As you know I’m an Elon worshiper so it is very disappointing to me that I have to write this review. But after renting a Tesla Model S for a day I have decided I’m definitely not buying it.

The verdict, disappointed, disheartened, disillusioned, depressed.

Renting the Car

On Tuesday I decided to rent a Tesla for a day. Before I spent $90k on a car I wanted more than just a 15 minute test drive. And I do have to say that I went into this with very high expectations. After all – this is the best car in the world, and I’m not even going to dispute that. It probably is the best car in the world. So – you might ask – why wouldn’t I want the best car in the world?

I rented the car through relayrides.com. Relay Rides is to car rental what Uber is to taxis. People can rent their cars out through them. This car costs $329 for the day. I picked the car up in Sunnyvale. Even though I had some email exchanges with the owner about why I wanted to rent the car, he didn’t reveal to me until I picked it up that he didn’t get the “tech package”. So I didn’t get to evaluate all the toys.

The car was a 2015 model he bought this year and he said the tech package was $4250 extra. He regretted not getting the tech package and told me a story abut an issue he was having with the rear view mirror. With the tech package the mirror will automatically dim at night, but without it you get a regular mirror with the little angle flip thing cars have had since forever. Except that his car had just a mirror – no night setting.

He told me he contacted customer service and had to wait a month for an appointment. After he finally went in there was nothing they could do. Apparently Tesla doesn’t have regular car mirrors so his rear view mirror was inferior to even the cheapest cars on the market. His story was rather disturbing. Makes me wonder if he was the first person to ever buy a Tesla without the tech package and they didn’t know what to do. My guess is that his mirror is capable of dimming but they had that feature locked out in software.

The car had Google Maps on a nice big screen. But because he didn’t get the tech package navigation was disabled. But I had my Android phone and paired it with the car and everything worked. I could even play my music through the car’s sound system which was, as you would expect, great.

My first passenger

After picking up the car I drove north to the San Bruno Bart Station to pick up my former boss who I had a lunch date with. The car drove great. Even though it was the single motor model the acceleration was awesome. Far more power that I would normally use. However it could come in handy for merging on a ramp or changing lanes where someone is coming up fast and you need to match speeds quickly – or to pass some moron who is going slow in the fast lane. Long story short – the driving experience was great. Just like everyone says it is.

We headed south to Alice’s Restaurant going west on 92 then south on Skyline. Coastal for was heavy and condensing on the redwood trees creating something like rain. And the wipers came on automatically. Very impressive. At that point I was telling my former boss that this ride might cost her 1/4 million because she and her husband are probably going to want one.

After lunch we drove around a little more and then I dropper her off in San Francisco, giving me the chance to see what it was like to drive in the city. I then decided to cross the Bay Bridge and head to Fremont to the Tesla factory to try out the super chargers there.

Super Chargers Full

Got delayed a little in traffic getting to Fremont and where I got there the chargers were all full and there was a line. I think it was 3 cars ahead of me. I had scheduled to meet another friend in Palo Alto and I don’t know how long I would have to wait in line before I even started the charging. So knowing that was too long I had to leave. All of a sudden range because real and personal.

Unlike a gas car it wasn’t like I could just go across the street to another gas station and fill up. I had 80 miles left. So I had to head to Palo Alto – and then head to Gilroy, the next closets super charger. I figured I could make it – but it was going to be close.

So I picked her up a little after 3 and she wanted to take a drive to Santa Cruz. I had to explain to her that we couldn’t do that. We had to go to Gilroy. Santa Cruz didn’t have super chargers. If I had gone to Santa Cruz it might not have made it all the way and if I found a place to charge it would have taken 5+ hours of charge to get anywhere. So we headed to Gilroy pulling into the super charger with just 6 miles of charge to spare.

Plugged it in and went to have dinner at Denny’s across the street. We were gone 55 minutes. There was only one other Tesla charging when we got there so no problem leaving it. I don’t know how long it too to charge but it was full when we returned with 240 miles to go. Left Gilroy and too the scenic roads back to San Jose and drove around for a while before bringing the car back that evening. I had told David I would probably not keep it over night and bring it back in the evening. I emailed him that I was on my way.

