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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 teslamotors.com 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...

rwang | April 27, 2013

Signed.

jzahrt | April 27, 2013

Signed. Fortunately, I already have my Tesla with fog lights. I love them. I always thought they added a bit more style to any automobile. I completely understand that they are not for everyone, but they should at least remain an option for other owners.

sanjosedriver | April 28, 2013

Signed

Ecorreadds | April 28, 2013

Signed.

Hodne | April 29, 2013

*signed*

cgiGuy | April 29, 2013

Signed. I don't really care about the fog lights.. but this is not a good practice on Tesla's part.

I do, however appreciate the new door handles in the back (same as the front) so, they do make improvements at no cost, as well as downgrades with no refund.

Rhinotyme | April 29, 2013

This is the lamest thread I've ever read. If you are going to complain over something as stupid as fog lamps, you'll never be happy with this car. God help the Tesla employees who will suffer through your ownership.

If they mean that much to you, buy a pair and I'll be happy to install them for you, free of charge.

rebeccap88 | April 29, 2013

Signed

Cirion | April 29, 2013

Foglamps may be stupid for some, but essential to others.

I think they are essential, and therefore I feel like using a bat on the showcars to remove them.

I do agree with those that say foglights are not a reason to cancel the order. But it fills me with anger that I can not order them... I would actually pay to get them anyway.

I already have ticked off every possible option on my Signature Performance, and when the EU options became available, upgraded to all of them. Still, I will get a bit of plastic reminding me that I will never have original foglights, and whenever I drive in conditions that require them, they will not illuminate my road...

Hopefully, Tesla at least keeps the wiring for foglights so that if at a later time a new lamp becomes available, I can upgrade.

elguapo | April 29, 2013

It is the principle that matters to me, not the lights. My car will be delivered in May without fog lights and I won't miss them. It just makes me wonder what else might I be missing? People wouldn't care as much if Tesla was just open and up front about it.

jzahrt | May 1, 2013

And to those suggesting that it is a simple matter to install aftermarket lights, I do not think that aftermarket lights will be as nicely integrated (if at all) with the controls and displays. With the factory installed fog lights you get touch screen control, instrument cluster on/off indication, and you car picture display on many screens is accurate (important to some people, including Tesla, who go to the effort, for example, to make sure that even a charge cable and spoiler are displayed). I really don't want some third party installer adding a switch somewhere inside.

JohsMC | May 1, 2013

Signed !!!

The images on my Invoice document my car with fog lights. I expect my car to be delivered as I ordered it and do not really worry about not having the fog lights.

Mark K | May 1, 2013

It's appropriate to treat the folks in the pipeline fairly as to the implicit bargain.

Going toward though, if there is demand, why not just set an option price for them and let the market decide?

The engineering was already done, so it's all about charging enough to make money when you add them.

There seem to be plenty of folks who simply like them.

JPPTM | May 1, 2013

An e-mail I just received in response to my e-mails to TM:

Thank you for the note regarding fog lights in Model S.

Our design team’s discussion about the fog lights was primarily focused around their usefulness, especially given their functional overlap with cornering lamps. It was determined that cornering lamps offer greater overall functional utility to the vehicle.

Tesla has made several changes to Model S since product initially began almost a year ago. We continually evaluate ways to improve the performance, reliability, efficiency and cost of our products. With many Model S in customer's hands, we now have real world data to help inform our evaluations. Originally, the Tech Package included Fog Lights and Cornering Lights, but only the Fog Lights were listed as a Tech Package feature on the website. After reviewing functional illumination in real world driving, Tesla determined the Cornering Light offered greater functionality than the Fog Light and having both lights was redundant.

A few other examples of changes include adding the “Creep” functionality and “Range” driving mode to the software of Model S. Our engineering team also just updated the door handles for increased reliability and to provide a bit of mechanic feedback when used. Other changes include the design of the nose cone and adding heated seats as standard equipment for the textile interior. Tesla has also begun to add rear floor mats as a standard feature to Model S along with more robust production front floor mats. We will continue to make adjustments and improvements to the vehicle.

The goal is to delight customers with Model S. Unfortunately, the fog lights were removed from the production line some time ago and are not possible to add back into the vehicle.

cablue | May 1, 2013

I sure would like to see a picture of the new look. We've ordered our second Model S, both having tech pkg. How will our new one look? In our Tesla "Garage" on the site, it shows both cars, and the front ends look identical.

Keith72 | May 1, 2013

I was lucky enough to receive mine with both the fog and cornering lights (which were always part of the Tech package as previously mentioned). Personally I like the fog lights much better than the cornering lights. To be honest, I have to look really closely to even see that they come on (they don't seem to add much illumination). I agree that Tesla could have definitely handled this better. I was torn over whether to spend the money for the Tech Package, and the fog lamps while not the determining factor were a plus in my view.

scaesare | May 7, 2013

Expect further information regarding this tomorrow.

