A litany of complaints about the best car I've ever owned. :)

A litany of complaints about the best car I've ever owned. :)

So we've driven a Volt since 2011 and it was time to get a new car, and a M3 was the obvious choice. So the gene perpetuation units are now driving the Volt and She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are in a M3P (we were torn between the DM and the P, but better to regret doing something than to regret not doing it). We've had it a month and it's awesome, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, you've heard it all before.

But paradoxically, the overall excellence of the car really highlights a few rough edges that could be fairly easily addressed. So here, in no particular order, is my Tesla Bitch List.

Serious suggestions:

* It's great that you can now associate keys with driver profiles, but the car could be smarter about figuring out who the driver is. If my wife's phone unlocks the car but she then gets into the passenger seat, it still thinks she's driving. I then get into the driver's seat, tap the brake pedal, and trigger Death Star Detention Level Garbage Masher Mode. One cute way to disambiguate would be using the seat occupancy sensors.

* It's too damn easy to forget your !&#$&*&# phone in the car! I did it just yesterday. SOLUTION: when you are in Park and release the safety belt, pop up a reminder animation to catch your eye, with user-configurable text (effectively, an exit checklist). Mind would remind me to swap out my driving bifocals (I got special ones that have the close focus at screen range) and take the damn phone.

* Better support for home charging. Currently, you can't tell the Tesla "Do NOT under ANY circumstances suck a SINGLE electron during these hours." If you are on a Time-of-Use or Time-of-Use/Demand rate plan, you only want the car to charge during off-peak. The current "start charging at " option is insufficient for several reasons: first, because the car will happily charge through the night and potentially into the morning peak period, and second, because if the M3 is plugged into a charger and you get into the car (say, to retrieve your #&#*&*# phone or swap your bifocals), it'll happily start drawing a couple of kilowatts to run the AC! If that happens at the wrong time and bumps your peak demand, it can cost you an extra $10 on the electric bill. Also, the current 30-minute granularity of start time is too coarse; 10 minutes would be better. You want to start charging just after off-peak starts, not 30 minutes after. The Volt does it right: You configure Summer/Winter/Weekday/Weekend hours plus the changeover dates, and thereafter the car will only charge during off-peak.

* When you're stopped behind someone and they start moving, there's a 2-second delay before the adaptive cruise control starts the M3 moving. I've been told this is a regulatory requirement, but it's definitely impolite to people behind me in the queue. You can override this using the gas pedal and get moving faster, but some way of making this easier and smoother would be nice. Perhaps: you're stopped behind the other car, you roll up the right nipple once, and the M3 engages a "Tractor Beam" and starts moving when they do (along with a sound effect and graphic to remind you it's doing what you asked it to do).

* Speaking of the cruise control, it seems to switch directly from drive to regen when it detects a potential trouble situation. This is most obvious when someone turns into the roadway ahead of you, or with oncoming traffic in a 2-lane road with a curve. It would feel smoother if the car did what humans do in these situations; foot off gas, coast for a couple hundred milliseconds, and see if the situation resolves itself before taking stronger action.

* When Autopilot drives a curve on a secondary (2-lane) road, it will tend to drift a little bit to the outside of the curve. This is fine if it's a leftward curve (in the US), but if it's a rightward curve, it's a drift towards the lane divider. This is the exact opposite of what human drivers do, which is tighten the curve and drive a wee bit more towards the inside edge of the lane -- the direction furthest away from oncoming traffic -- and the result is that it freaks the living crap out of me. I only use AP on 2-lane roads that I know well, and I feel compelled to take over when there is a prominent rightward turn with oncoming traffic because the feeling that it's going to screw up is overwhelming. Moving even 6 inches away from the center track of the lane would have a disproportionate psychological benefits.

* More voice commands. In particular, voice commands for the environmental controls like "Raise temperature 2 degrees" and "Increase fans". These are kind of awkward to do on the display and I'd rather pay attention to driving.

* Better use of the cameras in sentry mode. If recording 3 cameras is the max possible due to USB bandwidth, then try and pick the most relevant 3 cameras. This will be particularly helpful if the Nefarious Window-Stomper starts going after the rear windows.

