, but hardly a must for Tesla to do when hardware is involved. We have been getting free software upgrades all along, with new features not available when we first took delivery of the car.

My VIN is in the 400's, and I don't even consider myself a pioneer!

ThomasK | August 28, 2013

I was P42, received my car in January 2013. I waited 3 years for my car. I was one of the first 60s. I do not feel I am owed anything by Tesla. They've actually bent over backwards to handle out of courtesy any fixes to things that are wrong. These upgrades were exactly those. Upgrades from when I bought my car. In answer to your question what do I think, I disagree wholeheartedly.

J.T. | August 28, 2013



Carefree | August 28, 2013

I've had my P85 since March and I don;t feel at all that I am entitled to free hardware upgrades. Where would this stop? Endless upgrades for any new feature Tesla releases in the next years?

I think we need to stay realistic - you would not even ask BMW or Mercedes for anything similar.

negarholger | August 28, 2013

I've had my P85 since March and I don't feel at all that I am entitled to any free hardware upgrades. I want Tesla to prosper and not spend engineering/service resources on "free" upgrades. Best value I can get is if Tesla is around for a long time.

negarholger | August 28, 2013

And by the way I don't feel like a MS pioneer owner, I feel very blessed.

BYT | August 28, 2013

For those who haven't had their Model S as "long" as the originator of this post, I can appreciate where he is comming from. He is a Signature holder and so his down payment consisted of a $40k lump some that sat there and didn't accumulate any interest for that amount of time and is a much bigger risk then the guy who plunked down $5 but I am also aware that one man's $40k may not mean as much as another man's $5k

Those things being said, I don't feel Tesla owes me anything as a Signature holder, but I do feel left out when I see the upgrades offered now that I know I would have opted for when I plunked down my $40k as well.

Liz G | August 28, 2013

@BYT think you misread the original post. OP has only had his car since July of this year not last.

TSLAPWR | August 28, 2013

Pioneer??? He's had the car since July 2013??? That's a month ago!

mdemetri | August 28, 2013

Free hardware upgrades, absolutely not.

Hardware upgrades for a reasonable price, absolutely yes.

I think a good example of this issue is the P85+ upgrade. This was not available to me for $6,500 when I ordered my car in January. Would I have got if it was available at that price? Likely. But the retrofit is $13,500 if I want it. Is that reasonable? I am sure this price is to cover their costs, but should it not be offered somewhat below costs for early adopters? This is close call but I think a price somewhere between $6,500 and $13,500 would be much more reasonable.

TommyBoy | August 28, 2013

I bought one of the first Apple II computers ever for sale. I paid $2000 for it and was just a kid. I saved for two years and was going to purchase a car but I bought the Apple II instead.

Steve Jobs never gave me anything. Not even an iPod 25 years later.

I should have held on to that early Apple II. It was darn near a prototype. Probably be worth tens of dollars today.

Maybe I'll hold on to my S as well and reap the rewards.

dnew92130 | August 28, 2013

Free hardware upgrades for life, promised on the web site:


carlk | August 28, 2013

What is this? You purchased a nice car it's not like you donated your money to Tesla. I can't even ask for undeserved favor from charitable organizations just because I made donations to them.

There are forum members reconfigured their purchases and paid more just to get the parking sensor. There is one member sold his P85 just so he could buy a new one with the P+ package. Do like what they did and pay up if you really like the upgrade and really care about Tesla's success.

Brian H | August 28, 2013

Earlier buyers got to drive their cars sooner, and have enjoyed them longer.

jat | August 28, 2013

I completely disagree. If you aren't happy being on the bleeding edge, you shouldn't buy a bleeding edge product. If you waited for these things, then there will be some other upgrade around the corner and if you wait for those then you will wait forever.

I am perfectly happy with the car I have for the price I paid for it. I do not expect Tesla to upgrade my car to current specs. If I bought a 2012 LEAF (which I did) and they came out with higher power chargers and a heat pump in 2013 (which they did), I would not expect Nissan to offer retrofits for it (which they don't).

elguapo | August 28, 2013



First, no offense to the OP, but you're not a pioneer. I have a VIN well under 10,000 and I don't consider myself a pioneer. Most of us are just early adopters of high tech items - but I digress.

