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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...

We have much bigger fish to fry here. If it does not come with fog lights and that is unacceptable then do not take delivery. There are plenty of folks who want the car. Look around we are trying to change the world here. Tiffany and I are desperately building up our business to afford this damn thing in a crappy economy. We owned a early crude lead acid EV, a Ford EV Ranger. We do not have to be sold on the merits of this technology because despite the Fords shortcomings it pointed the way to the future. Many folks like us will stretch to the limit to obtain a Tesla. Look down the road, the country is going completely to hell because of our insane lust for petroleum, the government is an owned division of Exxon and is nonresponsive to the citizens real needs. We as a country violate our own ethics and become murders, terrorist and torturers in a futile attempt to "control" the worlds oil. Civil voting does not matter because the choices are paid for before presentation. The one thing we CAN do is buy a Ford Focus EV or a Leaf or a Tesla. Then we make a statement. Then we make a difference. Then we have made a "vote" that matters.

*signed*

My problem is not that I don't receive the foglights. Financialy that is a minor item and I can get over that.

It is Tesla changing the product after the agreement. I now fully expect to get my Performance model without the extra performance, but with some extra badges. Because the car is "better that way". Or another change that really hurts. I like to buy from a company that I can trust...

@ bob

+1

I received a reply from Elon last evening stating that he'd review the issue, and that the company is under pressure to be profitable.

I appreciate his frankness and accessibility. I know of only one other CEO like that: Jim Jannard of Red Digital Cinema (formerly of Oakley). It's refreshing to have those at the top willing to listen so directly to their customer.

I appreciate all those that have kept this respectful and constructive. It appears it has the attention of the Tesla brass. If you care about the larger issue of features being removed and communication (even if fog lights aren't necessarily important to you), you may want to voice your support.

I am hopeful that Tesla responds in a way that continues to engender our loyalty.

-sc

Signed

Signed.
if I pay for something I expect to get it, let me choose to use it or not. Then take it off the package for future orders.

+1.

I did not realize they had been deleted until I received my car and thought they were missing. Bad surprise. The floor mats I did receive but not expect failed to make up for the difference - they are pretty marginal anyway.

*Signed*

Received 4/18 missing fog, was listed in options when finalized 2/8.

While fog lights may rank as a small matter in the grand scheme of things, the principle here is significant.

Tesla should be free to dynamically adjust what they're building to improve its function or marginal profit.

But when they do it, they should follow a simple rule:

Whatever has been promised for transactions in the pipeline is honored.

When you make a change, give current orders a choice: Keep the original spec, or get something of equal or greater value when the old spec is no longer logistically possible. When you make a deal with a customer, you must deliver the benefit of that bargain, one way or another.

Now that lead time is pretty short, this rule has only a modest effect on the latency of revisions. After contemporary orders are flushed through the system, TM makes its change and manages production however it deems necessary.

This was exactly the same principle that played out for the Superchargers on the 60's, and the dropping of the 40, TM focused on their need to make a change, but (innocently enough) ignored how customers perceived it.

They are getting better at this, as the resolution of the 40 demonstrates.

If they apply this simple rule, it will consume less management bandwidth to administer changes, and customers will increasingly express their confidence in the company. A truly exceptional product, and customers willing to say so, are precisely why Tesla's growth is accelerating.

Signed.

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.

Signed

Signed.

*signed*

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.

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.

Signed

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Expect further information regarding this tomorrow.

:)

-sc

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.

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.

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


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