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?

h8young | 16. oktober 2012

I just realized I didn't format the quote properly, but the body of the email from my Advocate starts from "Hi Henry," to his signature line "Peter Welch". I've never tried using the quotes before in html. Sorry.

dbourne | 16. oktober 2012

I also had emailed about the power folding mirrors and got the same response. I have the same problem for my San Francisco garage. Fortunately mine will BARELY fit with the mirrors fully extended (literally a couple inches on each side) I'm still ordering my Model S but I do see this as an oversight especially since the Model S is quite a bit wider than most cars in it's class. I'll just have to be super careful pulling into my garage.

Not happy about this but the car does have many other pluses that make me still want it. I also understand working for a tech startup myself that you can't always implement anything you might want to. At some point, some features just get cut in order to make the ones you keep, well engineered and well thought through.

CurrieG | 16. oktober 2012

Disapointing for the "World's Best Car"!

Mocaptain | 16. oktober 2012

Owning a car today which is wide and has power folding mirrors I can not see myself living with out them. I fold my mirrors more than rolling down the window. I hope they fix this engineering design flaw soon. I sure dont want to have to get out of my car and manually fold and unfold the passanger side mirror in addition to the driver side mirror every time I enter and exit my garage. This will be one of the only car in its class and size that doesnt offer power folding mirrors.

mrspaghetti | 16. oktober 2012

I never would have guessed so many people have such narrow garages...

Tiebreaker | 16. oktober 2012

Model S V2.0 - rear-view cameras?

rmitchum | 16. oktober 2012

Horse and buggy era construction? Reminds me of this line of "2 horses a$$es" thought:

mrspaghetti | 16. oktober 2012


I assume you mean side view cameras.

I'd love that, but not sure if regulations would allow for them. As usual, regulators and lawmakers are behind the times.

Mocaptain | 16. oktober 2012

In the average garage or parking spot for that matter with a wider car, you may only have several inches on each side to work with and therefore much risk of damage or lack of passage way. My Porsche Cayenne is just as wide as this car so I understand the benefit of power folding mirrors. Again, there is a reason on why other cars and suvs of this size have power folding mirrors as standard equipment. I would almost pay a third party for power folding mirrors to be put in after market with a remote or controlled by an app if tesla drops the ball here in future revisions.

Brian H | 17. oktober 2012

Another opportunity for an after-market fix, like the CCI!

Oreo | 17. oktober 2012

It's not necessarily the garage in all cases, but parking in various areas.
I always fold my mirrors at malls etc. (or park far away from other cars!)
The Leaf's got it, why not the S?
That's a downside we start seeing now when considering more day to day use and other practicality issues maybe.
Hope this is implemented and installed as soon as possible.

bp | 17. oktober 2012

My LS 460 is about the same size as the Model S. With the mirrors folded, the LS is 73.8" and the Model S is 77.3". With the mirrors unfolded, the Model S is 86.2". For the LS, the mirrors can be programmed to automatically fold when the car is locked - and there is a button for quickly folding and unfolding the mirrors. Without this feature - the Model S will effectively be 12.4" wider than the LS in parking spaces and garages.

My LS is tight in many parking spots - and the folding mirrors have helped to protect the mirrors and help provide more space between the car and the adjacent vehicles - on both sides.

I've got the Model S dimensions page up in another window - and, at least from the picture, it doesn't look like folding the mirrors will really reduce the width of the vehicle that much, because the mirrors don't appear to extend very much beyond the outside of the body. Is it possible the folded width has been calculated between the outside of the folded mirrors - and not the width of the body itself??? If that's the case, then the folding mirrors may not have much real impact anyway...

haansberger | 17. oktober 2012

Let's hope that the European version of the Model S will have power folding mirrors, because compared to what you guys have in the U.S., our garages at home and all the parking spots in garages and even in open air are a lot smaller ! Having such a wide car, makes it nearly impossible to get in or out a parking spot without folding those mirrors. Can you imagine doing that each time before you pull in and once after you pull out ? And that's not taking into account that you also loose your safety buffer : instead of the mirror, it will now be the side of the car that might hit something if you don't pay attention !
Kinda ridiculous when driving a car that will cost over 100K in Europe :-(

nickjhowe | 17. oktober 2012

+1 @BP. Been thinking the same myself.

Check out the red lines on the picture below. My guess is that BP is right. The overall width of the car with the mirrors folded looks closer to maybe 82" not 77" because the flanks of the car are wider than the mirrors.