I REALLY wanted parking sensors and knew they'd come at some point, but I REALLY wanted to drive my MS ASAP, so I took the plunge in the Spring.

My only request is that Tesla offers retrofits, if at all possible. I'll pay $2,500 (5x their cost now) the PDCs. However, I don't expect any free upgrades - Tesla has delivered an incredible car, with or without the hardware changes.

negarholger | August 28, 2013

The Roadster owner are the pionerrs, MS owners are the settlers. And when I ordered my car in November the road was already well charted.

jonlivesay | August 28, 2013

I've had mine since mid-June. I don't really feel like having a great car, free supercharging while traveling and never thinking about stopping for gas anymore during my routine day is enough. I want more! All upgrades should be free to everyone, both hard and soft. We should get invited to dinner at the Musk house. We should have our cars detailed at the service center weekly at no charge. We should actually get our cars original cost given back to us.... Oh sorry that's already happened if you bought enough stock at a good time. Seriously, I drive every day with a big grin on my face, car is absolutely beautiful, the stock is still going up, the supercharging network is being developed, and lastly we are changing the car driving world, that's enough for me.

kidheme | August 28, 2013

I reserved (?conceived) a MS in Oct. 2010, eventually delivered (?birthed) as VIN#2532 on Jan. 9, 2013 and have loved every minute of being part of the company's growth and success. Had a great time with my wife at the Beta Ride event and my son at the Get Amped tour and I don't feel that TM owes me any upgrades or favors. Would love to have an Elon Musk autographed sun visor though -- that would be way cool!

Mark K | August 28, 2013

Expectations of entitlement are wholly inappropriate. (Why is this so rampant these days?)

When we bought two of these cars, we knew improved versions would emerge over time.

We love this car, and are fine with what has changed after purchase. Constant improvement is the mark of an innovator, and a very good thing.

That said, when TM learns about something that needs improving, they are unique in their dedication to updating existing customers wherever practical.

That is a standard unmatched by any other automaker.

If we expect them to deliver no less than perfection, we'll never buy another car.

But what is beyond debate, is that TM has delivered greatness.

ian | August 29, 2013

LOL at the OP thinking they're a pioneer owne havibg ordered in June. I would reserve that title only to the folks that ordered years ago having only seen pictures of prototypes and having faith that Tesla could deliver on it's promises.

+1 Mark K on the expectations of entitlement.

Docrob | August 29, 2013

Did they advertise that your car would come with parking sensors, alcantera etc etc? did you get exactly the car that was described in your purchase agreement? No one owes you anything. There are people that laid down money 5 years ago, a June 2013 order is a "pioneer"? lol that's hilarious.

chrisdl | August 29, 2013

It'll be interesting to see in how far Tesla will provide upgrades to existing customer... Paid upgrades, not free upgrades.

Don't expect that you can add the Pano Roof later on, but things like the Park Assist, or maybe even Lane Departure Warning and Distance Radar would be interesting upgrades, for those willing to provide the cash.

Fred O | August 29, 2013

OP did not ask hardware for free. Just a fair price for retrofit options. I agree with that. Some items seem very expensive compared to the standard price.
Of course the parking sensors are not software only and those will come at a price. Without the tech package - OP did not mention if he has that - they wont be possible at all.
The software upgrades are available to every owner but features are constrained by the hardware in the car.

BYT | August 29, 2013

Sorry all, yes I did miss that it was July 2013 and NOT July 2012, my mistake, my head is still in June! :)

simonuk75 | August 29, 2013

When did Tesla register as a charity? I must have missed that.

chrisdl | August 29, 2013

Who's talking about charity? Everyone else is talking about paid hardware upgrades ;-)

I wouldn't even be against paid software upgrades, to be honest. As long as they are meaningful. But for everyone, not for a select few, please.

AlMc | August 29, 2013


+1 Thomas K; Mark K,

PaceyWhitter | August 29, 2013

I think This type of feeling is rooted in the way people look at cars. People have been trained to believe that cars only change once a year (when the new model year rolls out)

With Tesla and it's rolling update structure people are thrown. They believe thay have the same "model year" car, so they deserve the same options.