Less-serious suggestions:

* Once enhanced summon is working effectively, add "Flock Mode", in which your Tesla tells other nearby Teslas about good parking spaces, and they autonomously repark themselves together for mutual defense. More seriously, if a Telsa triggers Sentry mode, nearby Teslas in Sentry mode should start recording and send the video to the initiating car. Every video of people doing stupid things near a Tesla is marketing gold. Call this "Share and Enjoy" mode.

* ED-209 version of Sentry mode... :) But please, no MagnaVolt Lethal Response.

lilbean | 2019年8月8日

I stopped reading after volt.

AWDTesla | 2019年8月8日

and I flagged M8B

Magic 8 Ball | 2019年8月8日

Come to a Tesla enthusiast forum where many people will be passionate about defending TESLA and make a list of complaints, yeah that is going to be met with lots of TESLA sucks reinforcement. Just another "I love my Tesla but......" thread. Always same result.

raqball | 2019年8月8日

I agree with a few of your suggestions @MadOverlord.

I'd like more voice commands and SMS, which I hear is coming..

Thanks for the post, no car is perfect but the M3 is close and in areas where it may lack it can be updated unlike any other car on the planet... :)

Tronguy | 2019年8月8日

@M8B: Come on, it was actually pretty funny. Especially as I've been subject to the "Death Star Detention Level Garbage Masher Mode" (my SO's smaller than me) lots of times.
Yes, I know that's coming. It's still pretty funny.

hokiegir1 | 2019年8月8日

I found that last night, on 2019.28.2, the "restart" on TACC was significantly improved. It didn't speed up as fast as I would (love my instant acceleration), but it definitely started moving much faster than it had previously.

Joshan | 2019年8月8日

@hokiegirl you talking from a complete stop? like behind someone at a red light?

kevin_rf | 2019年8月8日

Didn't include my number 1 pet peeve. The wiper fluid does not get fully applied to the window missing the spot directly in front of the driver. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I like being able to see through the salt spray while heading up hill both ways in the winter.

eplaskett | 2019年8月8日

@hokiegir1 I noticed the same this morning, when the I-75 Express Lanes came to a complete stop. Resumption of movement under TACC/EAP was more immediate yet also smoother than before. This is a welcome improvement.

hokiegir1 | 2019年8月8日

@Joshan - Yup. Normally, I'm in the "hit the accelerator to get it moving" crowd, but last night, it was moving before I felt I needed it. Still got up to speed more slowly than I'm used to, but it was probably about average for most traffic. It actually did much better than it has been lately. I still need an alignment -- so that is an issue (it impacts autosteer more than it does me), but that's my own fault -- and the stupid potholes and sewer grates. :)

FISHEV | 2019年8月8日

Mine are all about basic AutoPilot

1. Blind Side Indicator is not functional. A real BIS needs to be figured out. Tesla can't go back and put the BSI lights in the mirror but it could put yellow/red triangles in the upper left/right corner of the left side screen. Yellow as cars approach blind spot and red when cars in are in it. A physical adjustment to the drivers mirror so it can see the blind spot, it currently can't, should be possible.

2. Lane keeping. It has to warn when crossing the lines 100% of the time. It is at best 50/50 and flat out doesn't work on some roads. That can't be. It appears to be limited by Full Self Driving software which is odd as AutoSteers sees the lines that Lane Keeping ignores.

3. Adaptive cruise. The reasons for the phantom stops has be found and fixed. It also needs to be "smarter"as noted above and co-ordinated with regen to prevent the sudden annoying to dangerous slowdowns. On the "there's a 2-second delay before the adaptive cruise control starts the M3 moving" that seems standard and is fine. Its rush hour traffic and the 2 second delay doesn't create any issues.

bjrosen | 2019年8月8日

I've also just come from the Volt, I've kept my 2017 for shopping and local use because it already has dings and I want to protect my Model 3. I have a few complaints on the Model 3 that I hope Tesla addresses in the future, some can be done with software so I hope they read this forum, a big one, seats, is something that they will have to address in future cars.