Anyone with a car care to confirm?

dcpalmer | 17. oktober 2012

I'm in the UK (Signature Reservation #19) and lack of the power-folding mirrors could well be a deal breaker for me!

Whilst I'm fortunate in having plenty of space to park the car at home, I worry about the narrow roads and parking places in South East England. I've already had one mirror smashed on my Jaguar XJ, which is a similar size to this car (slightly narrower, actually).

dborn | 17. oktober 2012

The flanks may be wider, but passing people tend to lean in. My point about damage in car parks remains.

Captain_Zap | 17. oktober 2012

Good point about the fenders Nick. Thanks for the image.

If one were to use the mirror edges as a guide for clearance it could be a big problem. I use my mirrors as a guide when getting my current car in the garage because there isn't much clearance.

This reminds me of cat's whiskers. Apparently they use them to determine whether they can fit through a hole and not get stuck.

Tiebreaker | 17. oktober 2012


Yes, I meant side rear-view cameras, Model X-like. Elon said in one interview that they were hoping to deliver Model X with the cameras instead of mirrors, so some legislation change may be in the works...

mrspaghetti | 17. oktober 2012


That would be great.

If only regulations/laws were written more generically, so as not to stifle future innovation. For example;

Instead of:
"Cars shall have two side view mirrors that stick out from their sides like sore thumbs"

Perhaps they could write:
"Cars shall incorporate a means by which the driver may see his blind spots"

vouteb | 17. oktober 2012

This is the deal breaker top 3 topic

It is a must in Europe and I will and cannot have a car as wide as the S without it.

Hope that Tesla reads this, what a bummer!

nickjhowe | 17. oktober 2012

I've been trying to take some measurements off the spec page photo and my best estimate is that the overall width wheel-arch-to-wheel-arc is about 3" narrower than the overall mirror-to-mirror width.

So - if you are trying to fit the car into a space that needs the mirrors folded be aware that you'll have about an inch clearance on either side of the car. Sooner you than me!

ColonyGolfer | 17. oktober 2012

I have 1-1/2" on each side to get into my garage. I extend this a little by folding in the driver mirror. Here is a caution flag for everyone: DO NOT TURN THE WHEEL WHEN YOU ENTER A GARAGE. MAKE A STRAIGHT SHOT. THEN WHEN YOU BACK OUT, DO NOT TURN THE WHEEL AT ALL. Now you've reduced your anxiety by 50%. Sounds like it goes without saying, but you'd be surprised.

Velo1 | 17. oktober 2012

As an engineer, I would not think adding power-folding mirrors, either by Tesla or aftermarket outfit, would be that difficult. There already exists a motor (servo?) for titling/adjusting the mirrors, so why not find a means to utilize the motor to also folder the mirror. Major oversight, in my opinion. Perhaps a little thinking inside the box is in order for this innovative car. This ain't rocket surgery ;)

mrspaghetti | 17. oktober 2012


It sounds like the car is wide enough that, even if it did have power folding mirrors it might not be a good choice for you if the parking spots/garages/streets are that narrow in your locality.


Maybe they didn't bother if the folding mirrors would only gain you an inch on either side anyway, as nickjhowe suggests.

Michael23 | 17. oktober 2012

That's true about the folding not helping much, but the car is so wide anything would help. I too have about 2 inches on each side of my sf garage.

Brian H | 17. oktober 2012

Mebbe TM is concerned that its speed-obsessed crazy drivers would fold the mirrors "in flight" to reduce the Cd.

Brian H | 18. oktober 2012

your HTML was probably fine. The "quote" function, and several others, don't actually work here.

sbern18 | 18. oktober 2012

I also will have only 1 1/2" clearance on each side. Particularly worried about snow, driveway is sloped and need a "running start" to make it in. Will be tough to line up perfectly in this scenario. TM really should put them in.

mrspaghetti | 18. oktober 2012

testing the quote function

mrspaghetti | 18. oktober 2012

@Brian H

You're right, it doesn't work :)

Volker.Berlin | 18. oktober 2012
Vawlkus | 18. oktober 2012

With Model S's traction control you shouldn't need to make a run at it in winter.

Thumper | 18. oktober 2012

I visited the Porland OR showroom yesterday and specifically looked at the folding mirrors. Each mirror, when folded, reduces width by about 5". I suspect that the photo from the spec page misrepresents the width of the front of the car due to perspective. The published spec of 77.3 for the folded width is correct.

nickjhowe | 18. oktober 2012

Thanks Thumper!

