Upset at major headliner issue

Hello all -

I wanted to know if anyone else is familiar with a major change that took place and went unannounced by Tesla. I took delivery of a loaded P85 3/22 and have been very happy with Tesla and the car. I've expected a few things here and there though I am very detail oriented and a perfectionist. I'm ok not having the spoiler, HPWC, and parcel shelf available at the time of pickup.
However, the entire headliner is fabric instead of the promised Alcantara. This is unacceptable to me. It appears that recently the factory made a change and all cars come with fabric. Mine was one of the first to have had this. I was never informed. Cost savings? Im not happy about it at all and to me it completely changes the feel of the interior. I was promised a car as configured, and changes have been made without my knowledge or even approval. I'm working to see what Tesla can offer and will keep you updated. Anyone else in a similar boat?


Thank you for the support everyone. Initially, I Mentioned to the Tesla representatives that the car should be better matched with the tan headliner going better with the tan interior as many of you mentioned. My previous cars usually had either gray or black headliner with the more premium cars having the Alcantara. I am very detail oriented and having alcantara in the performance addition was a huge plus as the interior is much more plush. Therefore, I accepted the fact that I would have a tan headliner with The black interior because it would be alcantara. Now, not getting either and having the Powers that be make this random switch, I'm really disappointed. As much as I love Tesla, they cannot do this Without communication. Everyone needs to be on the same page. I seriously doubt BMW or Mercedes be able to get away with a similar situation. And honestly, it's not even the cost of the car it is just more the principle of the matter. I would be upset if this car cost 5000 or 200,000.
Thanks again and let's see what happens.

With BMW or MB, most of the time it is WYSIWYG on a lot. You have a chance to see and feel the car you are getting. Yoi accept the car as it is or move on to something else.

Tesla is very different in that aspect. It is one of the areas where it had the others beat. At the same time it is a leap of faith.

When someone places an order based on a certain set of features, those features should match the order that is made. If there is a problem with getting the material that was designated then a similar or superior substitution should be offered.
Ultimately, Teslas are semi-custom cars.

Great point captain zap. I agree, that is part of the reason why this is more difficult. You expect one thing and it comes out to be something else. It is a leap of faith and you can only go by what is told at the test drive and the website. However, I don't think many would be aware of the Changes. I'm pretty sure they probably expected something like this to happen to those who noticed the change.

@Pritbir do you have a picture of the fabric headliner?

Not to mention that the cars have been Delivered as promised up until last week. It's a change that many may not even notice. For that reason, it just seems sneaky.

I took delivery 3/18, P07061, just checked and looks like I got Alcantara with my gray interior. I was expecting the beige fabric.

I definitely wouldn't go so far as to say anything was "sneaky". I serously doubt that there was any bad intentions. That is not what Tesla is about.

The word "sneaky" does have negative connotations and so I agree probably should be avoided.

On the other hand the move was:

- likely to save Tesla money (I can not think of another reason they would change)
- was made unannounced (and after people order assuming they were getting it)

As a consumer I would have preferred this change would have been announced in advance and existing orders be treated as before. I hope changes in the future will be handled that way.

I am a huge Tesla fan and I want them to make cars that are as close to perfect as possible. I want Tesla to become a success story for the ages (the beginning of the end of ICE cars).

I expect as an early adopter that my car is not going to be perfect but hopefully not because of issues that could have been avoided by a little planning and better communication.

btw - There have been a number of good points in the discussion. One comment was that the Tesla Model S is not a $100,000 car. Makes sense and cost savings on their $50K versions may very well need to save some money. On the other hand the Performance model is a $100K car that is their current flagship model. Just IMHO they should consider keeping the luxury aspect of that car as high as the can reasonably afford.

Hmmm - this is tricky stuff. Thanks, all, for bringing this to the fore. I've been asked to make the final payment on my P85 this week for an April 15th East Coast delivery. The Tesla folks are sprinting to squeeze in 1st qtr sales results.

