Model S owner launches petition demanding retrofit; Tesla stock continues slide

Shares of Tesla Motors were down more than 3 percent in early trading Monday.

Last week, Tesla revealed that the “D” stood for dual motor and that the “something else” referred to new safety and autopilot hardware that are standard on every new Model S.

The stock is deflating, but had enjoyed a run-up prior to the announcement. Wired has a great piece today about the cycle of tech stocks before and after product announcements.

Meanwhile, some Model S owners are upset that their vehicles lack the new AWD feature or the hardware that would enable them to get the autopilot and safety features. Richard Wolpert of Los Angeles has launched a petition asking Tesla to come up with a retrofit; so far 98 people have signed it.

“I was deceived into buying an old model two weeks prior to release of new model,” wrote Mike Brookstone of Santa Clara, one of the signers of the petition.

Automotive News has reported that Tesla is developing a program to sell used cars; maybe trading in your current Model S for a Model S “D” version will become a possibility.

The Model S P85D; photo via Tesla Motors website. 







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  • Russell

    “I was deceived into buying an old model two weeks prior to release of new model,” wrote Mike Brookstone of Santa Clara, one of the signers of the petition.

    Just put it up for sale.

    • Greg Adams

      Just took delivery 3 wks ago w/out the features on cars being delivered today. I am sick to my stomach they are saying no retrofit since I ordered the Tech Package because I was told future innovations could be “pushed through” software updates if tech enabled. Elon, if you really want this thing to work in the long run, take care of your early innovators and your biggest fans. Figure out a retrofit.

      • Jim M.

        Do you really think anyone can make an additional motor and new sensors appear through software? Do you know the difference between software and hardware? They’d have to add the new hardware in the shop, provided it’s even possible. Sounds like they made a pretty big change.

    • Brad

      Just because of all wheel drive, who cares

    • Mark

      So your argument is “Waaaaa….”

    • Sam

      I think I am in the same boat as Mike. I had placed an order and expected to get my Model S in Dec which would have had the sensors for the auto pilot.

      I got a call from my Tesla sales rep late September and he told be that a loaner Model S had become available which was almost identical to what I had ordered. It had gone a few thousand miles and they would discount it based on a simple formula (# months * 1000 + # miles on odometer). I would get the car over 2 months early and save a bit. I was asked to make a quick decision since these cars go fast. What was there not to like! What I and probably the sales rep did not know was that it was not the identical car. However, Tesla as a company knew what they were doing but did not disclose all the information.

      If Tesla had not actively contacted me and sold their old inventory I would have received a better car for that I had already signed up to pay. That is why Mike and I feel deceived. The business ethics here are not what I would have expected from Tesla. GM perhaps but not Tesla!

      The analogy of people buying a smart phone that is replaced with a newer model does not apply at least for me. It is more like I was standing in line to get my next iPhone and the sales rep from the store walks over and tells me that they have a few phones they had used for internal testing. They are identical to the new phones except they don’t have the new phone smell. I don’t have to stand in line and even get $25 off. I take the deal and then find out a week later that the phone is missing some really cool and crucial features.

  • Albert

    I think that those buyers probably got a huge discount by buying a year old model and now want free upgrades.

    • Patrick Donohue

      There are no discounts.

    • Vadim

      I bought mine just recently, got NO discount. Your guess is wrong.

    • scott

      I received my Model S, P85 plus, with almost all the upgrades available, at the time.
      I was told, at time of purchase, that there were no know upgrades, if i waited for 2015.
      So, after taking delivery, about two weeks ago, i was shocked about the Model S – D.
      I would have loved to have had the opportunity for the dual engine option – would have loved it. But that upcoming option was kept a secret, probably to not disturb the sales flow at the time.
      Hey, look at smart phones. Although they offer minor software upgrades through out the year, we are made aware of the new model, long in advance – that gives us the option to wait for the new model, if we chose,
      Tesla took that option, to wait, away from us.
      I would have been more that happy, and willing, to wait the additional few months to be eligible for the D.
      My S, out the door, cost me $137,000 – so money wasn’t an issue. But Teslsa wasn’t up front with me, at the time of my purchase.

      • Jeremiah Mckenna

        All manufacturers keep their next model or change a secret until it is released. Get over yourself, you are not that interesting or special. So you bought a new car and now the next one is different or better than the one you gave. Just be happy with the one you have and trade it in next year when the new one comes out. Not a big deal, every one does that all the time.

      • andy

        Elon posted on his twitter beforehand that Tesla was unveiling something within a few weeks.