BYT | August 29, 2013

PaceyWhitter: I agree, or at least offer the same options at a reasonable upgrade cost is the expectation?

Carefree | August 29, 2013

Actually Fred O is correct - the OP did not ask for free upgrades - I must admit that I read his posting incorrectly as well.

He is asking for retrofits and is willing to pay for them. His phrasing was somewhat unfortunate but he is not out of line in his thinking.

My apologies to the OP.

AmpedRealtor | August 29, 2013

For what it's worth, on my car's Certificate of Origin it states 2013 as the model year.

PaceyWhitter | August 29, 2013

But no one would expect the same BMW, Audi or MB. If the 2014 BMW came out with some great new features, some people would be thinking about trading their car in for an upgrade, but no one would be asking for BMW to put them in their car, at any price.

If Tesla can find a way to make money charging to upgrade older cars, then more power to them. But no one should think that they are entitled to anything that they didn't agree to up front. Regardless of whether they are willing to pay money for it.

Captain_Zap | August 29, 2013

Let's give credit where credit is due. The real pioneers were the Roadster owners. They even put chargers out in public locations with their own funds to blaze the trail for us and took some big risks when buying their early vehicles. Not only that, but they assured the early Model S depositors that Tesla would do everything within their power to make things right by sharing their Tesla experiences. I'd like to see them get supercharger adapters or something like that before there is any hardware retrofits for the Model S.

As a Signature owner I am very grateful for the opportunity to have the car and see it grow and evolve. I am stunned at the numerous additional features that we have on our cars today that were not available, or offered when we got our cars. The list is extensive and growing rapidly. I thought that the Model S was a steal when I got, it but now I'd bet that our cars are worth much more today than the day we bought them.

Only a year ago, we learned that Model S purchasers would get to Supercharge free for life so that we could go on road trips. That was mind blowing! We were all debating how much it would cost us and how the pricing structure would work and then, last August, this incredible gift that was unexpected was announced. Free charging for the Model S for lifefor road trips? Mindblowing. I think that is your reward right there.

Sure, hardware updates would be nice but I know that some may never be possible and others might be very expensive to install. If Tesla were to offer these upgrades I would certainly hope that they would do it with a profit margin that would make it worthwhile.

BYT | August 29, 2013

+1 to Captain_Zap

negarholger | August 29, 2013

+1 Captain_Zap

gooshjkc | August 29, 2013

Here's my thoughts on this. The early adopters should be appreciated by Tesla, in some way. Maybe for the first 1000 Signature holders they should get the complimentary service calls instead of paying for them as the rest of does. However, for the upgrades, that's all part of the game. Anyone that is willing to get one of the first ones in vehicles have to accept the fact they won't get things that come out later. Good example, when I got my Porsche Panamera, it didn't have half the things that is offered in the current model. Now, if I want it, I have two choices: 1) pay the outrageous price Porsche is asking me to put it on; or 2) get a new Panamera. Tesla does need to offer these upgrades though.

mdemetri | August 29, 2013

Hear, hear! The real pioneers were the Roadster owners and they need country wide charging like Model S. If you agree, I suggest you add your voice to the following thread on the Roadster section:

My post from that thread:

mdemetri | AUGUST 21, 2013


First let me say as a Model S owner, I thank you and every other Roadster owner. You are the true early adopters and I am quite confident that I would not be enjoying my Model S without the Roadster pioneers.

Thus, I completely agree with you and others on this thread: Tesla needs to honor the early adopters and add Roadster charging capabilities at SC sites. I suspect that they will do something but if they do not, I will lose a lot of respect for the company.

DouglasR | August 29, 2013

I believe I am entitled to precisely what TM promised me. I believe I received a lot more than that. For example, when I finalized my order about a year ago, nothing was said about superchargers. The superchargers have added immeasurably to the functionality of the car I purchased.