The Accident

We were a few blocks away in Sunnyvale. I was in a left turn lane stopped behind another car at a red light. I just got an email from David saying he was home. As I was reading the email my foot slipped off the brake and the car had creep mode on and it creeped into the back of the car in front of me. We pulled over and there was a cop who saw it who also pulled up behind us. Clearly it was my fault.

The damage was minimal, at least I think so. The Tesla had a slightly bent license plate and the other car had a paint scratch from the screws that hold the license plate on the Tesla. Tesla has a creep mode option that was on that emulates the way an automatic transmission torque converter makes the car creep forward when you let off the brake. And it emulated it perfectly imitating a dumb gas powered car.

A Tesla should NOT have hit that car!

As I said in the beginning, my expectations for a Tesla were much higher than a dumb car. I watch all the YouTube videos starting with last fall when the D was revealed, and “something else”. The something else was collision avoidance. Videos were released of Elon driving up to a parked car and the car applying the brakes to avoid the collision. Elon had announced that all Teslas for the last few weeks has these sensors already built in. That was October 2014.

It’s now May 2015, 7 months later. The car I was driving had the sensors. There was a setting set the sensitivity to warn me early, and the sensors worked. Earlier in the day I wanted to test the collision avoidance to see if it worked. I assumed it was active. I was at a light behind someone and did the creep forward to see if the brakes would come on. The dashboard indicated that I was going to hit someone and at 18 inches I hit the brakes. Was baffled that it didn’t work. So I already knew that wasn’t working and that already was an issue.

I had at the time even went into the setting to disable creep mode and the option was grayed out. I couldn’t turn it off for some reason and I remember being annoyed at that. So when it caused an accident – I was not happy.

This is not a dumb gas car. The car knew that there was an object in front of it. And it’s not like I was moving and failed to hit the brakes. I was stopped. The car decided to move from a dead stop to hit a car that the car knew was there. And that’s Tesla’s fault. I was shocked that Tesla released software that was that dumb on a car that they say is the safest car on the road. It might have taken 3 lines of code to fix this. Something like:

if ( object_in_front() ) {
creep_mode_disable=on
}

Just a little code so that if the sensors saw something in front of the car that it disabled creep mode so the car wouldn’t turn on and run into it. I’m a software engineer and I was designing computers since 1971 and the idea that a car with working sensors wouldn’t incorporate this minimal amount of logic was a stunning disappointment. It’s not that it should have hit the brakes – which it should have – but that it should never have started to move in the first place. So I have lost confidence in the software engineering at Tesla and the reality was a very sour feeling to deal with.

Returning the Car

I had to tell the owner what happened and he was not happy. Even though the damage was a bent license place he was somewhat freaked out. This was a Tesla and now it was blemished. And although a slightly bent license plate was no big deal on any other car it inflamed one of my worries. That owning a Tesla is like walking around with a raw egg in your pocket and nothing can ever happen to it. Am I capable of owning something as fine as a Tesla? I don’t think I am.

Contacting Tesla Afterwards

When I finally got home Tuesday night I email Tesla. Actually sent several emails. I think this is a serious bug and if I were Tesla’s software guy I would have fixed the problem immediately and pushed an update the next day. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had their foot slip off the brake pedal and hit the car in front.

So far I got no meaningful response. And it’s been 3 days. I got one call telling my to email feedback@teslamotors.com – and I did – nothing. I sent an email again this morning telling them I was going to write a review and someone email me and I explained the problem and haven’t heard back. So my experience so far with Tesla support is worse than I would get from my local Honda dealer.

Conclusion

The end result is that I saved a lot of money buying a car that I really didn’t need. I had just paid off my house (don’t tell my ex-wife I have a paid for house in California)  and I was able to afford it. I had even gone to the bank and they approved the loan. So all I had to do was buy it. But I was still struggling with the decision. In my mind I justified maybe 1/3 to 1/2 the price, but the rest was that I just wanted it because it’s a cool toy.

I also have a SolarCity solar system and a second solar collector and I’ve made 1.5 megawatt hours of excess energy that PG&E owes me. That’s enough electricity to drive the Tesla from here to New York City and half way back. And I live 2 miles from the Gilroy super charger and 40 miles from the factory. So it doesn’t get any better than that for owning a Tesla.

But just like I wouldn’t marry a woman without sleeping with her first I’m not going to buy a $90,000 car (what you really pay) without some intimate driving first, and now that I did that – the answer is – definitely not.