      • Dustan

        They dont have to tell you anything. Only reason you know about apple phones is because of unauthorized leaks. If you want it that bad sell your car and get the new one. Stop feeling entitled

        • Mike

          Which part of the SAME car you don’t understand ? Model “D” is a NEW model, but do I speak about model “D” ? No I don’t !!

          The core issue is about the sensors for the Auto Pilot. Folks that have ordered the exact same model as mine not a different model, but the exact same one they did NOT order nor had an option to order an Auto Pilot , but they’re getting the sensors and Auto Pilot installed and it’s a SURPRISE for them, because Tesla simply decided to do so. This is discrimination and I am asking why I haven’t been selected? Why some folks are entitled to extra things for the exact same thing I’ve got without the extras! That is the problem. I do understand that the Model S “D” is a new model and I’m not complaining about that even though if I knew about it I would’ve waited the extra few weeks. It looks like that most of you don’t realize what the issue is and probably are not Tesla owners and don’t know much about the whole story and only blubbering here.

    • andy

      Haha – that guy is an idiot. Even though it was two weeks prior, it was before it released. Plus Elon ‘s twitter announced something was coming up. Next time he should pay attention.

  • Rich Hansen

    Sounds like an attack on Tesla by other auto-makers. Just like GM did with Tucker in the 1940’s/1950’s. What a crock!

    • Patrick Donohue

      There are no discounts.

  • Dave

    Rich people problems.

    • Mike

      White Whines! Haha!

      • snow white

        But not as much as coons in st louis or coons wanting someone to save them in new Orleans ect ect.

  • Bambam678

    Ridiculous!! That happens all the time. If I bought a 2014 model any car, should I start a petition because the 2015s are coming out that will drive and park itself or will do my grocery shopping? Thats the idea behind a new model….new features.

  • Mac

    Just like buying a book before the next edition comes out.

    • Elmer

      I bought my Tesla for the safety it gives me and my family, maintenance (no hoses ,belts ,transmissions and all those other nasty parts that GM puts on that
      could injure people or kill them as it has to some.) I love my car and I don’t have to cater to the oil company with their up and down games they play on prices.
      It goes plenty fast enough for me and I am always first in line to charge up.
      (at home). I bought mine almost a year ago and like others said,”you don’t get a second edition free just because you bought the first one”.
      Grow up people and stop moaning, accept what you paid for and get on with life and enjoy your Tesla like I do.”)

  • I am confident that Tesla will offer an upgrade kit.

    • Stephen Pace

      If they do, it may be “cost prohibitive”. To give you an idea, just the parking sensor retrofit (and my car has the correct wiring harness) was quoted to me at $7800 to install something that is a $500 option in the factory. If you really want this feature, likely the best course of action is to sell the car and buy a new one. Or wait a few years for it to get even better. Such is the nature of technology.

      • That implies that the labor component is very high since the car is already built. I was hoping it was not.

      • ken

        You could always learn how to parallel park…..

    • Rwolf01

      It’s not that easy. Name any car or SUV that comes in a 2WD and AWD version that offers an after market conversion?

      The right way to ‘convert’ your car is to sell the old one to someone who wants it and buy the new one…

      • runswithscissors

        Actually the correct way to convert the driveline over involves getting dirty. Something that very few tesla owners know how to do.

      • Unlike standard ICE cars requiring complicated mechanical linkages, I was hoping the Model S retrofit would be much easier.

        • Rich

          More than likely the control system is the limiting factor for upgrading an existing S to AWD dual motor. The front drive essentially need a duplication of the rear drive control as well as the ability to implement traction control among the 4 drive wheels.

  • chris p

    I bought an iphone 5c – but the iphone 6 has MORE features and bigger screen! apple needs to convert my 5c to the bigger screen!

    • alan foster

      Nicely summed-up.

    • Tom

      Agree not everything stays new and “hot”……..these poor folk trying to keep up with the Jones’s……..always something newer and better….I’d like my windows95 to keep offering free updates until I die

  • Scott

    It’s called a new model. Get over it cry, babies!

    • JD

      This! A thousand times over.

    • raj

      There are no model years for Tesla and there is a 2 month wait list. Like you many others don’t get these two facts before blaming the owners

  • Eugene Golden

    Is there not a disclaimer saying the manufacturer can make changes to features and specifications at anytime without requiring them to refit and modify previously sold cars? Has been on any car I ever bought..unless Tesla did not cross all the t’s and dot the I’s in their documentation.

