No Power Folding Mirrors for Model S in the future.

No Power Folding Mirrors for Model S in the future.

I emailed my Tesla Ownership Advocate regarding when we might expect to see Power Folding Mirrors implemented in the Model S as that is one of the reasons why I have not finalized my order. Being that the Model S is quite wide and I have single bay garage doors, it would be a hassle to not have the power-folding mirrors capability. I was hoping to finalize my order knowing that this would be a feature that can be added later and can be retro-fitted to existing production cars similar to the pano roof shade, opportunity console and rear reading lights. However, I was disappointed today to hear back from my Advocate that they have no plans to include Power-Folding Mirrors in the Model S now nor in the future. Below is the email that I got.

Hi Henry,

I just spoke to the product planning team and at this time there are no plans to incorporate power folding mirrors to the Model S. It will not be retrofitted into the vehicle, nor will it be a future addition. I apologize for the misconception.

However, if you could provide me with the dimensions of your garage, I would be happy to see if the Model S will fit comfortably with the mirrors unfolded, or perhaps only the driver’s side is necessary. I will hope for the former of the two options as I can understand the inconvenience of an additional step when you park your car.

Thank you for getting back to me.



Peter Welch | Ownership Experience Advocate

Does anyone else have any information on this or can confirm this?

Teoatawki | October 20, 2012

Maybe Model S 2.0 update after Model X comes out will let you upgrade your car to side view cameras for $800.

mdennick | October 20, 2012

I use auto-folding mirrors in my current car every time I park it. I also have a narrow garage opening, the mirrors are a good guide extended but I'll close them at the last moment. I leave them that way in the garage, and in parking lots, because it makes it easier to walk by. Even if the bottom of the body is nearly as wide you're not going to bump your elbow, or purse, or backpack on the bottom.

This is nowhere close to a deal breaker but certainly a worthy feature for the best car in the world. I wish for it.

Michael23 | October 21, 2012

Maybe someone can just measure the mirror extensed vs folded in? I'd love to know the width of the car with one mirror folded vs both extended.

archibaldcrane | October 21, 2012

"Since the mirrors fold manually, place "bumpers" just outside the garage door to force them to fold. ;)"

I've actually been considering this :(

nickjhowe | October 21, 2012

@Michael23 - latest info seems to be the specs page is correct, so 86.2" extended, 77.3" folded, 81.75" one mirror folded.

dirk.saenen | December 1, 2012
Getting Amped Again | December 1, 2012

@dirk.saenen: Best. Post. Ever.

Mocaptain | December 1, 2012

Haha...great post

DouglasR | December 1, 2012

Hilarious. And it doesn't need subtitles.

dborn | December 1, 2012

Really nice vid. We DO need folding mirrors, and since the controls are from the Merc parts bin, the switching is there, just add the motor! Its main use is safety in a parking lot - people brushing by your car are less likely to smash them!

DTsea | December 2, 2012

My garage was built in 1917- Model T era- but still has 8' opening (95.25"). I BACK into the garage- much more precise control with the front wheels trailing- and then is very, very easy to see the edge of the door as the mirrors approach, plus easy to pull out. This is with a large minivan... the Model S will have plenty of clearance.

I used to live in Italy and our basement garage was fronted by a concrete post (I drove a Lancia Dedra, similar in size to a Model S). Once I got used to it I could do it reliably.

Brian H | December 2, 2012

So the bottom line is: pull a bit past the driveway entrance, then back in and learn how to do it right! (Just shifts the backing from out to in, so no overall increase in 'inconvenience'.

ArieK | December 2, 2012

DTsea; The Lancia Dedra measures 67" in width and the Model S 86". That is a BIG difference, not exactly 'similar in size'. The Dedra weighs 2579 pounds, seems tiny, even though it isn't. :-)
Your approach to the garage sounds perfect though.

rwang | December 2, 2012

In general, this is a mistake by Tesla as almost every luxury car of this caliber has this option. It's very useful in europe and even in tighter parking spaces and garages.

dirk.saenen | December 2, 2012


Glad the vid put a smile on your face.
My garage is 2.35m, so I will have 10cm clearance with extended mirrors.

But I do agree with most; I also urge Tesla to incorporate the auto.folding mirrors in their Model-S.

Both roads and cars are -in general- smaller in Europe than in the US, or CA.
Leaving a car as wide as the ModelS parked on the streets, or in a public parking lot, with the mirrors extended, will be a the expense of some mirrors.

Unless Tesla want to make a business in replacing broken ones, but I'm sure they are not.

@Jeroen de Vries : misschien kan uw ervaring en kennis ter zake voor een doorbraak zorgen ?

sbern18 | December 2, 2012

It's also a problem for those of us parking in garages in manhattan. The attendants routinely bring in the mirrors to create space. Most cars have that now, they won't necessarily take the time to do the right thing. Many dings coming.

DouglasR | December 2, 2012

My situation is similar to that of DTsea -- I have a 1906 house in Seattle, narrow garage, and I have always backed in. The garage is off a fairly narrow alley, so it is even trickier, sometimes requiring a little back and forth in order to get the car properly lined up.