And let me say that this is my perspective and everyone’s opinion is different. This car is the world’s best car. I’m not disputing that. So what I’m saying is – it’s not for me. Maybe someday in the future perhaps.

The experience that the owner talked about with poor customer service was confirmed by my experience reporting a serious bug. So the great customer experience that Elon talks about isn’t what either me or the owner experienced.

I don’t like the way Tesla tries to mislead you into thinking the car prices is as low as they quote it. Although most car prices do that somewhat, I think Tesla takes it to a new level. Showing a $55,000 price is an insult to my intelligence.

Although I can get by with a 240 mile range it was unfortunate that when I got to Tesla’s factory that the chargers were full on a Tuesday afternoon and I realized that I had to tell my friend we had to go to Gilroy instead of Santa Cruz because of the car. My current car is a 2012 Honda CR-V and it goes 350 miles on a tank. (400 on fumes). If the Tesla went 350 that would be a huge step forward. Maybe after the next battery breakthrough I might be interested. But 240 isn’t going to do it for me.

The comments from the owner about his mirror are very disturbing. He’s leasing the car. If I were leasing that car I’d take it back and yell them the deal is off until they give me a working rear view mirror. That’s just not right. I’m also disturbed that if earlier in the day when I tried turning creep mode off that I couldn’t. Had that worked it would have prevented the accident.

There are some people who might say that I’m over reacting to the creep mode issue but I’m someone who actually understands in extreme detail into inner workings of both cars, computers, and automation. The level of quality of workmanship in the software department is no where close to acceptable, especially on a car that is the best car in the world and prides itself on state of the art, safety, and quality of workmanship. And it’s not just creep mode. I think the user option are primitive at best. I even emailed Tesla that I would volunteer to give them free software consulting to help them do it right.

And the owner getting all upset over the slightest blemish just made me realize – this car isn’t for me. I’m just not the kind of guy who can take care of something that nice.

Sorry Elon – this is painful. But you should read this and pay attention.

It’s been 6 days and no response from Tesla after numerous email notifications.

It’s been 7 months since this video was posted. The car DOES NOT DO THIS.

Here Elon says the car will stop preventing an accident. (Last 10 seconds of video)

June 1 2015 1:30pm Called Tesla again and still can’t talk to anyone with a brain about this.



  1. Average Random Joe says:

    Elon is Jobs incarnate. He creates a reality distortion field in all that he does. Creates hype and over-inflates. He is a really good sales man that I don’t think is very honest. Showboating with some smoke and mirrors. That battery for the home is a great example. Unless he has dramatically improved the cost and performance of the battery, lithium ion isn’t the best battery for recharge and price. It costs a premium but for weight and size. Things you need in a car, not so much for a home. He is either a con man or not very versed in long range transportation. Trains didn’t cross the country until they were connected locally first after the public became used to them. Cars didn’t really have interstate highways until long after they were used locally. To do that they had to be disruptive and the cost had to be low enough for everyone to own one (or many of the people), and the benefits have to be different then the establish, sustaining technology. This didn’t, it wasn’t a new itch it was serving.

    • Musk comes from a rodents ASS! says:

      Agreed! Elon is a CON MAN!!!

      But then, what was the first clue? His failed rockets? Failing Space “company”? Babbling-on used car salesman personality?! Or the fact that he, like every other rich asshole, is writing it off on his TAXES (that you me and every other government-owned LEMMING pays for).

      My feelings: Someone should NUKE Silicon Valley of all these money grubbing pigs who don’t know VALUE or the meaning of the work WORK! Then we should do it to Washington. Though, good luck with that one when so many of the “people” who PAY these rich pigs are such banboozled boobs themselves — like our reviewer clearly is.

      Seriously, Mark. All you and your neighboring Silly-Ville fucks really know how to do is go to an overpaid JOB! Though I do have to congratulate you for it since you TOO seem to know the art of LYING — just like Elon!

      I’m also pretty sure you will disagree. But you really should ask yourself just what have you PRODUCED in your life? Because my bet is all you can show us is more crappy code and maybe how you THINK you’re saving the earth with your selfish Solar City energy savings (that we ultimately pay for in OUR higher energy bills).