Biggest complaint, the seats don't fit short people. I like the seat but I'm 5'8" which is the average for the US population as a whole (Men + Women), but my wife is 5'2". The seat belt doesn't lower enough, it's cutting her across the neck. The headrest is not adjustable, it's pushing on the back of her head and it hurts. We are trying to address these issues with cushions and pillows but it's inexcusable that Tesla didn't take short people into consideration when they designed the seats. The Volt's seats are very comfortable for her.

Navigation, easily fixed with software. Tesla doesn't have and avoid highways mode, doesn't offer a choice of routes, doesn't have multiple stops. The Volt uses Android Auto, Google Maps does all of those things. Hopefully a future update will fix this.

USB plugs. Tesla screwed up big time on these. The phone tray should have been longer, even with a right angle connector it's tight. Google is bringing back wireless charging with the Pixel 4 so the phone problem will be fixed for me but there are still other things wrong. There is only one 12V plug and it's misplaced, it's 1 inch too high so that even with right angel USB cables a USB adapter in that socket interferes with the tray in the center console. The Volt has easy to access USB and 12V plugs. Tesla should move the 12V connector down a little so that it doesn't interfere with the tray.

Something else that they could add easily in software are seat profiles for the passenger as well as the driver, my wife feels like a second class citizen. The Volt doesn't have power seats so from my point of view the M3 is a big step up but from my wife's it's not as I've already explained.

Joshan | 2019年8月8日

@bjrosen my wife is 5'2". The seat belt doesn't lower enough, it's cutting her across the neck.

My wife is also 5'2" and had the same issue, she bought these and said they solve the issue.

hokiegir1 | 2019年8月8日

I'm 5'7" with the same seatbelt issue. I tried something similar to what @Joshan posted, but since hubby and I swap driving often, it became a pain. I'm currently working on designing a "hook" that will either go over the side of the seat to hold the seatbelt or maybe one that clips on the pillar with the seatbelt to hold it there lower that I'll make with our 3D printer.

MadOverlord | 2019年8月8日

@Joshan: thanks for the link, the boss is 5'2" and I'll ask her if that would make her more comfortable.

MrSexyTime | 2019年8月8日


bjrosen | 2019年8月8日

@Joshan, thanks I've ordered it.

howard | 2019年8月8日

MadOverlord, great post! Appreciate the Volt comment! Though it will put you in the crosshairs. What year? I had a 2012 and bought a new 2019.

hokiegir1, Has the phantom braking gotten better? To me, it is really not random as I can make it brake at will. I need to give it a try to see if it is finally better. Like the Volt!

Joshan | 2019年8月8日

@howard I dont think anyone here is anti-volt. At least I know I am not, they are at least trying and not just faking it like so many others. Many just do not agree with your opinions that it does so much better than the Teslas.

Opinions are fine though, everyone has one. You usually post yours as being an opinion which is great. You do not get fishy about it. usually :)

Joshan | 2019年8月8日

@hoard please expand on this statement.

" can make it brake at will."

Curious what you mean with that.

hokiegir1 | 2019年8月8日

@howard - I just used it for a few minutes in reasonably heavy city-street traffic yesterday for about 2-3 miles. Not a significant test to say one way or the other (though it didn't do it at all). Hubby has it today and has a ~250 round trip, so I know he'll be using it and will let me know when he gets home.

howard | 2019年8月8日

Joshan, We covered this at length and in detail in one of our past threads. When in TACC I can move behind a car passing me in the next lane and if I am within the Tesla set pacing distance it will hard brake like I am going to hit it as if it is stoped. If I wait long enough for the car to get well past me it is fine. If I do this in the Volt, the Volt senses that the car is moving faster than me and does not brake.

Joshan | 2019年8月8日

ahh ok, ya I remember that. I thought you meant something else.

You have sent that to Tesla I hope, right?

Thanks for the reply and clarification.

Effopec | 2019年8月8日

Yeah, the slow acceleration from stop is the main reason I rarely use EAP on my surface road commute. I end up hitting the go pedal after every light, so what's the point. I'm still on 2019.24.4, so it is nice to hear that there may be an improvement coming up.

