Model S Changes

Model S Changes

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
-Floor mats
-Acceleration “smoothing” via firmware
-Improved sun visors
-Navigation/display fixes

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
-Premium content/features
-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:
-WiFi connectivity
-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:
-Fog lights
-Cornering lights
-Cupholder “cinchers”

(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.


David Trushin | May 2, 2013

They were pretty clear that the showroom models were prototypes only and that things could be different in the production versions. I don't feel baited and switched. sorry.

scaesare | May 2, 2013

How was that made clear?

I got seriously interested in Tesla in the last 6 weeks or so. I haven't seen that anywhere on the site.

In fact, when I went to the DC showroom, I was told that, other than the options I wasn't selecting (Perf, 21" wheels, studio sound, jump-seats) all the other features I saw on the car is what I WOULD be receiving. Now this isn't so.

Apparently the showroom Tesla employees are of the same impression I am.

How is that no misleading?

Brian H | May 2, 2013

The cornering lights are there; they made the fog lights redundant. I think the explanation is adequate.

DouglasR | May 2, 2013

TM has to remain free to make changes, whether improvements, cost-cutting, or just style, and they should not be bound to offer those changes to all previous buyers. Otherwise the company will ossify. They just need to be more careful to communicate these changes to purchasers before those purchasers buy, and to deliver the car that was promised.

pvetesla | May 2, 2013

For your own sanity....I think it's time to get your $5000 refunded and call it a day.

Velo1 | May 2, 2013

FWIW, my experience with the store or showroom employees is that they are very well intentioned, but they do not always know everything about what's going on at TM or necessarily with the Model S. The TM website is where I get my information, plus this forum.

David Trushin | May 2, 2013

I was told that the visors were what they were and was assured that it was a shame that they were what they were. I didn't ask about fog lights because i knew that i wouldn't care. I'm happy they added turn lights even though they didn't tell me. I knew there would be no rear cup holders, that the front mats were made of cardboard and there were no rear mats. I listened to what they told me and i heard what they weren't telling me because i've around the block enough. But in reality, none of that was a reason for me to either buy or not buy this car. I bought it because it is revolutionary and also because it is the brightest and shiniest object i have, and i love bright and shiny objects. You want fog lights? Go to a parts store.

risquared | May 2, 2013

To the showroom personnel point, I asked a girl in San Diego showroom about how many Amps does the engine draw from the batteries. She said that she has never heard of Amps but she knows Volts. This is where I stopped asking any further questions.

BYT | May 2, 2013, but it's a teaching moment, introduce her to Ohms Law! Can you tell I work at a school?? :D

bt77057 | May 2, 2013

When you sit down and drive the car (not test drive), It could have cupholders on the hood, and it simply doesn't matter.

If you looking for a reason to complain...sure, there are plenty of reasons, too elegant to drive, too much power, I'm tired of people looking at me when I drive down the road...

To continue my first thought...when you sit down and drive your car and feel its elegance, power, and craftsmanship and the painstaking detail that is put into every inch of its design, things like cupholders, cardboard floor mats, vampire draw, sun shades, hard drives...they simply DO NOT MATTER.

This is the most awesome piece of engineering I have ever driven.

The choice is yours...enjoy or keep whining...

mkidding | May 2, 2013

I thought for the motor the input voltage is constant and the input amps varies based on how hard you are hitting the (electricity) paddle?

cablue | May 2, 2013

I agree with so many of the comments regarding, imo, minor, minor issues. Yes, we are not getting the fog lights on our next car - we have them on the first. But, honestly, I don't care. I use low beams in the fog. This car truly is amazing. To continually receive updates is like nothing I've ever experienced in a car before. Typically, when buying a car, you simply get what you have when you drive off the lot. Visors? I hardly notice them. Cup holders in back? I really never even noticed whether they are there or not. Typically, I notice everything in buying a new car. This one, I'm blown away by more important issues. And trusting any store rep, I know from past experience with BMW, Audi, etc... I typically know more than they do about the car I'm looking at. So, that's no surprise there. Trust me, don't sweat the small stuff. If you get this car, these issues will be soon forgotten and put in perspective. Just my .02.

scaesare | May 2, 2013

Whining... not quite.

I've driven it. I'm buying it.

That doesn't change that I don't care to have options changed out from underneath me. I didn't care for it when buying my home. I didn't care for it with Mercedes Benz. I don't care for it with Tesla.