      Is the light bulb ON yet? (You REAL-ig-ous fool?)

      • Marc Perkel says:

        Yeah – where would you get cell phones and internet without silicon valley. Thank a California hippie every time you get online.

  2. NewFormatSux says:

    So if you hadn’t had the accident, would you have bought? Or was your previous test enough to dissuade you?

    I don’t think it is a bad quality of a car that you end up in an accident if the driver was reading e-mail.

    Sounds like the real problem was you didn’t realize the brake was released like you would in a regular car.

    You should have gone to Harris Ranch for your recharge, even if it was 150 miles away. That way you can fill up from a diesel generator.
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=LU4z1Jeyq2g

    This is also the location of their fake battery swap for which they claimed $100 million in carbon credits from the state.
    The battery swap is ‘invitation only’.

    • Marc Perkel says:

      The accident was a big factor but even before I started I needed a better than expected experience. Worse than expected was a deal breaker.

  3. noname says:

    Mighty Morphin Elon trolls unite!

    Dark Specter rented Slammer a Tesla low on Dino Charge.

    While searching for Energems, Slammer was outsmarted by a Dino Charge Megazord’s Stego-Raptor Formation email and crash landed into the back of Scrapper Car!

    Trolls you must fight this Slammer bounty hunter aka Marc Perkel and other Musk threats!

    Mighty Morphin Elon trolls unite, you must save the earth!

  4. Ah_Yea says:

    Good article. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you and it certainly bodes ill for Tesla.
    What caught my attention was the “$4250 extra … they had that feature locked out in software.”
    Obviously, it’s all in the software. All the problems you had with the car were from disabled features already present in the software.
    Pay $90,000 for a hobbled car, just to get scammed for another $4250 to enable features already installed???
    A deal only an Apple Fanboy would love.

    • LibertyLover says:

      My company develops software. We turn features on and off depending on what the customer ordered.

      They aren’t paying us to turn the feature on. They’re paying us for developing the feature in the first place.

      I have no problem with that business model.

      A better question to ask is, “How much to put all of those features in that care by hand using screw drivers and hammers?”

      That being said, this article convinced me to rethink my plans. Thanks.

      • DonW says:

        All well and good, BUT, creep mode should not be the default!

        • LibertyLover says:

          True.

          I was referring the comment on disabled features. My apologies for not specifying.

      • NewFormatSux says:

        IBM did this way back when, with engineers carrying ‘golden screwdrivers.’

        Microsoft does this all the time. Windows NT Workstation vs Server, was just a difference of 1 registry setting, which then activated the extra features. You change the registry setting, and you have upgraded from Workstation to Server. When this was revealed by OReilly, they changed it to two registry settings, with one of them activating a thread that monitored the other registry setting for changes.

    • DonW says:

      I agree with you.

      It is perhaps OK to charge extra for some enhanced features. $4000 + seems a bit steep but so is the car price.

      But, safety features like preventing a car to roll into the car ahead should not be in that package, they should be there in the default package.

  5. Marc Pugner says:

    Jesus Christ Perkel, did this experience with the car shake your faith in Musk so badly that you posted a rough draft of a review?

    • Wordsmif says:

      What were wrong with it? Did him forgot to prove read it?

      • jpfitz says:

        Holy shite, too many errors. Read before you post Marc.

        • Ah_Yea says:

          Personally, I couldn’t care less about punctuation and grammar in a blog post.

          He cld tlk lke thes nd te info be good.

          Tis an’t de New Yrd Times!

          • jpfitz says:

            Bull, Marc is a genius? Read before clicking yes to publish. I’m no genius but I do reread my comments before posting and still mistakes happen.

            I think Marc may have been very excited after having some hands on with a Tesla auto, hence the errors. No biggie, but, Marc’s a smart guy. Pace yourself Marc.

  6. F_W says:

    Seems like you did the smart thing.
    Try before you bye.

  7. Jeff says:

    Range and recharge issues I find completely reasonable.

    The accident I do not. Basically your complaint is that the car did not save you when you were doing something irresponsible and were breaking California law. Might as well blame the car if you got in an accident while DUI. You can not honestly say it is your fault then go on to say “but this other thing”.

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/vctop/vc/d11/c12/a1/23123_5
    23123.5. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication, unless the electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voiceoperated and hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to a text-based communication, and it is used in that manner while driving.