Magic 8 Ball | 2019年8月8日

Chevy is anti-Volt, they dropped it. : )

FISHEV | 2019年8月8日

"Volt senses that the car is moving faster than me and does not brake."@howard

Subaru did the same. Also on blind side indicator. It reads the car's speed and alerts earlier if car is moving faster. Same on adaptive. If a guy cuts in front of me, if he is moving faster the car knows it as slows slightly to restore following distance. If he's slowing, it will brake.

LostInTx | 2019年8月8日

Good list. The one I'll add has to do with syncing your phone. If your phone has a spam filter, letting you know that a call is likely to be spam, convey that to the car's UI. It's a matter of projecting the BMP or GIF image your phone produces at call time. I know it can be done because when you listen to music via your phone's bluetooth, the album cover projects to the UI. As it is, you simply see a number and have to make a decision whether or not to answer. The car's UI should give us the same help our phones do.

gballant4570 | 2019年8月8日

I'm sure its a great list for some, but I don't have any trouble with any of those things. My wife, however, has expressed zero interest in driving our Tesla. She has actually lost interest in driving anything.... she is also short, about 5 feet tall, but has no problem at all with the headrest. She did buy a sleeve that goes on the seat belt to make it softer where it comes across her. So when I sync her phone as key, I still won't have a problem since she won't have a driver profile saved... but I can see where that could be an issue.

hokiegir1 | 2019年8月8日

@howard - 1) What you describe is not the same as the phantom breaking for overpasses/map inconsistencies/other random shadows/nothing at all. I'd say that is operating as designed though it needs improvement. 2) Just checked in with hubby (he actually called me randomly), and he said he hasn't had any of the traditionally-defined phantom breaking events on the trip, despite using NoAP for the majority of the ride. He did agree with me that we need an alignment (we both knew this -- also due for new tires), which is normally exacerbated on AP settings. The car feels like it's "fighting" itself and bounces between the lines more than when it doesn't.

MadOverlord | 2019年8月8日

@howard: we got delivery of our Volt on 9/11/11. First one in town. We knew within a week that we'd never buy another gas car. It was a perfect fit for us; we only used gas when going on out-of-town trips.

I don't really understand why M3 owners would hate on Volts. Both cars were designed to be roughly the same thing: an upscale EV that does not suffer from range anxiety. The difference is that the Volt was designed based on the facts on the ground in 2006, and the M3 based on the facts 5 or 6 years later. The gas engine is in the Volt because there was no charging infrastructure back in 2006, and battery costs were so high that a long-range battery was not economical.

The reason the Volt went away is that given the changes in the charging infrastructure and the cost of batteries, it is no longer a competitive solution to the problem it was designed to solve.

And so when it was time to get a new car, since our use-case hasn't changed much, the M3 was the clear choice. And of course, it's a better car than the 2012 Volt. But that doesn't mean it's perfect, and it doesn't mean there aren't some specific things the Volt does a bit better. And if Tesla agrees, 99% of those things can be fixed with a software update.

Atoms | 2019年8月8日

No reason to hate other people or other people’s cars unless they do us harm. All EVs are good. The market will select the better ones over time. Hope the bad ones don’t leave bitter taste with anyone.
I have my complaints about my 3. I expect it to do everything it could be capable of. Just have to be patient with updates and provide my feedback to Tesla. Any hardware issues I follow up with service and don’t complain because they take care of me. It is an awesome car.

SamO | 2019年8月8日

Model 3 isn’t perfect. But as OP points out, it can get better through software updates. Tesla has always tried to take owner feedback and use it to improve the experience.

The Volt is neither fish nor mammal. It’s an amphibian. Good at nothing except using gas. It’s also a way for GM to still sell trucks and not get serious about a ground up EV design. Even the Bolt is a bolt-on the the Spark.

I’m looking forward to GM getting serious, building a charging network and staying out of bankruptcy.

