New Cruise Control Stalk

New Cruise Control Stalk

The new cruise control stalk that has been modified for autopilot does not have a white button on the end to turn cruise control on and off. The "on" for cruise control is simply tapping the stalk toward you -- which is all too easy to do when reaching for the turn signal. If the cruise control's last setting was 70mph and you happen to be going 10mph in traffic, the car lurches forward in an attempt to reach the preset speed as quickly as possible. This is scary and dangerous. Does anyone know how to turn off cruise control entirely until it is wanted?

UnshodBob | October 10, 2016

Push the stalk away from you. That removes the blue highlight for TACC and disables auto steer. The car is then in manual mode.

UnshodBob | October 10, 2016

I don't think there is an off button anymore. When I first got my car under 6.2, I think the button on the end did turn it off.

kasnider50 | October 10, 2016

Exactly. Yes, Bob, now that the off button is gone, pushing the stalk away turns it off, but then the lightest tap towards the driver turns it back on. Therein lies the problem. The car tries to zoom to the preset speed no matter what and it's very startling.

kevin | October 10, 2016

My solution is to put the control on the right where it belongs. But I do not have the problem described above; my problem is hitting the headlight switch when I meant to activate the cruise. I had the car over a week before I realized why my auto-bright headlights never came on.

kasnider50 | October 10, 2016

Also, even after the recent firmware upgrade, the manual that is featured in the car's computer refers to the old setup with button on the end. That's kind of lame, IMO.

Blue85DCalifornia | October 10, 2016

@kas "the lightest tap towards the driver turns it back on"

True, but this has always been the case regardless of whether the stalk has a button on the end or not. I have a button, all it does is provide an alternate way to cancel TACC.

You seem outraged over the method(s) that enable TACC, but I think you're mistaken that there has been any recent change in how TACC is enabled.

UnshodBob | October 10, 2016

So your car has no button on the end of the stalk now? All three of my stalks have a button. Park, window wash, and disable TACC. I tend to squirt water on my window, activate the wipers or flash my bright beams more often than accidently turn TACC on or off. TACC stalk is low and short, turn/wiper is high and long, both on the left.

How long have you had your car? I think this may just be temporary until muscle memory kicks in. :)

kasnider50 | October 10, 2016

Kevin, since we can't move the stalk, I'd like them to update the software so that pulling the stalk inward turns on the Cruise Control without automatically searching for the last preset speed. That seems to me the only solution. (Note, we don't have autopilot, do you? That might make a difference...)

leskchan | October 10, 2016

@kasnider50 Let's separate the discussion 1) TACC operation and 2) TACC lurches

1. TACC operation is a personal preference. I don't there is one way that makes everybody happy. So we have settle on the Tesla's way.

2. I don't have that problem of TACC lurches forward, unless you have your spacing setting down to 1 or 2. TACC will always try to accelerate to a safe distance based on space setting. If you have it set to 1, any movement by the car in front will signal a big gap to the software. Vice-a-versa, if you set to 5, like I do, then the software only detect a marginal gap and very slowly accelerate forward.

In addition, once you disengage TACC by that stalk and brake pedal, it doesn't reengage at your last set speed. TACC is not available until you are at least going 5 mph. So from a dead stop, you will have to use the pedal to accelerate, TACC will engage at whatever speed you are on at that instant.

SomeJoe7777 | October 10, 2016


Pulling the stalk towards you engages TACC as follows:

1. If there is no former speed, and you're under the speed limit + your offset, TACC is set to the current speed limit + any offset you have set.
2. If there is no former speed, and you're at or over the speed limit + your offset, then TACC is set to the current speed.
3. If there is a former speed set and you're below it, then TACC is set to your former speed.
4. If there is a former speed set and you're at or above it, then TACC is set to the current speed.

If at any time you want to override this behavior and set TACC to the current speed regardless of other factors, engage TACC by pushing lightly up or down instead of pulling towards you.