    The primary cause was your irresponsible decision and you even admit that. The rest is just weak rationalizing probably so that you can continue to act that way in the future.

    I hope you also take away from this that you should not be reading emails while driving even if it wasn’t illegal, *REGARDLESS* of absolutely everything.

  8. Mr Diesel says:

    As I sit here reading this my better half is reading about Marc from his website and she says, “Hey, he sounds just like you honey”.

    Sigh……..

    Sorry about the car Marc. I think Muskism could become a cult so be careful.

  9. Cap'n Kangaroo says:

    It would probably void the warranty and open you up to all sorts of lawsuits from Tesla, but wouldn’t it be interesting to analyze the operating software of the car

  10. Tony says:

    I feel that it’s really unfair to judge a car with only 1 day of hands on and no training provided. Yes the car requires some training to drive because there’s lots of features to go over. For example, the reason the creep selection was greyed out was because you were in “drive” shift to “park” and you’ll be able to engage or disengage it. I also don’t see how or why you think using an electronic device while driving (which is illegal in the state of california) was/is a good idea… And then you blame the car for not saving your lack of good judgement. You say the car should disable creep when it senses that you are about to hit something and that is tesla’s fault. Did tesla tell you that the vehicle would do that under such behavior? Did tesla advertise that you can just let your car drive until an impact is imminent? I believe the answer is no and no. The next point you make is a valid opinion that you don’t want to have to “baby” the car like a raw egg but that would happen with any car at 90k. Can you honestly tell me you would not baby a new s class Mercedes?

    My point is that you had expectations that were unrealistic and you didn’t do enough research on the features of the car and even after you tested a feature you confirmed not to work, you still blame the car for rolling into another car. This would have happened with any gasoline powered car so it really just boils down to driver error and ignorance.

    And yes, I do own a tesla model s. Do I think it’s the greatest car on the planet? No. Is it the best electric vehicle you can get at this point in time, absolutely.

  11. Dave L says:

    Mark Perkel, you rock!

  12. Tom says:

    First, you test drove the wrong Tesla. Without the Tech package, the car is severely hobbled. Second, creep is optional, so simply turn it off. Regardless, if you have driven a gas car anytime in the last 75 years, you should be used to it and to blame the car for your own stupidity or bad driving is simply ludicrous.

    But yes, I concur, a Tesla is NOT the car for you, but not for the reasons that you espouse…

    • Marc Perkel says:

      When a car can detect there is an object in front of it which this Tesla can and it moves from a dead stop and runs into that object then it is unworthy as an Elon Musk product.

      This isn’t a driving lawn mower I’m talking about – it’s a Tesla and the expectations are higher.

      • Tom says:

        Actually, without the tech package, the car does not actually HAVE the requisite sensors… It requires more than just a software upgrade to enable that particular feature. I own a P85+ with all the options and know the breakdowns…

        Regardless, all cars from all manufacturers, – including cars costing much more than a top-line Tesla – do this and it is VERY common to have options be nothing more than a software switch. It is the way of the modern vehicle world so you best just get used to it!

        I reiterate: Don’t blame the car for numbskull driving…

      • NewFormatSux says:

        He will only do that if gets a government subsidy for it.

      • NewFormatSux says:

        That’s not unworthy. What if I want to hit that object?

        • jpfitz says:

          Exactly! It’s raining cats and dogs and the damn garbage can is blocking my driveway, a little nudge from my bumper would keep me dry. Technology strikes again. Like some stupid device worn on the wrist telling the wearer when to stand and so on.

          • NewFormatSux says:

            Or how about if I want to drive with the door open to drop off my garbage at the end of the driveway.

  13. David says:

    Your accident probably cost the owner 10-15k, even if the insurance fixes the car perfectly. The very first thing people ask when they buy an expensive used car is whats the carfax like, any accidents? It will be MUCH harder for him to sell and it will get much less money. You honestly should feel a lot more guilty than you seemingly do. I had the same issue with my Audi R8, took forever to sell and for much less money for a minor accident that was repaired perfectly.

    • Tom says:

      Yeah, if I was the owner, I’d be more than just a little pissed at Perkel! I love how he just dismisses it and blames the car for his own stupidity! I hope that Relayrides has a mechanism for blackballing potential renters for behavior like this!