The virtue of the rest of the vehicle is not the point. How I am treated as a customer is the point.

If that doesn't matter to you, then fine. The principle matters to a number of folks... myself included.


SamO | May 2, 2013


Maybe you could illuminate the exact principle that Tesla violated?

Having a showroom employee that wasn't perfectly knowledgeable?

Changing features between Beta, launch and during the next year?

You seem like the type of person that complains incessantly, is never happy and always sees the glass as half-empty.

Since you are so busy trying to convince others and yourself that Tesla is a rook joint trying to scam you, then perhaps you should stick with traditional car makers. Everyone agrees that they are paragons of principle. /sarcasm off

scaesare | May 2, 2013

SamoSam, if the issue is not evident to you, I'll not bother explaining it again. From your comments you miss point. Check out the multi-page thread at TMC and maybe you'll get it.

Now if instead it just doesn't matter to you, that's fine.Feel free
to ignore this thread, as I'll ignore the rest of your baseless assumption and sarcasm.


RD7 | May 2, 2013

Well, scaesare, you're getting a lot of flames on this one, but I support your position. Yes, the car is truly amazing and I am all sure we'd buy it again in a heartbeat. We also need to give TMC some operational freedom. However, a promise is a promise - TMC should not get a free pass because the car is so friggin fun to drive. Showroom chatter or not, a lot of these features were documented on the web pages and specs. To me, some like the hard disk access are irritants, but some, like WiFi, are critical as I have no 3G signal at home. We all know that "specifications are subject to change," but doing so silently is never a satisfaction-friendly policy. If Tesla truly wants to be the world class service company that Elon has declared, they need to up their game in this area. Tesla has rabidly loyal customers today - but it's an immutable principle of physics that entropy is always increasing and Tesla need to continue to work hard to maintain loyalty and even harder to increase it.

SD Supercharger | May 2, 2013

Eloquently stated. It does look like Tesla is starting to move in the right direction, with Elon noting that some things, like service were below average. To some degree, communication fits in this category as well. All fixes need to start with an acknowledgement of the problem--look for Tesla to get better at this as time goes on. To me, the intent has always been good, but the execution has lagged a bit. I agree with you about the issues you have noted, but I think that others are saying (buried in the flames) that you need to look at these problems in the context of a start-up, and not in the context of a mature car company.

smc170 | May 2, 2013

I have to agree with scaesare here.

Whether they are minor issues or not to you, that's not the argument here. The argument is the fact that whether you like it or not, TM has removed features, without informing the customer directly, and that as a company isn't right. Just because the brand is in its infancy doesn't give them a right to push/pull features at will, without compensation or information given to the customer.

If anything, being new to this ball game, you need to be 1000% on every decision you make, or else you'll lose your popularity quickly and possibly never get the market to pay attention to you over other big names.

Saying that these "complaints" are "nitpicking" basically sums it up to everyone that you haven't done research into the problem, and you are being ignorant in the issues stated at hand.

jjaeger | May 2, 2013

No cupholder cinchers - oh the humanity of it all. Goodbye cruel world, I can't go on any longer...

carlk | May 2, 2013

The only thing I care is motorized folding side mirrors. I'll put down my $5000 soon as it is offered.

Brian H | May 2, 2013

A "Change Log" page on the Website would go a long way towards keeping communication current, assuming it was itself up to the minute.

cablue | May 2, 2013

I do agree that better communication would solve a lot of problems. The manual shows fog lights and I have not seen any mention that they were removed. But, again, for me personally, I'm not concerned about that. But in principle, yes, they should have acknowledged that change

Amped | May 2, 2013

A change log, that's friggin lame.
Notify your customers in writing when specs change.

I finalized then received without a feature that was expected and was listed on web site.

rd_ +1

ian | May 2, 2013

The specs page:

At the bottom is a little link: "Legal Disclaimer"

At the bottom of the Design Studio:

"The information presented on this website is based on data available at the time. Design, specifications, price, and production dates are subject to change without notice and pertain specifically to US vehicles. Some features and options may be unavailable when your vehicle enters production."

Caveat emptor.

DerekCrosby | May 3, 2013

That is true (on the web site), but once you enter a contract, that contract is binding, and technically if Tesla changes the terms, that contract is null and void unless they build wiggle room into the contact as well.

