Amber / Yellow rear blinkers / turn signals

Amber / Yellow rear blinkers / turn signals

What's the official word on getting a Model S with amber turn signals on the back? If they need to make these for Europe how can us Americans get our hands on them? | 18 février 2013

Others have heard from Tesla that it is not available for US, even if we want to pay extra. There is no clear reason why (perhaps they want all US spec cars to look the same or it affects some certification that makes it a hassle to redo).

It's not something that would be easy to modify, but I suppose it could be done - etting surface mount LEDs of the correct intensity and then lots of soldering. Getting to the light assembly also seems to be a bit of a pain.

Brian H | 18 février 2013

Step 1) Purchase plane ticket.
Step 2) ...

Tylyoung | 21 février 2013

I'm pretty sure it is due to DOT regulations. The rear of all U. S. vehicles lighting must be red, even the turn signal indicators. Truckers often have their entire rigs and trailers lit up orange until they get to the rear of the rig/trailer.... then it is red. Lighting identifies front from rear.

Kinda like boats... must have a red marker light on the left (port side) and a green marker light on the right (starboard side.)

Aircraft also... red marker lights on the left wing tip and green on the right wing tip.

DOT regulations may apply here.

vinnyjames | 21 février 2013

I see cars all the time with amber turn signals and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a report from 2009 about the "effectiveness of amber turn signals for reducing rear impacts" (see so pretty certain this is NOT a regulatory issue.

jeroens | 21 février 2013

Maybe we can order them here in Europe for you (eventually) and mail them.....?

BYT | 21 février 2013

TO be honest, the all rear lights always annoyed me on American car's, if that's a DOT rule, it should change, IHMO.

BYT | 21 février 2013

All red, rear lights I meant to say! :)

vinnyjames | 21 février 2013

Yeah jeroens, sounds like we have to wait for them to come out in europe and then order the parts after-market

jeroens | 21 février 2013

It seems to be just the light (led ?) is this correct or is the 'cover' different?

vinnyjames | 22 février 2013

Yeah hopefully just the bulb but I'm not sure. I was thinking the charging port is hidden in the tail light and replacing the entire assembly might be pricey.

sagebrushnw | 24 février 2013

I've had several American cars that came with amber rear turn signals. Seems like for some American manufacturers it's more a styling year or two they have amber rear turn signals, then change to red rear turn signals for a year or two. They don't seem to consider the safety of having amber rear turn signals and the red tail and brake lights.

I've found that red rear lamps (including turn signals) are easier to see in bright sunlight than amber lights. When the sunlight is not so bright or at night, the amber really stands out in a "sea" of red tail/brake lights.

In the past I have customized several of my cars (that had all red rear combination lights) to have both red and amber rear turn signals. Some I added an extra socket (with amber bulbs in them) to the back up light housings and run wiring from the left and right front turn signals to power them. Other times I would use the backup light housing for the rear amber turn signal and then added different reverse light housings. Either way, the ambers were only turn signals, while the reds were still the original combination tail/brake/turn signal lights.

In other cases, if there was 1) more than one red combination rear tail/ brake/turn light on each side and 2) the light lens was flat or a good portion of it flat, I would cut out a section of one of the red lens and replace it with an amber section made from amber lens picked up in a wrecking yard. If the bulb in that location was a dual element bulb, I would also replace it with a different socket and single element bulb so that the amber was turn signal only, not a tail/brake light. It took a lot more work to do it this way but the result was rewarding to me and sometimes, got compliments from people that noticed the difference.

rdub | 27 avril 2013

DOT rules in the US allow amber, but there is a required amount of Luminance which manufacturers find it had to achieve with just amber (for some reason) now when they didn't before. As for the European cars, most in Europe have amber but they must not be "bright" enough. As for US cars or cars headed here, it's cheaper to have one color than two as safety doesn't appear to be #1 priority.

Vladimir Putin Ivan | 15 octobre 2014

rdub, why not allow a software change to modify the brightness of the lighting? I assume one could purchase American tail lights as a replacement for a European car as they are easier to source and then create a transparent-Amber mould of the red section to then re-make in Amber?

What about replacing the amber LED bar in a set of European tail lights with red LEDs to make it DOT-legal?

Captain_Zap | 15 octobre 2014

I loved yellow turn signals in the rear. It got people's attention. It was easily differentiated from the long lines of brake lights.

The rear light assembly is different in Europe because they have to accommodate a larger charging plug.

TeslaMD | 15 octobre 2014

Again, if you take notice of the cars around you you'll see a huge number of cars on US roads have Amber blinkers, not red.

222 | 3 octobre 2016

I've thought about the amber/red issue for several years and I'm glad i'm not the only one bothered by it.

I wouldnt be surprised if someone at Tesla or one of the other auto companies figure out they can just place different color LEDs in the turn lights so that you can either customize it yourself, or better yet, let the car software change the color depending on your GPS location and that country's motor laws.

References 67 and 68 here are interesting. I havent read it all but I might on a night I cant sleep:

That (ie customizing your car like your phone within DOT regulations), and removing side view mirrors and using cameras instead are the next changes in car design I see in the next 10 years.

dpena23 | 4 octobre 2016

I'm a Canadian living in L.A. I can safely say that L.A drivers do not know how to use their turn signal lights.
Can't expect cops to enforce it because even cops don't use em! They drive as crazy slow--or--as crazy fast as the taxi drivers. Oh, my gawd...crazy taxi drivers and their Prius'....don't get me started. I'm all for Uber now.
I hate L.A!
Oh, but I wouldn't be driving a Tesla if I didn't move out here. Oh, the irony....


Silver2K | 4 octobre 2016

I read about this a long time ago in a newspaper.
The short of it is, the red light makes the car seem closer at night was the reasoning behind it. That is why long ago when deciding on a light for stop, red was chosen as the stop color.

tlkg1970 | 9 mai 2019

I believe the yellow blinker and red-at-stop at X are the same unit. Tesla won't make diff color parts for Europe and US. I was checking Hyundai's Ioniq, and found out its turn signal is red instead of the installed yellow bulb. The sales told me it's just a wiring issue because Canada requires yellow, "so if you want it we can have the service connect it for you."
So anyone know how to check the rear signal assembly? | 10 mai 2019

@tlkg1970 - I know for a fact the Tesla MS amber vs red rear turn signal tail lights are different parts. They use LEDs too, so no easy bulb replacement will work.