    • NewFormatSux says:

      Tesla repairs are extremely costly. Looks like just minor damage here, but those replacement panels that are a few hundred for regular cars are over a thousand for a Tesla.

    • SKINET says:

      More scratches and dents make it less attractive to carjackers and lower the insurance liability. Hit the missing paint spots with Sharpie marker.

  14. Home James says:

    Wait until you have to program if the collision avoidance system should veer left into oncoming traffic or veer right into an oak tree.

    And wait until you read on page 193 of the online EULA that damages because of YOUR programming decision are not covered under warranty.

    It’s going to be like a blind men’s convention on bumper cars at an amusement park.

  15. jpfitz says:

    “Only 6 percent of US electric power comes from “clean” hydro generation. Another 20 percent is nuclear. The rest is coal (48 percent) and natural gas (21 percent) with the remaining sliver coming from “renewables” and oil. (The quote marks on “renewables” are there to remind you that they probably can’t be manufactured without the support of a fossil fuel economy). Anyway, my point is that the bulk of US electricity comes from burning hydrocarbons, and then there is the nuclear part which is glossed over because the techno-geniuses and politicians of America have no idea how they are going to de-commission our aging plants, and no idea how to safely dispose of the spent fuel rod inventory simply lying around in collection pools. This stuff is capable of poisoning the entire planet and we know it.”

    Sorry Marc but I’m no fan of electric cars. Give me an American muscle car and I’ll drive it like I stole it. As long as gasoline is available, the pedals to the metal. I do have one and get anywhere from 6 to 22 mpg. I do admire Musk for his stick to it attitude, not giving up on projects. But he’s not saving the environment from what I read on the intranets. Musk is a entrepreneur looking to be the new fan-boy God.

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/muskular-magic/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+clusterfucknation+%28Clusterfuck+Nation%29

    • NewFormatSux says:

      That’s why they want to ban gasoline, or raise the price to $10 a gallon or more.

      • jpfitz says:

        Ban gasoline…you’re kidding right? Not now or in the next 20 years, too much money to be made.

        I’m a motor sports enthusiast, my love of racing will always be available, even at ten bucks a gallon. I don’t put a lot of miles on my gas eater.

        I don’t see how electric cars save burning coal which is the worst polluter. A prius, maybe the best option right now.

        • NewFormatSux says:

          What, $10k extra to get the same mileage as a some similar sized gas models?

          At least the Chevy Volt doesn’t put up a stupid look to declare to everyone HYBRID!

          • jpfitz says:

            Agreed the Chevy looks more appealing after doing some reading. The energy savings inside the vehicle is ingenious.

            How about a Volt SS, 0-60 in 6.0 seconds?

            The Chevy is better looking too. May look into getting a used first gen. to save money.

          • NewFormatSux says:

            The only problem is the cost and it is smaller than it looks in the pictures.

  16. bobbo, in point of fact says:

    If I read correctly, Marc==you knew the car would not automatically break in creep mode from your earlier in the day experience? But even if you didn’t—why would you take your foot off the break and then put your head down?

    …….but I like Tony’s recognition: you buy a piece of high tech equipment and YOU DON’T GET ANY TRAINING on it.

    Nothing ever good comes from that.

    Ha, ha……… its a bit like Survivor: the less capable vote the most capable off the island………….as you did with Tesla.

    Cars.

    An emotional issue as you demonstrate with Love and Hate being close cousins.

    Nice read though…….thanks.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      He didn’t take his foot off on purpose.
      I suspect the car’s reaction is not identical to a regular car experience, so he didn’t notice until it was too late.

      • jpfitz says:

        Any time you are stopped, your foot should be on the brake and tires straight just in case you’re hit from behind. You don’t want to be shoved into oncoming traffic.

        This avoidance technology built into cars today is going to bite a lot of people in the ass.

        A Self-Stopping Car Accident: http://youtu.be/_8nnhUCtcO8

        • Marc Perkel says:

          My complaint isn’t self stopping but self starting. If the car decided that there’s something I’m going to run into and therefore don’t start moving it would have avoided it.

          And – I repeat – this is a Tesla and my expectations are higher. The car sees the obstacle and yet it decided to run into it.