Mark K | May 3, 2013

Just because you're awesome, you're never above principle.

After a few misses, they will get this right.

DouglasR | May 3, 2013

@Derek - The contract wouldn't be null and void. In fact the contract hasn't been modified at all. But if the contract provides for delivery of a specific option (e.g., Tech Package), and that option was expressly described at the time the contract was entered into to include a specific feature (e.g., fog lights), then TM's failure to include that feature is a breach. Unless the breach is so fundamental as to render the contract of no value to the aggrieved party (in which case the aggrieved party can terminate the contract), the remedy is either specific performance (compel TM to include the fog lights) or damages. Specific performance is unlikely for a variety of reasons. Damages would be measured as the difference between what the car is worth with and without the fog lights -- probably a few hundred dollars at most.

TM's various disclaimers allow it to modify specifications on it's website, printed materials, display cars, etc. You are correct, however, that it could not modify features expressly promised in a fully executed contract unless the contract itself clearly and expressly allows for that.

Chunky Jr. | May 3, 2013

Fix the 12v battery issues. A friend's car died in a parking lot due to the 12v not having sufficient charge. Inexcusable.

GLO | May 3, 2013

This seems like the best thread to ask this question. Did anyone know that Tesla has changed to a new door handle completely. We got our car in early January and I was told the door handle has been revamped and they no longer install the door handle that is on our car. I've had no major issues with mine but was wondering what other changes they've made to the car. ANy insight is appreciated.

dbourne | May 4, 2013

Missing features like Wi-Fi and hard drive access will undoubtedly come in future software updates. I think as early adopters of a startup company's 2nd product, we need to give them a little room to deliver these. I think we'd all agree that shipping out all the promised features but have them be full of software bugs is not what we want. Give them a little time. What they are achieving was unimaginable until Tesla did it so it's not surprising that a few feature milestones have been delayed a little.

Regarding HW features, I inquired about what the annual service plan gives you now that it's not really required for the warranty to be active. They rep gave me the impressions that they will use this inspections as opportunities to install revised hardware pieces like new sun visors etc. I think it's important to understand that exactly what they might do is hard to promise but I think we need to have a little faith and trust in this company. I know saying that about most companies would be ridiculous, but these guys really are trying to make the world a better place and not just make tons of money. The fact that Tesla doesn't view their service division as a profit center is an incredible departure from traditional auto manufacturers and frankly, quite refreshing.

The company is about to announce it's first profit. That means they are still a startup company which in turn means that every owner needs to think of themselves as an early adopter not just of a product but also of a revolution and revolutions always have their ugliness and if the ugliest thing we can point out so far are cup holders then this is the most well executed revolution ever!

DouglasR | May 4, 2013

@dbourne +1

I re-read my little legal explanation above, and it came across as harsher than I intended. While I believe TM is obligated to deliver what was promised, I also counsel patience, as well as an appreciation for the many benefits that were delivered above and beyond what was promised. For example, when I finalized, I knew nothing about the supercharger network. That benefit far outweighs any perceived shortcomings.

Captain_Zap | May 5, 2013

The list of added features and enhancements that we didn't expect is extensive. The car is evolving.

The list of modifications and improvements is extensive as well. At first we didn't expect cupholders.

The only real problem that concerns me is that Tesla has to keep in mind that their customers are not going to a car lot and buying a WYSIWYG vehicle. The customers are buying cars blind based on specs, research and faith in leadership and the business model. These are semi-custom cars and the options that were listed on the pre-MVPA need to be deivered. If they make a substantive change after that point they need to communicate with the buyer and give them the option to accept the change or cancel their order.

I thought that the approach by using an "Open Letter" in the forum was the not best way to get the message to management. That is why I never responded to that thread. I think that the intent of this new thread will detract from the real message to an even greater degree.

George with SacEV | May 5, 2013

My car will be most likely delivered later this month, and I expect to receive the vehicle with the specifications detailed when I ordered it. Any deletions of features should, IMHO, be accompanied by price adjustments or compensating additions.

If I come up even $10 short in paying for the car, what will Elon do? Answer ....I do not get the car, since I agreed to a certain price. I absolutely do NOT give Elon carte Blanche to delete value from the originally contracted vehicle without some compensation to me.

A contract is always a commitment by and to BOTH parties involved, or did I miss something on Boston Legal?

pvetesla | May 5, 2013

Let us know how that works out for you.