An open letter To Mr. Elon Musk regarding fog lights

An open letter To Mr. Elon Musk regarding fog lights

An open letter To Mr. Elon Musk, Chairman & CEO of Tesla Motors Corp.-

Mr. Musk-

It has recently come to the attention of the Tesla enthusiast community that the fog/ground lights have been recently eliminated as part of the Tech Package for the Model S. Unfortunately, this was done “silently” without any notice to those who had an existing car deposit or a car in the build and delivery process. In addition, the picture gallery on as well as your showrooms still display cars with lights included, thus those recently ordering have reason to believe they are still included.

It has been stated by one customer that the email reply (ostensibly from yourself regarding this)was:

“You're right, we should have said something. Essentially, the "fog" lights were not actually helpful in fog or in any reasonable scenario we could envision, and were actually bad in some situations. They made Model S worse, so they were deleted.”

While we certainly applaud not wanting to include anything adverse on the Model S, such lights are not useful for just foggy conditions. As ground lights, they allow more peripheral illumination and near-field fill lighting, which several customers have indicated is indeed useful. In addition, fog/ground lights are often considered aesthetically pleasing contributors to a vehicle’s appearance. Finally, the “solution” to the issue of removing and replacing the lamp with a plastic “filler cap” detracts from the beautiful appearance of the car.

You have previously expressed sentiment along the lines of: “We don’t want to build the best electric car, we want to build the best car period”, and as such you are competing in price and features with other luxury sedan makers. They have found a way to incorporate fog/ground lights in a safe manner that contributes to the functionality and appearance of their cars and we, as your customers, have come to expect such options to be available to us.

We request one of the following remedies:
1) Restore fog/ground lights as part of the Tech Package (including retroactive installation for all purchasers), performing whatever redesigns necessary to eliminate any “bad situations” where they may have posed a problem.

2) Reduce the price of the Tech Package by an appropriate amount, refunding any purchasers of the package who will not receive the lights. Make the (redesigned) lights available as an option for this same amount.

We, the current and future owners of the Tesla Model S, appreciate the significant advancement in design and engineering the car represents. We desire the Model S to be “World Class” in all respects. Removing features that are easily obtainable on even lesser cars is not the way to do it.

Respectfully –
Your Ever Growing Ownership and Enthusiast Community

- - - Updated - - -

I am the author of the above letter, which I wanted to keep as applicable as possible to all owners who wish to "sign" by voicing their support for.

As such, I am outlining my specific circumstances separately here: I've been considering a Tesla Model S for a number of months. The Tech Package (including foglights) has always been an option I had decided I would order. The initial description on the web site, the pictures in the gallery , online videos, and the cars I've seen in person (as recently as a showroom visit on 4/13) have always depicted fog/ground lights.

I placed my $5K deposit on 4/5, and only recently have come to realize that the lights have been eliminated. I am a big supporter of Tesla, but doing this without any notification and without changing the price for the Tech Package is not the way to continue to engender my loyalty.

I believe Elon/Tesla did the right thing by listening to customer feedback regarding items such as the floor mats, visors, etc... My hope is that this thread is a CONSTRUCTIVE venue to provide feedback that I believe the user community might wish to provide.

Finally, lets face it... this is a high-tech bad-boy of a car. It DESERVES to look every bit the advanced machine it is... c'mon let's have the awesome looking lights back... we are paying high 5- and even 6-digit prices for these machines...

Captain_Zap | December 20, 2013

Thanks for the follow up.
I bet George Blankenship deserves some credit too!

mclary | December 20, 2013

There should have never been a doubt Elon and Tesla would do the right thing.

ssarker | December 20, 2013

I got mine as well (VIN 08945), albeit after exchange of several emails with ownership and finally confirmed by Jerome Guillen that with my initial 2012 order, I qualify for the complimentary retrofit.

Ohms.Law | December 20, 2013

So are the new retrofitted fog lights worth it? I haven't read many comments about them.


Bighorn | December 20, 2013

I'm sure Elon will sleep better tonight, with your approval.

Jamon | December 20, 2013

Or maybe Elon stepped well 1,000 years ago when scaesare first approved :)

Steven - thanks for the follow up letter. I love these examples of TM really doing the right thing for customers. It's one of so many big differentiators between TM and all the rest.

Jamon | December 20, 2013

Crap! stepped = slepped.

DTsea | December 20, 2013

I have the fog lights from before they went off the tech package.

I never use them.

scaesare | December 20, 2013


I'm not sure what your point is. I'm under no delusions that Elon is hanging on my every word... he's got significantly larger issues to keep him up at night I'm sure.

At the same time, I hope positive feedback encourages the type of customer response that sets them apart in many ways.

So what does your comment have to do with this issue?

scaesare | December 20, 2013

Jamon- Sure thing... and I feel similarly.

Ohms.Law- The pattern on them is significantly more defined. They paint a horizontal tripe that extends well to the sides of the car, but have a very sharp cutoff just about at the bottom of the low-beam coverage area. It appears the improvement they were after was glare reduction form having the pattern too high.

Captain_Zap | December 20, 2013


The fog lights are not so much for your ability to see, but instead for drivers of other cars so that they can see you in dense fog.

Brian H | December 21, 2013

Your other alternatives are all wrong. English has some "irregular" verbs, and sleep is one. Creep is similar: crept. So is weep: wept.

J.T. | December 21, 2013

So the coverage area is about the size of a cow's stomach, I'm guessing.

scaesare | December 21, 2013

lol... oh to be able to edit posts.... :)

Let's try "stripe". (No, not the "bass")

kcf2 | December 23, 2013

Complimentary fog light upgrade available? S60 ordered in early February, 2013, with Tech Package, thought it would include fog lights, took delivery April 26th, VIN P09179. Could have used them once or twice. Fog Lights or No, I Love my Tesla.

drax7 | December 23, 2013

Too many cry babies, I hope Elon never listens to this crap again .

kcf2 | December 23, 2013

Aaaaaaaaaand on that note, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the Tesla Team. You are Making a difference with Model S, a product we are all proud to own. Looking forward to the great things in store for 2014. Thank You.

DallasTXModelS | December 23, 2013

My Model S was delivered Dec 15 with the complimentary fog lights.

jzahrt | December 23, 2013

scaesare - Thanks for the update! Glad to hear that Elon made it right. I am sure he appreciated the positive feedback. So many people only focus on the negative, it was right of you to follow up with the positive. Enjoy your fog lights! I use mine all the time.

Alex K | December 23, 2013

@scaesare | DECEMBER 20, 2013: The pattern on them is significantly more defined. They paint a horizontal tripe that extends well to the sides of the car, but have a very sharp cutoff just about at the bottom of the low-beam coverage area. It appears the improvement they were after was glare reduction form having the pattern too high.

I have the old style fog lights and am looking to upgrade them (at cost) for the new ones. The old style is definitely not very useful in fog. A few weeks ago I was in a high dense fog situation and at best the fog lights did not improve visibility. They did cause some reflected glare, so I would say that having a stronger beam with a defined low cutoff should really help.

dario.d | December 23, 2013

$100K car and fog lights are optional :-(

Sgt Barone | December 23, 2013


ola.spakmo | November 29, 2014

Could someone please give me the details to Mr Musk's promise?
I ordered my TMS in July -12 with the Tech-package. According to my memories the fog lights were included. I finalised in April -13 and recieved the car in Sept -13.

Tesla Norway says the fog lights were a part of the Tech package from autumn -13 only. | November 29, 2014

I wish that rear fog light was included in the US as they are overseas for safety reasons.