  • Andrew

    It’s a company that is CONSTANTLY improving their product. This means that you should buy a Chevy if you want your car to always be “up-to-date” with the current offerings of that model. I own a Model S that can’t be retrofitted but I’m also not a spoiled brat and realize that I’m the one who agreed to buy the car. Grow up and don’t force Tesla into doing “year models” so updates would only occur once a year. We are all adults here, I hope.

  • chuck dick

    I have an Apple Quadra 605. I am demanding Apple upgrade its internals to a MacBook Pro 15″ with Retina Display with 16GB RAM. How dare they make all these updates without taking care of their older customers.

    It’s what a good company would do, right?

  • Rich Partainl

    Well, then it follows that every IPhone 5 owner can sue Apple now that the 6 is out. Tesla, the new kid on the block, is unfairly held to a higher standard by the bullies and jealous ne’r do wells. The early Model S issues and recalls were extremely minor when compared to the millions of recalls and scandals of the big boys car makers on the block. They are just running scared of the game-changer Tesla. Stiff competition and the free market rule. Suck it boys and start building responsible quality cars for the 21st Century.

  • Chester

    Cry me a river Tesla S owners….. What an ignorant group of crybabies…. Oh the horrors!!! SMFH

  • Ted Turk

    Current Tesla owners who want to buy the P85D should receive the fair value of their trade-in as determined by the market and by Elon Musk’s promise to underwrite trade-in value. Then, that value could be applied to the purchase of the P85D plus a reasonable discount on the cost of the upgrade paid by 1st time buyers. This would do several things. As we say in the “Rotary” world, it would
    “Be fair to all concerned”. It would
    “Build goodwill and better friendships”
    “It would be fair to all concerned” and
    “It would be beneficial to all concerned”.
    The “goodwill” this policy would generate cannot be measured in dollars.

  • Steph

    So wait…..did they not hear the reports like we all did about 2-3 weeks ago saying that Telsa would be introducing a new model? Plus…if you just bought your car why did you a buy a 2014 model when the 2015s are already out and if the model is not out yet why not ask if a newer model for 2015 is coming? Now if you asked and they lied to you then that’s one thing.

    If Telsa gives in ( in which I wouldn’t ) then they will set a precedent. What other company does that?

    • raj

      There are no model years for Tesla and there is a 2 month wait list. Like you many others don’t get these two facts…

  • man711

    The bubble is bursting. The con is done. Tesla stock is crashing. Layoffs begin soon.

  • Howard

    OH PLEASE ! The car you bought is still the normal current model the D is a super high-end TESLA that costs at least $20K more than what you paid.

  • Eddie J

    Dana Hull, can you post a new profile picture? Your neck looks really strange. I’m not sure if it’s the angle or what. It’s very distracting though.

  • gxh

    Happens all the time with everything, TVs, computers, ICE cars getting better mileage etc. Tantrum immature consumer. Has a brand new Tesla, give it to me if it is such a hardship!

  • Tesla retrofits are a human right!

  • david

    Just WOW. Even worse is that this made news

  • Henry

    I got deceived into buying a 2004 Volvo. Can I sue Volvo to get it retro fitted to a 2014, without rust holes?

  • Colin

    I could take care of the previous model for you if you care to donate

    • I think we can all agree that it is in everyone’s interest that manufacturers provide an approximate roadmap regarding significant upgrades as they do with upcoming models. For example, folks wanting an SUV bad enough are willing to wait until next year to get the Model X. Similarly those wanting 4-wheel drive and some of the other features could decide to wait a little. Tesla is in a good position to provide this insight since it has a waiting list for its product. Buying a 100k car is a significant decision and prospective customers should be afforded a roadmap within the model itself. I do not consider those upset with this to be complainers or whiners but a means in which Tesla rethinks its process and works to resolve this immediate problem and concern going forward.

      • Mark

        If everybody is always waiting on the next best thing, and thus can’t sell the current model, the company goes or if business.

  • NYCTokyoLondon

    This shows how spoiled some of these people have become with Tesla’s constant software upgrades, new over-the-features, day-to-day enhancements, and retrofits….something no other company has even been suggested to do. The other option would have been to wait a whole year before changing anything, like every other car company does, which would also deny far more people from getting the benefits of Tesla’s constant refresh cycle….Of course, those people who bought just before that new model came out would make the same complaint, so really it doesn’t matter what the timing is.

