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Glitches and Problems

Now that a lot of deliveries ahve been made, there appears to be numerous threads with some sort of problem or another with the Model S. I am starting this thread in an attempt to consolidate these issues for owners. Please list your issues as briefly and succinctly as possible. Thanks!

Fear not about the "chirp" of the motor on rapid acceleration, it's completely normal (or seems to occur in most cars) and is not considered a bug by delivery specialists.

Great thread! I'm glad to hear that I'm not just being overly sensitive about a truly revolutionary car. Here’s my list which I have yet to contact Tesla about (service center too far away for the hassle):
1) Both front doors require some effort to close
2) Front passenger window vertical seal leaks (wind noise) above 45 mph
3) Homelink signal transmits too long, sometimes resulting in the garage door stopping or reversing direction
4) Condensation in reverse tail lights
5) Body panel alignment could be a lot better on front left quarter panel
6) Car causes nearby humans to rubberneck and gawk excessively :-)

The car options shown in the displays can be changed?! How?

1) Heat/fan on full blast when car started
2) Radio on full volume when car started
3) Seat heater on when car started (was not turned on before)
4) Turn signal - no noise
5) Exit'd car - won't turn off radio/screen despite being beyond distance
6) Did "Power off" move > only responded when both upper/lower steering wheel resets done before car restarted

Notified my service advisor

Seems no rhyme nor reason for what is happening to Model S owners

Love, love, love the car (perf 85, had it for 2 weeks) but today my screen froze. Reboot did not help and the service center could not fix it. They said the engineers would log in overnight and
try to fix it and if not, the screen would need to be replaced next week.

As reported above, I had a bug in voice recognition that prevented the car from recognizing my song or navigation requests despite multiple dual screen reboots. I'm happy to say I've discovered a workaround...opening the driver's door. Great for parking lots, not so great for highway driving. Happy to hear there's an imminent software update to address this and a few other issues.

Owned a 85kw unit for 5 days now. Haven't seen any of the described problems, driven about 400 miles so far.

I wouldn't say these are issues, as they are incredibly minor, but this is what I've experienced.

1. The sunroof doesn't open all the way if selected through the center console. You have to press it twice to open fully. If opened via the steering wheel, works fine and opens fully.
2. The voice control seems a bit glitchy. Directly after release of the button, you hear a loud staticky radio noise - like the radio is between stations. If there is music playing I don't think it does this but I'm not 100% sure.
3. The screen froze just once. I just power cycled the car and it went away.
4. Today I noticed that they blinker noise was not completely uniform - super minor. The sound cut out briefly as well.


I think the problem you described with the light sensor can be solved with a software update. It doesn't matter where on the car the sensor is. At some point in time, the sensor will be at a vertical location where it goes from sunlight to shade and back again quickly. Any sensor has this problem. When it's a thermostat, the solution to this problem is referred to as hysteresis. The 'on' temperature is set to a value below the 'off' temperature so that the heater once turned on heats the room to above the 'off' temperature. Otherwise the heater would oscillate, constantly turning on and off as it went above the critical temperature, turned off, went below the critical temperature, turned on again, etc. in the case of a mechanical switch, the solution is referred to as 'de-bounce'. When someone presses a momentary switch, it doesn't just make contact once. The two pieces of metal that make the electrical connection bounce off one another and make connection several times before settling into the connected state. In this case, software or hardware does not respond to the electrical connection for a pre-determined amount of time, during which the bouncing occurs. If the connection is still made after this amount of time, the switch is considered pressed, and the system responds.

I think the solution to the light sensor problem is to increase the 'de-bounce' time for the software that is monitoring the light sensor. When the status of the sensor changes (I am assuming the sensor has a built in threshold and switches from one state to the other at a certain light level), the software just has to wait longer , and see if the change of state lasts long enough. If not, it will wait for a state change that lasts longer.

You will notice this functionality on other cars. If you drive from inside a garage, for example, to outside, the lights won't go off right away. There will be a delay before they switch off. There may be 'smarter' ways of preventing the oscillation you experienced - than just waiting longer, but it seems likely Tesla can fix it without resorting to hardware changes. Hope we see it in the next update!