UnshodBob | October 10, 2016

He is accidentally turning it on by bumping it towards himself. He needs to accidentally turn it on by bumping it up or down instead. :)

Tarla's Driver | October 10, 2016

@kasnider50: The issue with the manual assuming you have different features is something I've long thought they should fix. The manual should be customized for the options of your vehicle. I've noticed that my manual referred to features if I had the tech package, which had been discontinued by the time I bought my car. Of course, I would prefer that they use their coding staff to work on more important issues.

leskchan | October 10, 2016


Speed Assit anf Offset have nothing to do with TACC. They are for display and chime warning purposes.

kasnider50 | October 10, 2016

Blue85D, I can't tell if you're disparaging my "outrage" or not. But since you don't have the same car I have, maybe you should be a little less judgmental in any case. My owner's manual, says that the button (that no longer is featured) is/was how you turn Cruise Control ON. Only in the newer models without a button turn on Cruise Control by pulling the stalk toward the driver. The manual says nothing about canceling Cruise Control with the button, only by pushing the stalk away.
So--I continue to wish that it weren't as easy as it is to tell the car "I want to go seventy miles an!" when you're tooling along in slow traffic and simply want to change lanes. More than one person is going to drive this car, some not very I believe it should be harder to engage the "return to preset speed." You can call that outrage, or you can call it common sense. It's all the same to me.

kasnider50 | October 10, 2016

Thanks for the input, Joe. This makes my...oh, tenth or twelfth car with cruise control. I realize the Tesla is a more technologically advanced car, just as my iPhone is a more technologically advanced phone -- and I'm an old fart who's slower to learn the tricks. But I see no logical reason why cruise control as complex as your breakdown reveals. When I've had cars with "engage cruise control/set speed, raise/lower speed in increments, pause cruise control (brake pedal) and resume set speed" I never felt my life was lacking for more slices and dices of the process. I simply do not like the car taking off like a scalded cat when I happen to touch the wrong stalk. It happens.

UnshodBob | October 10, 2016

@leskchan - pretty sure they do. Set your offset to 3. Drive a bit and set TACC at 45. Now drive 50 in a 50 zone. TACC should go to 53 when pulled toward you for two seconds or so. (Not sure if two seconds is correct or needed.) If you were going 55 in a 50, it would set at 55. I think @SomeJoe7777 nailed it.

gguinto | October 10, 2016

I agree with UnshodBob. Muscle memory should kick in soon if you haven't had it for awhile.

I drive 80-ish miles daily for my commute and I don't find this to be an issue. As a matter of fact, I have to reach in to activate TACC and AP. Perhaps readjust the way you're holding the steering wheel? Good luck.

UnshodBob | October 10, 2016

@kasnider50 - the manual is still for 7.1. Do you have 8.0? When I got my car, the manual had errors. Each version I've had - 6.2, 7.0, 7.1 - consisting of about 10-12 incremental updates, has had manual errors that were not life-threatening but simply confusing. (I agree with you that TACC needs an on/off switch.)

I'll ask again. How long have you had your car? If not long, you will get over this in time. Your hand won't reach for the wrong stalk once you develop muscle memory from using it. New drivers unfamiliar with their vehicles will make errors. You will need to train the others who will drive your car also, I suppose.

howyhowy | October 10, 2016

I am a new tesla MS owner and I am also having trouble using the two stalks interchangeably. The most alarming incident was today approaching a stop sign and attempting to signal to the left, I instead pulled the cruse stalk down and for some reason it engaged cruise and immediately applied the accelerator. If there was a pedestrian crossing at that time he would be on my windshield.

I would suggest that the cruse only be turned on by pulling the stalk towards you first.

TaoJones | October 10, 2016

It's only been a pain when switching tweenst AP and pre-AP cars, as the left stalks are reversed, and that can be a problem.

Now I request an AP loaner or go without.

kevin | October 10, 2016

@ kasnider50
Yes, I have Autopilot

Frankly, I still haven't quite figured out what it does with a quick tug of the lever. The manual says: "When driving at your desired speed, set the cruising speed by moving the cruise control lever up or down (or pulling it briefly toward
you), then releasing."

Sometimes it does that, but other times it resumes whatever speed it was set to before it was last disengaged. That happened to me when I did my test drive, and the car accelerated to 80 MPH when I activated TACC because, the Tesla employee riding with me said, that was what it was set at the previous time it was test driven.

kevin | October 10, 2016

@ UnshodBob The manual says the long pull for TACC is one half a second. That seems about right from my experience.