I sure don't want to mess them up, but, it would be a real disappointment to spend $115,000 and end up with the cloth head liner....I'll have to chew on this one....

Had to get a service center repair today for the "Rear Axle Nut Washers." It gave me time to sneak a peek of the headliners. Here is a photo of the new headliner with the gray interior. The fabric texture is not visible in the photo. Maybe Pritbir or another Model S owner who has the new headliner can link to a better picture.

The side glass is green and does affect this photo a bit. Look through the rose colored windshield and the headliner takes on a beige tint.

Stopping by the Tesla Store, I showed them the photo. They do not have the new headliner fabric on display and some are planning to visit the service center to see it for themselves.

Hi guys -

First and foremost, I absolutely want Tesla to succeed. They deserve every award they received and the car is unbelievable. But in order for them to survive, I think I need to improve on items such as this. They need to be aware that discrepancies from what is expected could ruin the reputation. Once again, an occurrence such as this probably would not be handled or tolerated well by anyone buying $100,000 BMW or Mercedes. I hope they realize this because I too think that this is the future. I want to be done with oil.
The service advisors and the delivery specialist were also surprised that such a change was made internal to the company and not publicly announced.
As for photos, I'm not sure how to exactly insert them on the web and this forum as I usually use my iPhone.
The fabric though is the same as that going on the nonperformance versions prior to last week. Therefore, all cars will have the same fabric material. Their decision is probably related to cost savings I'm sure, but it should've been announced. That is what I meant by them trying to change things without announcing them. Tesla definitely informed me that I only had a week left to decide if I wanted the third row seats because they could not be retrofitted. They should've made the same announcement about the headliner telling us about the change. I too agree that Tesla is not about this and I hope that they do everything in their power to make it right. The only way that Tesla will improve is with our suggestions and input. I hope that enough people are able to offer positive input. I just hope that the resolution doesn't take more than a couple of weeks.

I was getting my rear seats installed yesterday and we were looking at getting a 60 for the #2 MS for the family.
The rep showed us a nonperformance that had the fabric headliner and I seem to remember hearing it said that only the P85 would be coming with the Alcantara headliners going forward. Seems like it should be in the features section anyway.

We sorta liked it, but then we were looking at the tan leather. I think if the financials were the issue, it would be offered as an option anyway.

TM definitely has got to focus on the com on issues like these. I'm confidant these things are about rapid expansion of factory ops, design engineering to marketing com stuff that is suffering from a lack of direct com put through.

Hopefully, they solve the issue by letting all futures know what's up and taking care to those it matters to that unexpectedly got the fabric.


Would also be interested to hear their response-I just finalized my P85 Green/Tan with pano roof last week and was looking forward to the luxury feel of Alcantara. Also scary not knowing what else they may change without notice.

I was disappointed in the headliner as well. But I never saw a promise of Alcantara but I did expect it and wanted it to match my black interior. As it was never specified I took the blame on myself as the interior shots of the car clearly show a cream headliner. I took delivery of my P85 6589 3/16 so I guess I missed the cutoff. The interior is the weakest point of the Model S IMHO not the design or layout as others have criticized but the material and durability will probably not hold up as well as my M5. I do love the car though.

I assumed the Alcantara cost is minimal, but it is fairly expensive. Retail is around $70-100 yard, and I expect the headliner uses at least 2 yards (without pano roof) and maybe more with typical waste in cutting to size. I'd guess if someone really wants it, a custom car shop should be able replace the fabric with Alcantara and even select the color you prefer.

Here's more than you likely want to know about Alcantara:

I guess I lucked out and have Alcantara in my 60KW, but then again I reserved my car back in early 2009. Perhaps some small benefit for being an early res holder. I don't ever remember being promised any kind of headliner and I'm just thrilled to have such a great car. The headliner type would not be on my list of reasons to buy the MS.