I've never had power folding mirrors. It sounds like a great idea, but it's hard to miss what I've never had. While I suppose a car in this price range "should" have this feature, the Model S has many features that other cars in this price range don't. Bottom line is that I have never been tempted to buy those other cars, and yet I'm thrilled at the prospect of owning a Model S.

vouteb | December 2, 2012

The non automatic folding mo=irrors is becoming gripe no 1 (in Europe)

Tesla : wake up, think global, California/US is not big enough to survive!

vouteb | December 2, 2012



DTsea | December 2, 2012

Actually that was a 1992 Dedra- it seemed pretty big, perhaps the quoted dimension excludes mirrors? Anyway, like DouglasR the garage fronts an alley which is narrow- its not possible to drive in and back out- the rear of the car trails inside the curve going forward. I would not want the mirrors retracted backing in.

It would be a handy feature but with the width across the doors, it would only save a little.

Brian H | December 2, 2012

Hobbits are going to have similar problems.

vttindc | March 9, 2013

The width is a problem for standard one car garages, and while it would be nice if the passenger side mirror could be folded in from the driver's side, this really doesn't solve the width problem. With the mirrors folded in we have about a foot of clearance, a bit too tight to comfortably garage the car as the slightest miscalculation could scratch it or worse whack off a mirror.

vttindc | March 11, 2013

If the inexpensive KIA can provide passenger side mirrors that can be electronically folded surely Tesla can

Captain_Zap | March 11, 2013

I thought that I wanted folding mirrors until I drove the car for a while. Now I use the mirror edges as a point of reference on a routine basis for entering my garage and in other situations.

If my mirrors clear an object that means that the fenders will clear it too. (Unless you are approaching an object at an angle.) I compare the side mirrors to cat's whiskers.

harvin | June 30, 2013

The lack of automatic folding side mirrors is THE issue I have with my Model S, which in every other sense is the best car I have ever driven. I have an old house and the garage will not accomodate the car without retracting the side mirrors. I literally have to roll down both windows and manually retract the mirrors every time I enter my garage-two manual operations every day in an otherwise totally electric car. My other cars have this feature, and though of course at one time I never knew I needed such a thing that hadn't been invented, I now cannot imagine driving a car without retracting side mirrors, and yet here I am in the most modern innovative car ever built, putting my car in park and stretching across my passenger seat twice a day by necessity. In my other cars I find myself using the automatic mirrors very often, especially in parking spaces where I want to minimize the chance of damage to my mirrors by another driver who isn't careful-which is the rule and not the exception. Elon, please make a retrofit available for this issue, because, especially for people with tight garages or concern for unnecessary damage in parking lots, the finest car in the world, and especially the finest electric car, should have an electric mirror. Think about me the next time it is raining when I get home. Either I will get wet parking outside, or my Tesla will get wet inside when I roll down my windows to manually retract my mirrors.

carlk | June 30, 2013

I second that. I would even trade the two cup holders for power folding mirrors. That and availibility of parking sensors are the only reasons I'm still holding buying the MS.

cybrown | June 30, 2013

When I test drove the Model S, the Tesla rep told me that the reason the mirrors don't fold is that the post connecting the mirror to the car was made as thin and sleek as possible in order to decrease drag. To incorporate auto-folding mirrors, they'd had to put a motor in there, which would significantly thicken the connection and worsen aerodynamic performance. I'm fine with the non-folding mirrors if it means better mileage.

S4WRXTTCS | June 30, 2013

I predict the most common problem with the European Model S will be broken mirrors due to them getting hitting them. I had to laugh when I was in Italy and I'd see a huge row of cars all with the folded mirrors folded in or busted.

S4WRXTTCS | June 30, 2013

I hope I'm also not the only one who masked off a space in his garage for the Tesla just to see how well it would fit without the mirrors being able to fold.

wcalvin | June 30, 2013

I worried about width and the fixed mirrors becore taking delivery of MS but not since. However, I haven't yet taken a ferry, the main place where I fold on my Lexus.

Brian H | June 30, 2013

The mirrors are not fixed, they fold manually.

Skotty | June 30, 2013

I'm kind of dumbfounded by this thread. I've never heard of anyone needing a folding mirror before.

tobi_ger | June 30, 2013

It's also used as a precaution when parking within cities, to avoid your mirrors being slammed by other cars and trucks closely driving by.

harvin | July 5, 2013

I hear you, Skotty. Until I had a car with folding side mirrors, I didn't know how important they were. And until I had a car with electric folding side mirrors, I didn't know how important those were. But once you've paid a bill for a smashed or broken-off mirror, due to someone who passed you too close or parked too close, or even your own wife (!!) having a close encounter with a parking garage column, you use this feature every day and it is hard for others to realize the peace of mind and the literal savings from not having your car damaged in such a common way. And if you have an old garage like I do, built in the days of narrow cars, you literally cannot pull your car into or out of your own garage without rolling down both windows and manually folding them in. That really reduces the 'luxury car experience' that is otherwise so rich in this amazing car.

vouteb | July 5, 2013


Try parking in Europe or drive in narrow London streets

harvin | July 5, 2013

Trudat! I'm confident Tesla won't take long to add this feature if they're serious about marketing the Model S in Europe, but I just hope they offer a retrofit for those of us who didnt think about this (took it for granted, actually) before we purchased. I do love my Model S in every other respect, though...the best car I have ever driven.