Haggy | October 10, 2016

The button at the end was once an overall on/off switch, and it's not clear to me why Tesla changed that, since leaving it as it was doesn't create extra effort for the driver. On the other hand I can't honestly say it would help me. The few times I hit it by mistake it wouldn't have helped because I never would have used that button to disable it.

The only disadvantage I can see to that button was that it meant ACC could be turned off and you needed to look at a light that was probably blocked by the steering wheel if you wanted to know if it was disabled. I don't see that as a big deal, and in the past when Tesla made something too easy with no way to override or confirm something, it came back to bite them.

SomeJoe7777 | October 10, 2016


Yes, I understand the confusion. I think you're probably correct in that the TACC engagement has several confusing options that leave you guessing at what pulling on the stalk is going to do.

Mitigating that somewhat is that the number in the circle on the dash will show you what speed TACC will be set to upon a pull of the lever. This follows the rules I outlined above. If the circle disappears, that means that you're above the speed limit + offset, so pulling on the stalk will set TACC to the current speed.

"Long" pull on the stalk will always set TACC to speed limit + your offset.

So, in short:

1. Quick tap up or down -> set TACC to current speed.
2. "Long" pull on stalk -> set TACC to speed limit + offset.
3. Quick pull on stalk -> complex ruleset outlined above.

Blue85DCalifornia | October 10, 2016


"Only in the newer models without a button turn on Cruise Control by pulling the stalk toward the driver."

Now you're the one telling me how my car works. The "only" part is just simply not true. My March 2015 S85D has a button. The cruise control on every version of software ever installed on my car enabled the cruise control by (among many other ways) pulling the stalk towards the driver.

In every version of software ever run on my S85D the button on the cruise control stalk has turned off cruise control. It has never been one of the multiple ways of turning on cruise control on my car.

JayInJapan | October 11, 2016

The two stalks on the left are different sizes, lengths, and positions. I _may_ have touched the wrong one in the first month of ownership, but I can't remember having any trouble. Likewise, I may have used the button on the end of the TACC stalk, but I can't remember the last time. The only thing I can think of is make slower movements until you get a feel for your car.

Made in CA | October 11, 2016

I am very confused.

On both of our 8.0 AP-equipped cars:

- Pulling the cruise stalk back and releasing quickly engages TACC
- Pulling back and releasing twice also engages AP
- Pushing the stalk forward turns off AP and TACC
- Pushing the button on the end of the stalk turns off AP and TACC

It has worked that way since 7.0. There was no change in 8.0.

What am I missing?

hikerockies | October 11, 2016

@Made in CA: On your fourth item, does pushing the button turn AP and TACC off or just cancels AP/TACC if currently in use? The difference being to me, OFF means pulling the stalk or pushing it up/down has no effect until TACC is turned back ON by pushing that button in.

Both my Model S are pre-AP and both have button on the cruise control stalk. There are 4 distinct states CC can be in:

1. Cruise control off completely (Moving CC stalk has no effect)
2. Cruise control ON but no speed set (Pulling stalk towards you has no effect)
3. Cruise control ON, speed set but cruise control is not engaged
4. Cruise control ON, speed set and cruise control active

I can choose each state clearly and instrument panel shows the current state (even if I can not see the light on stalk), From my experience driving an AP-equipped loaner for a week, it seems with newer cars, states 1 and 2 have disappeared. Does that sound right?

UnshodBob | October 11, 2016

@hikerockies - sounds about right to me. At least there is no OFF state anymore. (No light either.) Moving the lever usually causes a change. If not using TACC pushing away does nothing. There is also a long pull, but it may be the same as a short pull now. I haven't analyzed it that thoroughly.

Depending on whether a TACC speed has been set and if the car knows the speed limit:
Up=set or speed up
Down=set or slow down
Toward you=resume or set to limit plus offset (1/2 second pull?) or set current higher speed
Away=cancel TACC and auto steer but not exactly off

UnshodBob | October 11, 2016

Button press = away result

Made in CA | October 11, 2016

I use the button on the end of the stalk to turn off AP and TACC. If it retains the previous speed I have never noticed. I typically use TACC to set my current speed then adjust it up or down by pushing the stalk up or down.

@hikerockies - your #2 definitely turns on TACC and sets it to the current speed.

