Model S Changes
I’ve posted a few times here regarding features being deleted from recently shipping cars. Specifically I posted “An Open Letter to Elon Musk regarding Foglights”. I also chimed in on the recent “Cupholder Cinchers” thread. I haven’t been around the Telsa community for as long as some, so I’ve only heard about issues that are older: headliners, sun visors, sunroof shade, hard drive access, etc…
The reason for this post is twofold:
1) To try and consolidate a list of changes made or promised regarding the car
2) To address the official premise that Telsa is apparently taking (and that I’ve seen expressed in several forum replies): “We are making changes for the better as well, so it evens out.”
It seems that features and/or changes fall in to several categories:
A) ITEMS THAT FIX A PREVIOUS DEFICIENCY OR DEFECTIVE FEATURE GENERALLY UNDERSTOOD TO HAVE BEEN A STANDARD FEATURE – These are things that material or firmware fixes that improve the car, but really aren’t “additional”. Customers should not be charged for these.
-Sleep mode to fix vampire draw
-Acceleration “smoothing” via firmware
-Improved sun visors
B) ITEMS/FEATURES THAT ADD NEW FUNCTIONALITY NEVER DEMONSTRATED OR PROMISED AS FREE– These are things that Tesla is well within their right to charge for, as they are adding new functionality. If they opt to provide them for free, it engenders good will:
-Supercharging capability on 60’s
-Cellular connectivity/ improvements
C) ITEMS PROMISED BUT NOT AVAIALBLE INTITALLY – These are things mentioned as being part of the car but were not ready in time for initial release. Based on the context of the announcement, they might be considered optional paid-for items:
-Sun shade (?)
-Hard drive usage (?)
D) ITEMS LISTED/DISPLAYED AS PART OF THE CAR OR A PACKAGE ON WEBSITE AND IN SHOWROOMS – These are things that customers have been led to believe are part of the car or a package. There are too many to list (see specs page on website), but shipping cars without these features or a corresponding reduction in price engenders bad will:
(please feel free to mention those I’ve missed , and I’ll add to the list)
Tesla has every right to charge for new features. It is then ours to decide what we find a value proposition worthy of paying for. If Tesla sees fit to add a feature free of charge, they gain increased loyalty.
However, it’s a two edged sword: They also should NOT remove features that we’ve been led to believe we are getting on our cars. It reeks of “bait and switch” to see something in a showroom, only to find it’s not on my delivered car. Tesla risks creating bad blood by doing this.