AmpedRealtor | July 5, 2013

@ Skotty, folding mirrors are great for my 2-car garage where space is tight. However, I'm happy with the fact that the mirrors fold - I don't care if they aren't power folding mirrors. I suppose it would be nice for a $100,000 sedan to have at least the same convenience features of a Kia, which does have power folding side mirrors, but I will live.

harvin | July 5, 2013

@AmpedRealtor you're right it's not a dealkiller for those who haven't had power side mirrors before, but I'd bet all the TSLA stock I own that if they made this a $250 option (which would cover their cost) 75% of buyers would take it, after pondering the value for a few moments. I doubt Elon wants to mess with $250 options, but he could raise the price of the car by the same amount and it's just negligible compared with the value and peace of mind. I think it's a matter if time. Earlier in this thread someone noted Tesla advertised for an engineer specializing in mirrors, I think Elon is on it.

tobi_ger | July 5, 2013

I think power-folded mirrors may have been initially benched as they tried to work out rear-view cameras as mirrors, but may have run into issues in some states/countries for them to be not allowed.
Unfortunately I haven't bookmarked the info for that.

AmpedRealtor | July 5, 2013

@ tobi_ger, I think you're right. I thought I read somewhere that Tesla has had such a hard time getting rid of the side view mirrors of the Model X in favor of video cameras, that Tesla has elected to shelve the side view cams and stick with traditional mirrors on the Model X. This car is so far ahead of the laws it's ridiculous.

AmpedRealtor | July 5, 2013

I wasn't clear in my previous post. I meant that Tesla has been running into regulatory issues that are preventing the elimination of the side view mirrors.

Brian H | July 5, 2013

Compare the supports and aerodynamics for power mirrors vs manual. It's been suggested this is one of TM's reasons for not going that route.

cloroxbb | July 6, 2013

I know each piece by itself is negligible, but added electricity to everything isnt going to be doing any favors to the battery.

I guess I do not understand how hard it is to manually fold the mirrors after you are parked and get out of the car. I know its a convenience, but how spoiled do we have to be :)

shamrockceo | July 6, 2013

I think the real problem here is the lack of parking sensors for U.S. vehicles - at least for U.S. Model S owners. I'm currently driving my Bentley Continental GT until my Model S arrives to take over the throne.

I never fold in my side mirrors on my Bentley, even though they are motorized and able to fold easily. The reason I never find myself worrying about the mirrors is because I can easily pull in and out of any spot with the help of the parking sensors.

My Bentley with the mirrors unfolded is 87 inches wide, so slightly wider than the Model S.

Let's push hard for parking sensors! :-)

shamrockceo | July 6, 2013

@cloroxbb - If I'm paying over $100,000 for a vehicle, I expect to be at least somewhat decently spoiled. Especially when most vehicles 1/2 of the price of the Model S P85+ have power folding mirrors and parking sensors as standard equipment.

It's just something expected from a luxury car, which this car is touted to be. That said, I'm still excited to take delivery of my Model S, and I'll fix both issues aftermarket if I must. I would just greatly prefer an OEM solution from Tesla that is more elegantly integrated with the car's touchscreen.

cloroxbb | July 6, 2013


There is where you went wrong then, the Model S is a 1st Gen car, and unlike the ICE Luxury vehicles, you are not paying for the same things. For the ICE, you are paying a premium for all of those features you are crying about. In the Model S, you are paying for the battery, and everything else, the "luxury" aspect will come later as Tesla becomes a higher volume manufacturer and the batteries get cheaper.

You might expect the luxury, but its just not part of the equation just yet.

If it was that big of a deal, you wouldn't have bought the vehicle. Blame yourself, not Tesla.

Brian H | July 6, 2013

The money is going elsewhere than where you are evidently used to.

J.T. | July 6, 2013

For those of you who can't enter your garage without folding your mirrors:

Have two boxing gloves mounted at the precise point that your car will contact your garage walls and simply use them as guides for parking your car. As you pull in the mirrors will fold in "automatically" when they contact the boxing gloves.

Have another boxing glove on a short stick to unfold the passenger mirror when you exit.

Lo-tech, yes, but it sure beats scratched mirrors.

You could also hire a mirror caddy to wait in your driveway for when you get home. That could be another after market cottage industry. I hope tesla accessories sees this

shamrockceo | July 7, 2013

@cloroxbb - For you, and potentially others who are unable to read...

I very clearly stated towards the end of my post:
"That said, I'm still excited to take delivery of my Model S, and I'll fix both issues aftermarket if I must. I would just greatly prefer an OEM solution from Tesla that is more elegantly integrated with the car's touchscreen."

cloroxbb | July 7, 2013


Your last point isn't the one I was referring to, as my last line isn't the only thing I posted.