UnshodBob | October 11, 2016

@Made in CA - pre-AP cars for him. Is yours AP or not? I think the two might act differently. I only drove a pre-AP car once during my 1yr/12500mi service. The stalks were opposite, there was a light on the TACC stalk, no auto steer. It was strange. :)

hikerockies | October 11, 2016

@Made in CA, UnshodBob - Thanks for confirming.

Not being able to turn TACC/AP off was uncomfortable. I keep CC off when driving in the city. When driving the AP car, I turned off of main street (35mph limit, I wasn't using TACC/AP) on to a residential street (25mph limit) and pulled into a parking. When I got back to the car and pulled out on to the residential street, TACC showed speed set to 40mph on the residential street! I had to be very careful to not touch the TACC stalk and engage TACC accidentally.

procrastin8r | October 11, 2016

I think it would be better if the stalk needed a continuous pull, for 3 seconds, to activate CC/AP.

ram1901 | October 11, 2016

Guess Mercedes must have redesigned the TACC stalk.
One less button to fail.
It is a Mercedes steering wheel kit after all..

UnshodBob | October 11, 2016

@hikerockies - I did a little testing with TACC and the "long pull" idea. I was on the freeway in a 70 limit area. TACC was set to 75 (my offset is +5) and I raised it to 76. The car sped up a little. I pushed the button and the car slowed. I pulled the stalk quickly and the car went 76 again. I pushed the button, then pulled and held the stalk for a second. When I released it, the TACC reset to 75. I did the same test using 74 and it did the same, first resumed at 74 then reset to 75 with a long pull.

What this means is, if your AP loaner TACC was set to 40 but disabled, and you were in a 25 zone, a long pull would reset TACC to 30. A quick pull would resume it at 40. I didn't test this, but what I did test implies this would occur. Also, the reset does not seem to happen until you *release* the stalk! More testing needed. What a car, though, am I right? :)

hikerockies | October 12, 2016

@UnshodBob - TACC may have been showing 40 since the residential street I was on has very few speed limit signs and it may have remembered the speed limit of 35 from the main street (offset was set to +5). It looks like TACC stalk can do a few more tricks. Interesting results from your experiment!

It is hell of a car. I used to follow auto shows news and read car magazines. Tesla has made all that irrelevant for me now. Other cars simply do not hold any interest for me any more.

drew | October 12, 2016

I want to thank the pros on this forum for explaining how the stalk works, I get it now.

UnshodBob | October 12, 2016

@drew - functions are subject to change. Mine used to work differently under 6.2, then changed under 7.0, 7.1, and 8.0. Ok, maybe no change under 7.1. 6.2 had an off button for TACC. 7.0 removed that and added auto steer. 8.0 function is slightly different regarding TACC settings as described above. :)

rg22.vanhorn | October 12, 2016

@All, read the manual, read the Software Release Notes, use TACC and Autosteer... experiment with them... you will figure out how they work. I've had my S since January 2016 and been on numerous mini road trips plus two longer road trips (4K miles & 7K miles). TACC and Autosteer are fabulous to use on road trips. BUT one must remain alert and vigilant. When on Autopilot, either keep your hands on the steering wheel as advised by the system or periodically torque the steering wheel left or right a bit to keep the system from nagging for you to "Hold Steering Wheel." Keep your eyes on the road forward and rear, and on the dash display. It's a great system! I like following another car to let him "do all the work" of watching speed limits (or for Highway Patrol)... set your speed a bit higher than his and maintain a safe following distance (I like 5 or 6)... cruise away....

fgaliegue | October 13, 2016

I also experienced the lurching forward due to the detected speed limit being "wrong"; in one situation for instance, the limitation was 60 (kph) but the recorded speed was 90. I was at 60, tried to activate the cruise control and the car wanted to do 90... Ouch.

As a result, I now glance systematically at the instrument cluster to see whether the preset speed matches what I want... I agree that this can be surprising.

I have not found a way either to say to the TACC to "please set the speed to what I'm currently doing, not what you think it is".

Run4Waffles | October 13, 2016

Pull it quickly 5 (or 6) times towards you and get more cowbell. It's the best.


UnshodBob | October 13, 2016

@fgaliegue - push up or down instead of pulling toward you to set to current speed if TACC is already set higher than you want. Or pull and hold, then release (1/2 second or so) to set TACC to speed limit + offset.