I experienced each of the 'glitches' you described in your first post on this thread. These must be widespread.

Experienced a new one tonight. Left the car in a parking lot in the rain. Car shut down when I left. Upon returning a small group of people were watching the windshield wipers that apparently had reactivated spontaneously ( I did not turn them off on the stalk) in slow intermittent mode. The nav screen alone had also re-activated. The bugs are getting more entertaining for sure.

@ Robert 22,
I experienced the same thing with the wipers. I left them on low sensitivty during the December 30 snow storm while it was parked outdoors I came back to a snowcovered car with a clear windshield. But was that my bad for not turning the windshield wipers off?

@astrassmd - my DS told me that the seat heating at startup occurs when you have the car set to range mode and climate control to auto - the car will use the seat heaters to warm the passenger and less of the fan, etc as its more efficient. It makes sense to because when i was alone in the car it was just my seat, but when a passenger was in the they both went on - smart car!


You should have told the people that the car was about to come pick you up, but didn't want to risk alarming the crowd, so it gave you a call.

My touch screen stopped working on day 11 with the car. Screen displays everything that is going on but touch feature does not work. Reboot did not help and the service center could not fix it. They told me to go home and engineers would log into the car over the weekend and try to fix it. If they can't fix it,they will be replacing it next week.

Clear windshield? That's a feature, not a bug!

We recieved our Model S 12/31/13. Have put about 400 miles on it. Love the car, only I don't get to drive it enough, my formerly skeptical wife now has the Tesla religion. Wants to put a deposit down on a Model X.

Some minor things:

1. Put the air suspension in the highest level, to park, it wouldn't go down. Reset the touchscreen, backed out of the garage, it went down. Tesla roadside support was extremely helpful with this issue.
2. Outside temperature readout went blank, it fixed itself over night.
3. The back up camera gets blurry in the rain. Kind of makes it useless in Seattle (except exiting the garage). Don't know if there's anything we can do about that...

When will iPod compatability be released? I miss access to my 27,000 songs...



You guys heard about the battery bricking issue? I wrote my Tesla Sales Rep to inquire about updates.

"A Tesla Roadster that is simply parked without being plugged in will eventually become a "brick". The parasitic load from the car's always-on subsystems continually drains the battery and if the battery's charge is ever totally depleted, it is essentially destroyed. Complete discharge can happen even when the car is plugged in if it isn't receiving sufficient current to charge, which can be caused by something as simple as using an extension cord. After battery death, the car is completely inoperable. At least in the case of the Tesla Roadster, it's not even possible to enable tow mode, meaning the wheels will not turn and the vehicle cannot be pushed nor transported to a repair facility by traditional means."

@joshrosenfield | JANUARY 14, 2013: You guys heard about the battery bricking issue? I wrote my Tesla Sales Rep to inquire about updates.

This is an issue that came up over a year ago. The Jalopnik article is a year old. The issue has to do with the Roadster not the Model S.

Here's a new one I think:

I have V4.1 SW...Sig Perf MOdel S.

Using Nema 14-50 to charge and never had a problem until TONITE!!!

After an hour with Tesla 24 hour service and trying all forms of reset, etc. still NO GO! It won't start charging...

Charge port lights stay WHITE no matter what I tried. Not a good feeling. I gather Fremont Service will call me at 9am since the 24 hour guy ran out of attempts to fix over the phone and air.

According to the 24 hour service tech this is a known problem with 4.1 and a new release is being worked on to come out shortly (I assume that means by the end of Feb!

He was surprised that none of his tricks worked! Ugh!!!

Tesla needs a bit better SW QA I think!


Sig 692


I haven't had many issues. My list in 1.5 weeks:
- rebooted once when turn signal clicks and center console temperature display went away; hasn't repeated
- Slacker has occasionally gotten into a state where the next song starts in pause and I have to hit play. Didn't immediately repeat after turning the car off.
- Today, when I got out of the car all the door handles *except* the driver's door were extended. After closing it, pressed on the handle and it extended; didn't repeat

That's really it. I see what people complain about with the wiper fluid being low, but I think it is perfectly fine as is because the wipers spread it. I haven't had any issues with doors not closing or opening on their own, static when the ambient lights are on, accelerating over 80kW, etc. I have never had the charge port stick or not open (though I had to get to used to unlocking the car before trying to pull it out, as I didn't have to do that on my LEAF).