:)

-sc

JZ13 | May 7, 2013

IMHO the daytime running lights (DRL) look better and more modern than fog lights. Fog lights were something I added to my cars in the 1980's. It's only been recently that a new style of light (LED) has become available and the look and style of premium cars should evolve with new technology.

MSNGIRL | May 7, 2013

I sure would like to receive them on my vehicle. I have them on my vehicle now and I find them as an added benefit to see at night. They are on the the car in the showroom and on the vehicle I test drove when I made my reservation. I should only expect to receive them. Same with the alcantara headliner and leather upholstery on the lower dash. The Tesla rep never said anything that those options would not be included when I made my reservation/purchase.

Brian H | May 8, 2013

scaesare;
?? Expect earnings reports tomorrow. No other news promised.

scaesare | May 8, 2013

So... I've had a bit of a dialog with Elon about this... and Elon has made good on his promise to review the issue, and Tesla is committed to making this right. From what I’ve been told, new-and-improved fog lights will make a re-appearance in the future as an option. People who ordered cars with the understanding that they would have fog lights will be entitled to receive the upgraded version at no cost.

I have to say the guy is a class act. I feel like I'm buying in to a philosophy about car building a much as I'm buying a car. My thanks to him for taking customer feedback in to account.

I'd also like to thank folks here for being measured and constructive in their postings on this thread. My goal was to come across as an enthusiast community that wants to partner with Tesla for their success, and I hope we did that.

-sc

DouglasR | May 8, 2013

Bravo!

Jolanda | May 8, 2013

This is good news! Tesla does indeed listen to their customers!

elguapo | May 9, 2013

Right now, a day after picking up my car and then reading this post, I am so in love with TM!

robtmccoy | May 21, 2013

I discussed this with Stone Stricland, NA sale advisor. He has heard nothing at headquarters about the promise of fog lamps. I would suggest we all stay vigilant and not let this issue die.

GeekEV | May 21, 2013

@robtmccoy - Tesla is still acting very much like a startup with Elon calling the shots, but a lot of the details seem to still need to be worked out. For example, just yesterday I was asking about the San Rafel service center about the valet service Elon touted a few weeks back and they still have no idea how that works! Frustrating though it may be, I am appreciative of all the cool things they're trying to do...

Brian H | May 21, 2013

Why not let it die? Fog lamps are obsolete and failed technology.

David Trushin | May 21, 2013

Glad they will be optional not mandatory.

Amped | May 21, 2013

I reached out to Elon yesterday. He mentioned that they will be offered in the relatively near future.
& I then received a prompt message from the VP of service and sales ops who said they can be retrofitted and they are working on a improved design.
Kudos to TM!

riceuguy | May 21, 2013

Personally I am loving the cornering lights...

Captain_Zap | May 21, 2013

I had no doubt that Tesla, Elon & team would make things right and then some.

Elon turned this skeptic into a disciple a long time ago.

I'm still watching for those sun visors. No rush, though.

DonS | May 22, 2013

I can understand the annoyance since you saw them, expected them, and they were missing. However, they are so useless Tesla is right in eliminating them. Tesla just needs to learn to explain beforehand.

scaesare | May 22, 2013

Brian H... yer a funny guy...

Thanks for chiming in after we already got the hoped for response though...

Brian H | May 22, 2013

Cosmetic, apparently. I originally believed yellow worked better. Research shows otherwise, and this has been known for a long time.

onepatco | July 29, 2013

My new tesla stalls at stop and traffic lights
Your service dept just brush off all the signals
I have told them time and date these issues happen
But a phone call to me never happens
When I get in an serious accident then
All answers will need to be addressed

mrspaghetti | July 29, 2013

And this has what to do with fog lights?...

TommyBoy | July 29, 2013

Sounds like it's the carburetor onepatco.

stsanford | July 29, 2013

I was reading the manual last week and went out to the car to see where my Foglight button was... I got my S 60 with Tech on 6.26 and had expected having foglights... Would appreciate having them.