Michael23 | 18. oktober 2012

It doesn't seem like it saves that much in this video to me, but I hope it does!

MandL | 18. oktober 2012

I always wonder a little when I see these "dealbreaker" comments. I loved the auto-folding mirrors on my last car and used them every day. I also liked the guidelines on the backup camera. I think lane-departure warning sounds cool, though I've never had it. The maintenance fees are pretty high IMO, just based on assumptions I had about this car being very-low-maintenance. I could go on and on, but the crux of it is, there is no other car made I would have considered spending $60K on, much less $100K. I still would never would dream of giving a start-up $40K interest free to reserve something I won't see for a year or more. In my opinion, there is no alternative to the Tesla Model S right now. If you were ever really serious about getting one, you're in for whatever turns out to be the end result.

For those of you still on the fence, I can tell you after two weeks as a daily driver: the car is AWESOME! The worst thing about it is having to spend upwards of an hour a day being peppered with questions about it.

Michael23 | 18. oktober 2012

I don't think anyone disagrees with you, it's just that this car is supposed to be practical and they made it out to be the widest sedan out there is they should have made it more practical with auto fold mirrors so more people can make the switch from ice. I'm willing to fold my mirror in twice a a day for this amazing car, but many people won't be.

DouglasR | 18. oktober 2012

Yes, most of us are willing to accept the car without this feature, but its absence goes to TM's overall philosophy of what this car should be.

I remember when some of the Japanese car companies started introducing various convenience and safety features as standard equipment. It was sort of revolutionary. Cars that had previously been seen as "toys" got a second look and started selling briskly. Who would have thought cup holders could be so popular? These features didn't add all that much to the cars' overall price, but represented a refreshing change from Detroit, which at the time was not offering them at all, or was nickel-and-diming us for every added benefit.

The Model S purports to be the best car at any price, and in many ways it is. Omissions are inevitable, given the rush to produce an entirely new vehicle on an ambitious schedule and at a price promised years in advance. But the feedback we provide on these omissions is important in helping TM to become the car company it strives to be.

Brian H | 18. oktober 2012

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

Captain_Zap | 18. oktober 2012

I just noticed that Tesla is looking to hire a Design Engineer that specializes in exterior mirrors. Hmmmmm.....

It's in the careers section.

BYT | 18. oktober 2012

That is how a lot of Apple Rumors were accurately diagnosed, look at their want ads! :)

Volker.Berlin | 18. oktober 2012

I just noticed that Tesla is looking to hire a Design Engineer that specializes in exterior mirrors. Hmmmmm.....

Captain_Zap, nice find! :-)

Captain_Zap | 19. oktober 2012

I also noticed some European Job listings. You are getting set up!

nickjhowe | 19. oktober 2012

Wow. They have someone who's job is just to design the mirrors? I want that job!

Timo | 19. oktober 2012

@nickjhowe, I think the difference between real measurements and lines in a picture are because that is an actual picture of a car, not a blueprint. Perspective error. Or Tesla has made an error with the measurements.

olanmills | 19. oktober 2012

"I'm in the UK (Signature Reservation #19) and lack of the power-folding mirrors could well be a deal breaker for me!"

Deal breaker? Seriously?

At least other people with concerns are talking about the fact that they're garages are too small, so they need or would appreciate the ability to fold the mirrors as they are moving the car in.

But if you're just concerned about street parking, can't you just you know, put a little elbow grease into it?

vouteb | 20. oktober 2012

At least other people with concerns are talking about the fact that they're garages are too small, so they need or would appreciate the ability to fold the mirrors as they are moving the car in.


nickjhowe | 20. oktober 2012

@Timo - I think it is perspective. I went to the Design Studio and looked at the plan view of the car and it is obvious that the mirrors stick out much more than 1.5". Sorry for the error everyone. Yet again I wish there was delete or edit on these forums!!!

pilotSteve | 20. oktober 2012

@nichjhowe - yes, you've find the key fact: folding the mirrors would really be a placebo and give false confidence. You only gain 1.5".

Maybe Tesla made the right decision here...

Brian H | 20. oktober 2012

Heh. Looks like you and nick "crossed posts"; he's now withdrawn the 1.5" observation. Re-re-think and re-explanation is in order, once more again!