          • jpfitz says:

            YOU are the driver. Always have your foot on the brake when stopped. The driver behind you sees your brake lights and knows you are stopped. Defensive driving comes first, screw some computer, it’s still a driver operated car.

            I understand your frustration, you are expecting the car to bounce a signal forward then bounce it back to judge stopping distance. Better to be defensive, only hope those avoidance systems work in a real emergency.

  17. NewFormatSux says:

    Elon Musk companies have gotten $5 billion in subsidies to date.

    $1 billion in Buffalo for his solar panel factory. Being built by the state for $750 million, and they will rent it for $1 a year.
    Plus an additional $260 million in payroll tax exemption for a decade.

    Nevada has a similar package, with $200 million in tax credits that they can sell to other companies, as well as payroll tax exemption for a decade.

    Then there is the SolarCity installations that get subsidized.

  18. SKINET says:

    According to General Motors, as reported by CNN Money, the GM Volt will cost “less than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee” to recharge. The Volt should cost less than 2 cents per mile to drive on electricity, compared with 12 cents a mile on gasoline at a price of $3.60 a gallon. This means a trip from Los Angeles to New York would cost $56 on electricity, and $336 with gasoline. This would be the equivalent to paying 60 cents a gallon of gas.[59]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_vehicle

    At least the software didn’t tell the airbag to blast you in the face with shrapnel.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      It’s 5c a mile according to the book at Chevy dealers. And gas is not $3.60.

  19. t0llyb0ng says:

    Even Elon Fusk needs a profreader:

    rear view mirror sb rearview mirror
    the next closets charger LOL
    overnight is one word
    halfway is one word
    overreacting is one word
    moneygrubbing is one word
    no hyphen in decommission

  20. dbg says:

    Well that’s a pretty lame review. I’ve had a Model S for 2-1/2 years now and it’s simply awesome.

    Blaming the car for YOUR accident is pretty lame.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      So were you invited to participate in the battery swap program?

  21. Ah_Yea says:

    I have another related question for Mark, if you’re still around.

    About the Electric Batteries for the home.

    Given you have gone at least half way on this route, do you have any idea how much more Musk’s storage cost as compared to standard sealed lead acid batteries?

    I know lead-acid takes up more space, but aside from that I wonder what the cost difference is.

  22. NewFormatSux says:

    Marc, to do a real investigation into Tesla, see if you can find people who have used the battery swap program.

  23. hugh says:

    Thanks for not buying. Elon has already taken far enough out of tax payer wallets

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hy-musk-subsidies-20150531-story.html#page=1

  24. Michael says:

    So you’re reading emails behind the wheel of a car when you should be driving it? When you’re behind the wheel of a car you should be doing 1 thing, driving. ALL of your attention should be on that task. Blaming the car for your inability to keep your foot on the brake is unbelievable. This article wasn’t about the shortcomings of a Tesla but in your expectation that the car would do everything for you.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      I think Marc could find himself getting prosecuted. Surely this was one of the things that Arnie or Gray Davis banned.

  25. B. Dog says:

    Thanks for the car review. Forget it, get a BMW.

  26. Frank Necrosis says:

    Maybe you should have read the instructions more carefully or gone out with an experienced driver. My understanding is the autopilot does not engage until you:
    1. Turn it on
    2. Get over 20 mph.

    More likely your inexperience then fault with tesla autopilot.

  27. Marc Perkel says:

    If a Tesla runs into another car when the Tesla is stopped – it’s Tesla’s fault.

  28. Frank Necrosis says:

    Single motor cars don’t have autopilot. Your foot slipped off the brake. Your fault. The car you drove was not equipped with autopilot. You should check your facts before you bitch and moan.

    • Marc Perkel says:

      It had a sensor that knew there was an obstacle in front of the car and it hit it. That should not happen.

      • Dog Ears says:

        It had a driver behind the wheel who took his foot off the brake and was reading his email. That should not happen.

    • David says:

      I agree. You should accept responsibility. You screwed up. Technology is not supposed to save your butt. You were the loose screw in this equation. GROW UP!
      You are just a “whiner”!

  29. Dwight E. Howell says:

    I’m driving a 16 yr old Toyota. It needs a paint job and a few other touches now but I doubt if the wonder car could ever do what its done.


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