Overall, there have been far fewer glitches than I expected (thanks to all the Signature owners for being the alpha testers!), and I am blissfully happy with the car.

I'm about to head out on my first all-electric road trip, so I hope it remains that way :).

I posted last night, but want to make sure this is seen. After 3.5 weeks with the car I'd turn it in if someone Tesla bought it back from me.
Some of my issues are software, some are hardware, and some of them are Tesla carelessness:
1. NAV stuck on picture of Palo Alto
2. HD radio stinks - never seems to keep a signal
3. Trim on drivers' side doors is out of alignment (new trim pieces ordered)
4. Driver's door would open when passenger front door was opened
5. Driver's side door handle now not working. I get to climb into my car from the passenger side to open it (looks pretty cool in a parking lot in an $85k car)
6. Botched paint job on front hood (this is inexcusable, and I don't know how they will fix this). The hood crease has scratches and I can see where the pain was not applied evenly

Fun car to drive, but it doesn't make up for what I think will be a long and painful ownership experience.

Here is my list of items I will talk to the Fremont service center in the coming week.

- Both driver side door handles extends and retracts but will not open the door, one went out on the first day of delivery and the other the next day (LED light no longer comes on)
- Two tries to open the sunroof on screen
- Metal pieces rattling somewhere inside the dash when the car reaches a particular speed (usually 40+ MPH)

Just complaining out loud:
- car like this should come with full floor mats, no?
- no center console storage. I want a place to hide my iPad mini and iPod other then the tiny glove box...

Hopefully these will all be quick and easy fixes. Other than that, LOVE THE CAR!!!

Side comment here on that washer fluid. If you're in a real winter environment, it would be best to replace the fluid with a local low temp product. Californians really have no clue; even the 'winterized' stuff they now include is pretty wimpy, apparently.

@BrianH, washer fluid designed for temps below 32 degrees is outlawed in CA, presumably for environmental reasons.

@RodLoew, sorry to hear about all of the problems you are experiencing. Let me know if/when they find a fix for your frozen navigation screen, since mine froze at the LA service center so my GPS permanently assumes that I am in Santa Monica. To date, they have not found a fix for me, since performing a screen reboot and hard reset had no effect. Unfortunately my XM antenna does not work either and I still don't have an ETA on the fix. Aside from these two main glitches, I still love the MS!

You must be getting pretty bored with driving around Santa Monica by now ...

bbmertz: I had the same GPS problem, my MS thought it never left the factory(also tried the display reboot and hard reboot with no effect). The problem was simply that the GPS antenna (there are two, one for Garmin) was not properly grounded. It took the service center 10 minutes to fix.

@bbmertz washer fluid designed for temps below 32 degrees is outlawed in CA, presumably for environmental reasons.

That's stupid law. Pretty much any soap added to the water would lower its freezing point below 32F or 0C. Add ethanol and it will be liquid in quite a lot colder (depending the ratio of water/alcohol). Ethanol is about as environment friendly substance as possible, road salt is way worse for environment.

Basically that law would mean that you can only use tap water as washer fluid.

I would hate that the car won t start when you have a plane to catch

This car needs to be more reliable, has nothing to do with 'love'....

@mferrazano: Thanks so much for the potential fix to my frozen nav GPS!! I will contact the LA service center today to ask them to look at the grounding of the GPS antenna. Perhaps it is a similar issue causing my XM antenna to not work and my AM/FM radio to have poor reception if all these antennas are in the same location.

Everyone reading these forums should not overreact to the glitches listed here. A few issues are to be expected as an early adopter of such an innovative new car and most will be fixed via future software updates. Perhaps we should create a thread for MS owners experiencing no or very few problems in order to create a more balanced perspective. :)

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