Model S Features page changed - how the Key works

Model S Features page changed - how the Key works

This just changed on the Features Page: (struck out text removed, bold added)

Programmable for individual drivers, the unique Tesla key is easily sensed by the vehicle, loading preferred settings like seat, steering wheel, and mirror positions. As you approach, the Tesla key commands the door handle to unlock, waiting for a simple tap to present itself. With it in your pocket, Model S turns on as you buckle in to the driver’s seat.

dahtye | October 16, 2012

Seems to me that this feature they just removed would be governed by s/w, right? So a s/w update could add the feature back?

JackA | October 16, 2012

I am thinking that the functions deleted from the standard Model S "Features Page" might now be included in the "Tech Package." I have thought that the Tech Package was pretty expensive for the few added functions. Both our current cars have the ability to remember each driver's mirror and seat adjustments. One of them even displays the radio and cabin comfort settings for each individual driver. How difficult is this for Tesla? BTW; our Model S will have the Tech Package...

Sudre_ | October 16, 2012

I would certainly HOPE they did not remove the features and make them a Tech package only thing. That will lead to another huge outcry. I am already locked in with the expected features without the Tech package. It will be another hot topic until they decide to leave it for those who already signed contracts.

If it was included in the Tech package it should be listed in the Tech package now. Sounds more to me like they are just adjusting it to match what the car currently does.

stevenmaifert | October 16, 2012

Hoping this is just temporary until they figure out how to get the car to recognize discreet keys. Another thread mentions the preferred settings function is currently only available from the touch screen.

mrspaghetti | October 16, 2012


I don't know if this would qualify as a huge outcry. The 60 kwh battery supercharger option was a big deal because people based their purchase decision on it. This, not so much.

pbrulott | October 16, 2012

Guys, pretty sure it is temporary alike the visor lighting and and reading lights or Supercharger HW for 60 kWh. Just to match the current capability. TM seems to be pretty keen on this. When they realize they can't offer it, they pull it from the web site.

thanks for flagging it.

olanmills | October 16, 2012

I agree pbrulott. The fact is right now, the car and fob do not behave like the previous description states.

It's good to make sure that the website accurately describes the features.

They could perhaps add a section to describe features that will be enabled in the future, but I think there are good reasons not to have that on the site as well.

CurrieG | October 16, 2012

I sure hope this is a Temporary set back! How cab the "Best Car" Every not have such s basic 2012 feature??? The Auto Folding Mirrors are gone, etc... What next to go?

I am starting to get conserned about my purchase! (CDN Sig #146)

I would like some comfor that this BASIC feture loss is Temporary...

Robert22 | October 16, 2012

When I spoke to my config rep I asked if the key fob holds any of the seat memory information. I was told this information would only be available from the touch screen.

mrspaghetti | October 16, 2012


I guess if you're used to luxury cars with all the fixins maybe this is a big deal to you. Having never had one with so much as power windows (not counting the wife's), the lack of memory in the key fob is a total non-issue for me.

ddruz | October 16, 2012

I must confess to being a catalyst for this change on the Features web page. After receiving the answer from my rep that the memory profile functionality would only be available via the touchscreen and not the key fobs I emailed him back noting that if there were no plans for the key fobs to be linked to the memory profiles that the Features page was in error and Tesla should change it. The page was apparently changed within a few hours.

We therefore cannot assume that there are definite plans to link the memory functions to the key fobs. Such functionality may happen in the future but it is now no longer promised. I'll amend the Punch List accordingly.

ddruz | October 16, 2012

Please ignore the italics in the above post. My formatting error.

Brian H | October 16, 2012

Robert et al;
I don't see why the fob requires any memory at all. A simple ID linked to a profile stored in the car is sufficient and far more flexible and robust.

Volker.Berlin | October 17, 2012

Sudre_ +1

Regarding the temporarilyness of this feature missing, I'm not so sure. Realistically, we are now back to square one and all we can have is wild guesswork or unfounded hope. Personally, I don't count on it coming any time soon, but I'm always open for nice surprises.

sergiyz | October 17, 2012


sergiyz | October 17, 2012

It should be fairly easy to implement, since every keyfob has an ID.
There should be an option to attach the keyfob ID to a saved profile that is already there.
The feature is extremely useful, since as someone posted before, the drivers height, weight etc could be very different, and it's not easy to just sit down and press something in the menu.
At least a button on the door or on the seat would make a huge difference.

haansberger | October 17, 2012

Personally, I don't mind too much wether the seats will take their proper position after opening the car with a specific FOB or after the push of a button. What is important however is that the seats will not stay in the position of the previous driver ! Imagine that your wife, who's 5ft tall, has last driven the car and now you want to get in while you're 6ft8... like a giant trying to enter a dwarf's house. If this is the case, then I think Tesla dropped the ball here big time. I'm still a huge fan of the Model S, but it starts to loose some of it's magic if more and more of these inconveniences keep showing up.

mrspaghetti | October 17, 2012


Someone posted a workaround on another thread.

Create a separate profile called "Exit" with the seat back and the steering wheel up. Whenever you get out, set it to "Exit" so the next person can get in without issues.

Tiebreaker | October 17, 2012

@Brian H: +1

sims | October 17, 2012

Maybe it is a "what happens with two keys in close proximity" issue. I don't see how they could possibly distinguish between a key in the pocket of the driver and a key placed in the passenger seat.