    The Model S is an awesome car….this guy obviously thought so as well by buying one. This goes to show you then, just HOW MUCH MORE AWESOME the new version is than an ALREADY AWESOME car……He’ll get wholesale trade-in value, but Tesla would be happy to accept his trade-in for the P85D. I’ve had my car for almost a year, and even I knew an AWD version was coming! I didn’t know it was going to be this good, but I knew it was coming, so I have no complaints.

  • Gregg

    It’s simple “Buyers remorse” and nothing else. This is the kind of guy who would buy an iPhone 5s two weeks before the launch of the iPhone 6, and say that he
    never was informed on new innovations. You must be an IDIOT to believe that
    Elon Musk would not be working on new and innovative upgrades, models etc.
    anymore than Apple would not be doing the same!

    So the question is… Would this guy be willing to pay for the “Upgrade” when he
    finds out that it would involve new engineering, retrofits and costs? These costs
    would be astronomical and unrealistic to the point that Tesla is not about to begin
    to entertain such a retrofit!

    So Mr. Whining school girl, start blaming yourself and not others or companies for your being a dumb ass! It’s obvious that you have money or you would not be able to purchase a Tesla, unless you won the lottery, which takes luck and no brains!

  • Mike

    What is pissing me off is that others that have ordered the regular Model S , NOT the “D” will get those sensors for FREE as well the software update for AutoPilot and Safety enhancements. This is discriminatory practice in my opinion and there is NO new model here. It’s the exact same Model S as mine, and I paid $140k for it without having the sensors.

    I would agree that the “D” is a new model, but not regular Model S. You’re talking Iphone’s …. well it’s the same f*cking thing … You buy Iphone 6 and after 1 week Apple starts including into newly built Iphone 6’s some piece of hardware that will allow you to navigate your car. It’s the same model and they simply start giving something to people for the same price while discriminating others who paid the exact same amount of money for the exact same model. It’s all crap … If it was for an amount of $1k or so I would say, let it be and move on, but we’re talking $140k and Tesla selectively discriminated good amount of individuals by deciding to “award” certain buyers with an extra option for the exact same model for the exact same price. We have 2014 Model S P85+ without Auto Pilot and 2014 Model S with Auto Pilot for exact same price !! Guess which car is worth more ? And who created all this? Tesla did ! They gotta fix it … if not I’ll try my chances in court if I find few more fellows that feel the same way just to make a point to Tesla that this is not right!

    • CyberdineX

      I call B S…
      I don’t believe you are a Tesla Owner, Just a hater, who is going to hate…

      • Mike

        Did I say at any point that I hate the car ? No I don’t ! The car is amazing, it’s just the way Tesla does business in this particular moment is not good and it’s costing me and others quite a few dollars. Today I received a Trade in quote from Tesla for my car … Guess how much ..? $110k for a car that is two weeks old, 1000 miles and I paid $140k for it 🙂 But again the core issue if different and I have reiterated it again in another post below, but I guess most of you don’t realize that or don’t care and most likely folks commenting here are not really Tesla owners.

  • Sel f. Serving

    I am a Model S owner.That’s what makes me special. More special than any Prius owner. Tesla should cater to every one of my needs. If not, I will cry foul. I think my car is the fastest car in the world. Global warming is not my problem. Now this? The next thing you will tell me is that a Mazda Miata will beat me around a 2 mile track because my battery will cause limp node. No way. Elon Musk is my god . He would lie to me? I am nothing


    Anyone who signs this morons petition automatically joins the douche bag whiners of America society!

  • Bhake

    Just found: 98 people with entitlement issues! Grow up!

  • Jeremiah Mckenna

    It is quite obvious these customers don’t know what they are talking about. You can’t simply add another electric motor and drive line. There is are a ton of differences in the frames/steering mechanism, brake systems, charging systems, battery set up that has to be considered.

    As for the nanny crap electronics, that too can not be added after original manufacturing. There are so many safety issues that involvedit is crazy.

    I want these customers to read this story and then these comments and realize how silly they are, then get over themselves because as I said before, they are not that interesting or important.

    Funny thingis, you guys don’t have a dealership to go complain to.

  • Nima

    This really is a sad story. If you thought the car was a good deal with the equipment you were promised and happily paid for it then you got what you signed up for. If you wanted more, you would have said no I’ll wait till a better package with X Y and Z is availble. The fact that Tesla doesnt make new model years and just rolls new updates in doesnt take away from you right to get a car exactly as specified in your agreement, it simply gives a suprise goodie to those who wait. This is not unlike, a child’s behaviour demanding 2 cookies when he/she was happy with one cookie until they saw another kid get two cookies. Such is the nature of technology and Tesla shouldnt change a practice that is otherwise going to benefit a larger group of people because you couldnt wait to get the options you thought were adequate for you. Until you learn to be happy with what you have, nothing will satisfy you, GROW UP!