I looked at TMC to see if there was anyone who mentioned getting a Peformance version without a Alcantara headliner or whether anyone has gotten word of any changes to interior configurations regarding the Performance version's headliner. I did see one comment about someone accidentally getting a mis-matched sun visor and that was rectified. That's it.

All the other comments about the Alcanatara headliner were about how much they liked it and how it is one of the best yet most unsung features of the Performance Package. Maybe we weren't gushing enough about it.

I certainly appreciate the Alcantara headliner because I do not have a pano roof. I do hope that this case was an anomoly that can be rectified. If not, I hope Tesla revisits any modifications and makes any future changes or improvements well known in advance of finalizing.

I do know of one buyer that couldn't buy a Model S with Alcantara due to polyester allergies. He ultimately got the fabric headliner but it wasn't until he was absolutely certain that he knew what materials were used throughout the car's interior. Material changes can make a big difference to buyers.

Maybe OP can make a post at TMC to find out if anyone else there has heard any news or seen any changes. It is a much busier forum with many helpful people. There is an entire section just on the car's interior. Introduce yourself, stick to the facts and see what they know. Just don't be too alarmist. That might make them skeptical if it is one of your first posts there.

Thanks Captain. Useful, and wise, information.

Thanks guys. And thanks Captain for doing some research. I also visited the Tesla motor club forums. I didn't post there yet. I think that is a good idea.
Chris, I too am just about to sell my 2011 M3 sedan. The materials are flawless and I do think that Tesla needs to improve on interior Materials. P.m. five I believe has the suede headliner which adds such a nice feel.

Frank, I have been doing my homework as well and looking up aftermarket upholstery places In San Diego. I found a couple and I do have the panoramic roof. I'm waiting to see what the final word is From Tesla.

I was so upset reading these posts that i had to go out and check the head liner of my wife's new Mercedes E Class. Hers is fabric also. I sure she is going to be so diappointed to know that her new Mercedes has s second class head liner. it looks like the same material as my Ford's. How disappointing.

How would I know if I got the alcantera or not? Also I did not get my spoiler, they will be adding it later.

Dwdnjck - thanks for the helpful post . It's more the principle of the matter.

Ryan - the alcantara has more of suede type feel.

I just got an email from Tesla ownership...they state the issue has been escalated to a "top level."

I'm not surprised.

My issue that I alluded to earlier is also under review by upper management and Tesla let me know they needed about a week while they figure out what they can do. Fair enough.

Very cool.

OK great. This is what I expected from Tesla. Glad to hear they are following through.

Ready to place my ordering a Grey with Grey leather interior. With matching Alcantara headliner, that I was shown and told would be in my performance EV.
When somebody breaks my trust, it is difficult to continue. CONSIDERING CANCELING

Just spoke to Tesla representative. They indeed confirmed that from now on they won't use Alcantara headliner on Performance vehicles. The new headliner is a little lighter color wise and more durable as they said. The color is still light beige what doesn't match any interior but tan. But this is what we have right now and I don't see that any changes are going to happen.


I wouldn't panic and go that far until I got official word back from Tesla regarding the issue.

I wasn't expecting to see Alcantara used on the seat bolsters and I was a bit concerned about its maintenance and durability in that location when I got it. I figured that if turned out to be a problem placing it in that location that Tesla would fix it and make a modification in the future.

At the same time, I wasn't ever concerned about Alcantara's durability or performance as a headliner. I had big concerns about the headliners in the beta cars and I didn't care for the fabric headliner I saw.

Maybe they got some feedback that concerned them about the Alcantara and they are making a move toward a superior material that has the same performance when it comes to acoustics, noise dampening and aesthetic appeal.

Ultimately, they definitely need to be proactive about stating significant revisions in advance.

You're going to CANCEL the most innovative and coolest car on the planet because of the HEADLINER? REALLY?

I just don't get some people - be upset, complain to Tesla but CANCEL - no way!

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