DanO. | 2019年8月8日

Picking the right driver profile is going to be tricky. If there is only 1 Bluetooth receiver it may not be easy to differentiate a phone on the driver side from a phone on the passenger side. Since there is direct feedback when the car makes the wrong choice it may be able to pick up on other clues to make the right choice (assuming they let the car do its thing and learn for this feature). In the mean time, Is it possible to turn off the auto profile selection for the shorter driver?

Warning when you leave your phone behind is something they should be able to handle easily. If you get out of the drivers seat and close the door and the phone didn't move it should give an immediate “R2 doesn’t want to be left behind” alert.

We shouldn't be trying to micro manage the car’s charging schedule. Let the car talk to the meter and figure out what it needs to do?

vmulla | 2019年8月9日

Hmmm..another attempt to dampen the energy of ab engaged enthusiast.
It's clear the new owner enjoys exploring the possibilities of the new car, what's the problem with that? It's exactly this kind of energy that improves the car. Tesla listens to it's customers.

To @SamO's point of improving the car, here's my first review of the car from 3/10/2018:
"Everything that cannot be changed is near perfect. Everything that isn't good can be fixed with a software update.
That's it. That's my review :)"

ralphfiol | 2019年8月9日

@ MadOverlord - great post!
"Flock Mode" and "Share and Enjoy" -- Super creative ideas! I am fascinated by the concept of smart cars actually communicating and working together. Humans now crowdsource information all the time. Imagine our cars doing the same thing.

SamO | 2019年8月9日

Great review Vmulla!

I drove the car from LA to San Diego and then to Las Vegas, almost 1000 miles over just a few days after delivery.

Still swooning 20 months and 35k miles later.

andy.connor.e | 2019年8月9日

"I stopped reading after volt."

Me too.

mikes | 2019年8月9日

Just buy another Volt... Oh sorry out of production.

vmulla | 2019年8月9日

Why is everyone stuck on the volt? The OP got a 3, right?
If anything, it tells me the OP was focused on sustainability for a long time. That's the ultimate mission isn't it?

bjrosen | 2019年8月9日

Andy, Mikes
What were you driving in 2011?, MadOverlord was driving and EV, I bet you weren't, I was driving a car with a Hemi, it could pass anything except a gas station. I was a much later adopter, I bought a Gen2 Volt in 2016. Let's look at the state EVs at the time that MO bought his and when I bought mine.

2011, Tesla was producing an EV conversion, the original Roadster, their first ground up EV, the Model S, wasn't introduced until 2012 and it was enormously expensive. There also was no supercharger network at all so the Roadster was nothing more than a toy.

2016, The Supercharger network might have been fine in CA but for the rest of the country not so much. I've been following the build out of the SC network ever since I bought my Volt in 2016. In 2016 there were almost no superchargers in New England, none in Maine, none in Vermont, I wouldn't have been able to go any of the places that I normally travel to in the Summer in a Tesla even assuming I would have been willing to part with $100,000 for a Model S (I wouldn't have). The Volt could go all of those places and do it economically, I get 45MPG on roadtrips. At home it's a pure EV, I get 72 miles of range in the summer. Even when you are on a roadtrip it has a mode, called Mountain Mode, where it retains a 20% state of charge in it's battery which allows it use the power of it's electric motors for things like passing. Also don't confuse the Volt with a PHEV, it's not, its an EREV (extended range EV). The difference is that it's an EV first, it's electric motors are more powerful than it's engine and it can operate completely on battery. You can do 100MPH on the battery alone in the Volt, a PHEV uses it's engine in parallel to do that. In three more years I'm guessing the Model 3 will start to look pretty dated also, hopefully by then they'll have a 500 mile car. Technology marches one but that doesn't mean that the original breakthroughs aren't impressive when you consider them in the context of their time.

Is the Volt obsolete, yes in the same way that a 2011 or even a 2016 phone is obsolete. A modern phone has a much bigger screen, a faster processor, a faster Internet connection. What's changed is that in 2019 the Supercharger network is fairly pervasive, that's what caused me to pull the trigger on a Model 3 last week. I looked at the latest SC map and observed that all of the places that I go to regularly are now covered, there a several SCs in Maine with more coming, the same is true for Vermont, the Berkshires, Cape Cod, Rhode Island, New Hampshire. They are even starting to build out the SC network in the Canadian Maritime. Last year we took the Volt to Prince Edward Island, that's still impossible in a Tesla but at least you can get close this year, last year there weren't any SCs in any of the Maritimes, today they have a few in New Brunswick and one in Nova Scotia.