  • PaulTD

    Musk is working on a model that will automatically retrofit itself with any new features as they become available. Unfortunately, earlier models can’t be retrofitted with this feature. And the roadster will always be a two-seater.

  • Any of you whiners out there can give me your ‘old’ car, I’ll give you a tax receipt and you can buy the ‘latest and greatest’ (until Tesla comes out with something even better next month).

  • James

    If you buy a car/tv/blu-ray player/ipod/tablet/computer/phone/shoes/video-game…you DON’T automatically get to upgrade….for FREE…because they came up with a new version…This person is just a whiner and feels they deserve something…that kind of culture is sickening

  • Dexter

    “Meanwhile, some Model S owners are upset that their vehicles lack the new AWD feature…”

    What a bunch of big babies. Just because they purchased the technologically-advanced Teslas for a lot of money, they think they’re entitled to every improvement, advancement, change, upgrade and new feature forever. Get real. Don’t like your new Tesla? Sell it and get a Chevy Volt. That way you can deal with the highly-regarded General Motors, save a bunch of money, and go about 100 yards before charging again.

  • Jamie

    I am a Model S owner. I would love to have the new features (autopilot and D). For that matter, I wish my car also had power folding mirrors, parking sensors and rear heated seats — none of which were available when I got my car.

    In a perfect world centered around ME, Tesla would update my car with all of these features. Of course, Tesla is running a business and has to make rational and cost-effective business decisions, and no sane business would retrofit old cars with these options given the cost and complexity of doing so.

    Technology is constantly advancing and evolving. I accept it in the car I purchased just like I accept it with TV’s and mobile phones. I bought the car when I did based on what it had. I knew Tesla would inevitably add some of the features they did, and I never anticipated or expected them to upgrade my car.

    I’m sure Tesla will soon upgrade the Model S with LED headlights and 4G connectivity. While I expect those updates to happen, I have no delusion that my car would be upgraded with these new features.

    At some point, I’ll replace my car, and when I do, I’ll have all the features I didn’t have when I got the car I have now.

  • Shawn

    I couldnt even stand to read all the comments with the exception of the first one that says he was “decieved”. Why is this any different than any other new car purchase? Guess what, NEWS FLASH, Every year around this time new models come out, from VW, to toyota, to Ferrari, to Tesla. Grow up. You should have done more research.

  • Ecletric Dreamer

    To those who bought a Model S two weeks ago…I am envious…the simple fact is that I probably won’t ever own a Model S, let alone a Model D. Not that I begrudge you…I think it’s fantastic. I am green with envy…I love those cars and really appreciate that someone is pushing the envelope on electric cars. I believe the momentum on this is vital to our transportation future. But, having said that, I hope my friends premature baby daughter gets over her infection and gets out of the NICU before Tesla retrofits your Model S. If my prayers are limited, I would prefer to use them on something important. I wish you the very best…

  • Michael Wong

    Try to see it from the point of view of a hipster who saved up for a few years to be able to afford the best that tesla motors has to offer so they can talk to their hipster friends and colleagues over $6 starbucks drinks. The hipster was promised by the salesperson that it was the latest and greatest from TM with all of the extras and more expensive paint job, and that any future upgrades would be automatically downloaded to the hipster’s new car. But the hipster is now afraid to talk about his new car to anyone except the plebeian prius owners because he was a month early for the cutoff for the fancy dual motor performance package and sub-30 mph autonomous lane keep, cruise, and stopping functionality. He is now afraid that anyone who keeps up with TM news, which is what him and all his hipster friends do after coming back from their pencil pushing jobs, will ask him if he has the “newer” model, which would have to be responded to with a very embarrassing negative or some pathetic attempt at justifying not having a car that can park itself or drive itself to the owner with the press of a button.

    I hope you peasants can understand now the plight of the hipster.

  • Maav

    It’s a fabulous car, just enjoy it while you can and trade it in after a few years, like we always did in the past. Stop sniviling

  • Scotty

    Do people get upset when the newest Subaru is released and say they want all these new features the new model has, on their old model? No, cause they understand new models come out all the time, and when they do they can’t get the new features on their older car. Every person who wines about not having the best car that’s out today is simply exercising the fact they’re spoiled little brats that get pissed when the Jones’s across the street will have something better than them.