JohnnyMac | August 3, 2013

Well, despite @onepatco's ill-conceived-god-knows-what-that-was-bump a few days ago, I though someone one would have legitimately bumped this back to the top now by now since the redesigned fog light option has recently reappeared. I was one of those buyers who expected yet did not receive them upon ordering my P85 several months ago. I am honestly up in the air as to whether or not to push for them now given @caesare's post that Elon would make good on the sudden disappearance (for those caught by the deletion) once the fog lights were redesigned. Would love to kick-start the discussion. Thoughts?

pdx4s | August 3, 2013

yes, I vote to allow retrofit of existing cars, add them to existing orders not yet in the assembly line w/o having to redesign the car for $7K. I prefer not to have to bring it back to the service center to install them when my P85 is still 2-3 wks out from assembling.

erickitain | August 8, 2013

My car is coming Saturday. I was told from my delivery specialist that my car has foglights. Will let you know if they are the new foglights

jainalok | August 9, 2013

I just noticed it today. Not only there are no fog lamps but there are some other issues here with the car.

alohasara | August 9, 2013

I'm sorry if this question has previously been answered - I did search but didn't find it.

I picked up my car in early June. It seems to have LED's in the fog light area, but I can't figure out how to turn them off \ on. They just seem to turn on when the headlights are on.

Does anybody know at which point the fog lights were removed from the details of the Tech Package? I ordered in April, so I'm guessing it still said I should have fog lights, but I don't really have them?

I'm not complaining, just wondering.....and hoping that Tesla does indeed make this right for those who thought they were getting them and didn't.

phat78boy | August 9, 2013

@alohasara

If you do not see the option for fog lights in the control panel, you most likely do not have them. The LED lights you see are the cornering lights. They come on when the wheel is turned and, I believe, when your blinker is on.

alohasara | August 9, 2013

@phat78boy

Thanks for the reply.

It's strange. I was at a stop facing (straight on) a glass window, looking at the reflection of the car and the headlights were on along with both of the LED lights in the fog light area. And, I did that little test because one of my friends who I was following the night before told me that they were always on and advised me to figure out how to turn them off.

I'm sure you're right. I'm just not sure whether they are working the way they should be. I guess I'll ask next time I'm at service.

KOL2000 | August 20, 2013

Any update on this issue? I ordered my loaded P85+ when it still said fog lights were included (late March). Do we get a retrofit? It does get foggy in the morning and evening in San Diego, particularly in the Fall.

tylerhen | August 20, 2013

I ordered in Feb when they said fog lights were part of the tech package, took delivery in April with no fog lights. They shut down the production line for a week at the beginning of April to retool things and I believe that is when they got rid of the fog lights. I contacted Tesla a couple weeks ago when they got added back in and they said they added me to a list to be contacted once they figure out the retrofit story(also mentions they will let me know the price, aka not free). I'm not that worried about fog lights, not sure how much I would actually use them, it just rubbed me the wrong way when I bought the tech package and paid for the car, it said I would get them, and then they simply said they don't work that well, so we took them out. Would have like to get something in return, that tech package wasn't cheap.

Besides all of that, I LOVE MY CAR.

Brian H | August 20, 2013

As Elon said, they're basically useless. But some want them anyway.

terryd | August 20, 2013

I agree' I thought my order had them 5 weeks ago get mine next week and not pleased with the change. I asked about adding them
a couple of days before it was put in production and was told would have to start over and some additions I was getting also may increase the price if starting over.

scaesare | December 20, 2013

An open follow-up letter to Mr. Elon Musk, Chairman and CEO of Tesla Motors Corp.-

December 20, 1013

Mr. Musk-

In April of this year I wrote an open letter to you regarding the Model S sedan, and the elimination of fog-lights from the “Tech Package” without sufficient notice to those who had, or were in the process of, ordering a car. In essence a desired feature had been removed without buyers being aware they weren’t getting that feature. While this was for good reason: the fog lights had been deemed under-performing by Tesla Motors, the situation was disappointing.

After review, your response on behalf of Tesla was that the situation would be “made right” by providing the new re-designed fog lights later this year to all those who ordered with the understanding that they would receive them free of charge. In about September of this year exactly that started to happen for owners. Due to schedule conflicts, I had to wait a bit, but finally just had mine installed.

I would like to say “Thank You”. Thanks for making good on the commitment. Thanks for recognizing that customer good-will is something worth investing in. Thanks for striving to make the product better whenever possible. And most of all, thank you for being a CEO who demonstrates interest in his customer and is willing to take a personal interest in issues that need to be resolved... that’s unfortunately rare in this day and age.

You have had much on your plate with recent events… and media coverage thereof. As you’ve said in many an interview; the job of a CEO is often to spend time on the problems and difficult stuff. So, while I believe it appropriate to complain if things are not done correctly, I also feel it’s only right to express gratitude when things are handled well.

I hope I speak for a significant portion of the Tesla Ownership community when I say that it’s a great feeling to not only own this car, but to be partnered with this company.
Thanks again for listening, and I hope 2014 is a great one for you and Tesla. Oh, for and SpaceX too.

-Steven Caesare
-Model S VIN: xxxx10647

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