SamO | 2019年8月9日

Volt is not an “EV”. It is a hybrid. It used both gas AND electricity.


ReD eXiLe ms us | 2019年8月9日

MagnaVolt: Welcome. Nice list. I like it because you state your issue, then immediately follow up with a potential solution. Unlike Magic 8 Ball, I think that makes for an efficient and worthwhile post. Others have started off in a similar fashion, but always left a littany of complaints with no hope or suggestion of resolution. Those posts are... different in my mind.

You may have noticed that some here are familiar with each other and have responded by continuing their existing feuds. Best not to get involved in that. For the most part, these guys are all pretty cool. The venemous ones seem pretty obvious to me, but some of the others vary in opinion only by a few degrees, yet see those minor differences as an impassable divide.

Just remember that FISHEV is always wrong... Bighorn is always right... Haggy is correct... jordanrichard is a trusted advisor... and SamO is COOL. That should be enough to help navigate these forums. Me? I am your Friendly Neighborhood Over-the-Top Optimistic Tesla Certified Apologist Fanboy. So my bias is available for all to see.

However, toward the end of your list, my ire was raised a bit... Originally, any form of Autopilot was sort of 'geofenced' so that it only engaged or operated on controlled access roads, typically divided highways or freeways that used onramps or offramps, places that did not have oncoming or cross traffic -- never on what are called 'surface streets' colloquially in California. To my knowledge, Tesla has not changed that recommendation at any point in the past five years, though they did remove the geofencing maybe three years ago. People can actually engage Autopilot in places where it was not originally intended, allowed, or expected. The situations you illustrate are those sorts, it was never meant to be actively engaged on two-lane roads at all. Apparently, Tesla has improved their aldorithms, detection, and programming to the point where Autopilot can, sometimes, handle those situations. That's cool, but I would be extremely careful, incredibly attentive, and expressly forgiving in those situations. The Autopilot system is currently an ADAS not actually Autonomous just yet. So please be patient.

Magic 8 Ball | 2019年8月9日

@ReD I don't think I would have much issue if the title said a litany of suggestions.

Devilstower | 2019年8月9日

Good list, @MadOverlord. I’ve had many of the same thoughts.

And I also came to the Model 3 from a Volt. And came to the Volt from a Prius. And came to the Prius from a normal ICE car.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 2019年8月9日

Magic 8 Ball: My eldest niece had her 30th Birthday a couple of weeks ago. She is named Britney instead of Brittany. That's OK, with me as an Uncle. Yes, even though her middle name is Porsché. I think I'll keep her.

Magic 8 Ball | 2019年8月9日

I have a niece named Faith, dunno her middle name. Every single one of our 13 nieces and nephews are fine upstanding people that I am proud of. I am not actually sure if you are developing a metaphor but if the name choices were Complain or Suggestion I would chose suggestion. Different topic, when are you ever going to get a Tesla?

vmulla | 2019年8月9日

So there's no problem with the ideas presented then? :))

lilbean | 2019年8月9日

Eye roll

betsy | 2019年8月9日

We took delivery of ours on 8/7 and love it! We came from a Leaf (leased a 2013 then a 2016 then it was time...) and the one thing we miss is the top down camera view. Really nice when parking. I understand the M3 is missing the down facing cameras under the mirrors and front. Too bad :(I And I'm actually not Betsy - she's my 4' 11" wife who also is having a bit of an issue with the head rest and seat belt but otherwise LOVES the seats. She drives a lot during the day for work and this is the first car that she can adjust the seats to be comfortable enough that her back isn't in pain after a day of work. Oh, is there a way to search the forums other than google?

TickTock | 2019年8月10日

@betsy_hubby: "..Oh, is there a way to search the forums other than google?"

This plug-in also puts a search bar on your browser (goes to Chrome but it makes it a little easier):