Volker.Berlin | October 17, 2012

sims, there are multiple sensors placed throughout the car, anyway. Somewhere over at TMC there is even a technical drawing that shows the position of all sensors.

jkirkebo | October 17, 2012

The keyfob could be made to only activate a specific profile if the car was unlocked by clicking on the fob. Then there would be no problems with two fobs, the one which unlocks also set the profile.

Longhorn92 | October 17, 2012

I like the touchscreen implementation since you can then theoretically have more than two profiles; however, it wouldn't hurt to be able to link a profile to a key fob (assuming you can figure out the "if both key fobs are in the car" issue).

CurrieG | October 17, 2012

In other cars that have memory seats, mirrors, etc... The memory positions reside in the car, not the key phob. As suggested above... The key phons have RFIDs that tell the car who is approaching and them access the car's electronics / computer to set up for the driver..

Also....with the level of electronics / computer in the Model S! It would be easy to have many driver setting and only tie two to your two key phobs.

I surely hope this is a temporary setback until Tesla gets their software, etc stable and updated.

Brian H | October 17, 2012

Multiple fobs is not an issue. Sensors in the car locate all fobs, and respond to the one in the driver's seat.

sfriedrich | October 17, 2012

I mind if the keyfob does not activate the seat settings. My wife is shorter than I am and sits much closer to the steering wheel. I cannot physically get into the seat in order to reach the touch screen and choose the driver. I haven't received my car yet so I don't know for sure that I couldn't carefully squeeze my arm across the driver seat and choose a driver. But this does seem silly. My Acuras have had this functionality (2006 TL, 2011 MDX).

mrspaghetti | October 17, 2012

@all who are concerned about the key fob profile issue:

Does it reduce your angst to consider that the smartphone app might allow you to select a driver profile before you get into the car?

nickjhowe | October 17, 2012

@mrspaghet - nope. Seems crazy that the car can regnize each fob, and there is already code to select/control the seat config. linking the two would seem to be trivial.

If I have to get my phone out, find the app, select the option - I might as well just press the button on the 17" display.

Michael23 | October 17, 2012

I'm in the 6’8 category with 5 fit wife and my 03 car has this plus the steering wheel and seat move to let me get out and back in the car. Since you have to sit in the tesl to turn on the screen how can I possibly change the setting, I guess we'll have to do the exit thing just to ge out too probably it I'd hit my knees going out,

Brian H | October 17, 2012

Serves you right for marrying below your height/station.

Oaktowner | October 18, 2012

6'8" and named Michael23? Sound like you're going to need a storage compartment for your six championship rings.

Klaus | October 18, 2012

Michael23, you could use your profile as the default. In other words, have your wife select your profile as she exits the car. It would much simpler for her to get back in and select her own profile if necessary I would think.

BYT | October 18, 2012

My wife is 4'9" and I'm a short 5'7" but it's still a problem for me. Although this is "MY" car and so she will not drive it very often at all. I can tell you that teaching her to press my profile before she get's out would be a futile exercise. Try arguing about the toilet seat being down as a case in point... :D

sandman | October 18, 2012

This should be a relatively simple fix given the technology used in the FOB and the system running the profiles. Why isn't this fixed already?

I wouldn't ever say NO based on this one issue alone but I personally won't resort to the phone app nor the 'exit' workaround AND call myself satisfied. I might temporarily use them but it would be near the top of things to get fixed.

BYT | October 18, 2012

Mr. Sandman,

Oh, this isn't the first song thread... my bad... ;)

Although I agree it can be improved upon, I wouldn't hold Tesla Motor's feet to the fire so quickly. I think they will fix it, it will take time. I know I personally would love to get my Model S and will be pleasantly surprised when one day it works after an OWA software updates from the land that Musk built.

Tiebreaker | October 18, 2012

I agree with others that this is temporary, just reflecting what the key actually does, until they figure out how to reliably detect the key on the driver's side of the car. Detecting the key in the driver's seat is too late for seat adjustment, as Michael and the likes cannot even get into the seat.

All other car keys mentioned here probably need a button pressed (had it on '99 BMW 5), makes it easy to identify. So it would be easy for a Tesla key to be recognized, if pressed to unlock the doors. Does anybody know if that feature is implemented already?

Brian H | October 18, 2012

She should obviously learn to leave it up; much more sanitary! (:0

BYT | October 18, 2012

@Brian H, come over and you can tell her that, I'll stand way back with a video camera to capture the Benny Hill Moments that is sure to follow.

Brian H | October 18, 2012

Surely she would appreciate that it would reduce the # of times you hose the seat down?

BYT | October 18, 2012

LOL, if I even dare, I will be the housekeeper hovering over it with the Clorox bottle!

MB3 | October 18, 2012

Why doesn't the fob control the toilet seat???? surely this should be on the wish list.

Brian H | October 18, 2012

Don't laugh; the Japanese have everything from heated toilet seats to ones that automatically lower, etc. Plus warm water bum cleaner spray. And more.

BYT | October 18, 2012

I love the Bidét! Very healthy and sanitary!

george210 | October 18, 2012

what the heck happened to the blue color for the Model S??

I know my wife will not accept any of the remaining color choices (white, red, black) I selected the color blue when I reserved the car this 2012 summer and submitted my $ 5000 deposit..

Brian H | October 19, 2012

Hot air drying included, of course.

About that seat training for your wife; try leaving a light smear of honey on it a few times. She'll learn!

Brian H | October 19, 2012

?? It's the second metallic choice in Paint in the Design Studio. What's the problem?

Brian H | October 19, 2012

And I don't understand your list (white, red, black) options. Red doesn't show yet, and there's grey, green, and brown as well.