I do not think we should ask TM to offer any benefits that would either cause them to lose money or discourage them from making improvements.

bnwdon | August 29, 2013

I waited close to 3yrs for my Sig, that I received last Oct. I have seen lots of upgrades and so far there hasn't been any that I can't have done to my car. If you buy one today you have to pay for the Upgrade and if you have it installed you have to pay as well. As Tesla grows so does their list of upgrades, gadgets and accessories. Enjoy your car, that's the bottom line!

lawsteve | August 29, 2013

All I can say is kudos to all of you "pioneers" for your foresight and, more importantly, your patience. I confirmed my P85 order in early August of this year and have a delivery date of Sept 21. I'm already going crazy in anticipation of receiving the car. I can't imagine having waited years for the vehicle (although I did wait almost a year between ordering and receiving my 2002 Lexus SC430, but nobody else had one either!).

J.T. | August 29, 2013


Excellent point. If every time Tesla announces a new feature for cars not yet ordered and the entitled masses whine and moan, "What about me?" and pressure them for "compensation" Tesla will think long and hard about future improvements to this model.

Now, how is that going to help anyone?

My car has been in the shop since Monday at noon. Nothing major. I just called for an update and the very competent Murella said that they're going over the car and making sure all of my issues are addressed and they just want it for one more day.

This isn't a paid service visit. This is the kind of service that Pungoteague _Dave is pulling his hair out about. But, if this is the payoff for buying a Tesla, regardless of available equipment at the time of purchase, then how can I possibly feel as though I'm entitled to anything else.?

NYC Realtor | August 29, 2013


Don't forget that MS already outsold most the luxury cars in the US so far this year. As a matter of fact, most people of average or higher intelligence would buy an MS if they would look for a 100K car today.

Conclusion; Tesla is mainstream now. With all due respect, you are not a pioneer, neither am I even though my S is older than yours.

And even if we were considered pioneers at this stage, we didn't expect VIP treatment. We just bought a car with the equipment that was available at the time, no?

GLO | August 29, 2013

@ThomasK and @CaptainZap:

Those of us who waited years for our cars and or bought Roadster love our vehicles as much as those of you who've gotten yours more recently. But, the gist is this, if Tesal Motors gives away free upgrades etc. to keep up with the latest, the company will surely no longer be viable. Moral of the story, buy a newer one or how about a Model X. I fully intend to own several Model S before I'm done driving. Let's quit asking for favors and halp make TM succeed!

David70 | August 29, 2013

Right DouglasR. Superchargers weren't even mentioned until about a year ago. I was ready to buy then, and would have if I had the money.

Now it's icing on the cake. I would have been thrilled if they even offered them at standard electric rates in the area for which they were installed. Now it looks like I'll be able to travel all the way to So. CA from eastern WA without paying anything.

mjs | August 29, 2013

Roadster #758.

I negotiated the first remote service agreement with Tesla that became the model for Roadsters in remote locations.

I wasn't a pioneer. The 1.0 guys with the 2-speed transmissions before me were.

EdieMilo | August 29, 2013

Perhaps OP is married or related to Robert King ?!?

DTsea | August 29, 2013

+1 ThomasK

I am VIN 3999. Happy with my car. Happy with the LOWER PRICE I got for finalizing prior to end of 2012. I dont feel Tesla owes me upgrades (beyond software). Happy with the 9000 miles I have driven it in 6 months.

Nonetheless last time I went for tire rotation they gave me new front and rear floor mats; replaced both my keys due to wear; fixed the pano roof goop; etc, etc.

No complaints. Totally satisfied.

EcLectric | August 29, 2013

Ok, so let's say Tesla agrees, and will give free upgrades to all the 'early adopters' who purchased their Model S before December 22, 2012 (6 months after the first production car was released). Hurray!! Oh, wait, hang on.... I picked up MY car on... wait for it... December 22, 2012. Okay, let's say Tesla agrees and will give free upgrades to all the 'early adopters' who picked up their Model S before OR on December 22, 2012. Hurray!! I get free stuff!

Let the torrent of complaints begin! Let's start with:

- those that picked up their car on the 23rd
- those that think all '2012' are early adopters
- those that SHOULD have picked up their car on the 22nd, but were delayed by:
- rain storm
- DS got confused
- bank financing officer on vacation
- delayed flight to Fremont
- car was at service center - practically took delivery
- dog ate my homework (sorry, excuse for wrong subject)