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2012 Model S Signature Cars

HeyMike

Member
Sep 17, 2019
10
8
BC
A little over a year ago I purchased a CPO, 2012 Signature Model S (Vin 821) and have absolutely loved owning and driving this vehicle. Choosing to purchase one of the first 1000 vehicles manufactured, with their well documented issues, took a little coaxing from my wife and one extra beer before I got enough nerve to press the "BUY" button. The signature red paint, 21" wheels and white leather interior were more than I could resist. Watching Tesla's exponential growth over the last several years, I'm hoping that my early Model S may one day be considered an electric classic.

So my questions is .... does anyone know of a registry or database that keeps track of the early S Signature Models? It would be interesting to know specific car information such as color, configurations, past and current owners, locations, etc.
If a registry does not currently exist, what do you signature owners out there think about the idea of starting one?

Thanks ......


My first Signature Red S02003 Victoria BC, sold it and then bought another Sig Red a year later. I seen 2003 was for sale here: $49,999 · 2012 Tesla S Signature P85 with Free Supercharging
 

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HeyMike

Member
Sep 17, 2019
10
8
BC
Did you ever get 2020.48.37 ? I got that one on February 12th then just a few days ago I got 2020.48.37.1 two updates in less than 10 days.

Not the first time I've seen that happen however back to back rapid updates I usually figure that they're trying to fix something that was overlooked or a bug that became apparent after they pushed out the first version. But who knows? My software preference is set to standard by the way I'm not even sure switching it to advanced would make any difference.
Signature Red S02040 Victoria BC, love the red colour so I had to buy another one
 

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markwong

Member
Aug 14, 2014
94
10
Arizona
Signature Red S02040 Victoria BC, love the red colour so I had to buy another one
Be cautious of updating. On 2/17/21, I got the message that state “maximum battery charge level reduced”. Took it to SC, state new battery needed for $18K. I found a guy that can fix it for me. Took it to him and few module got the connection disconnected. So reconnect it and worked for a week. Message happened again. He tested it and no bad module was found. Just a reset fixed it. So he state that some version upgrade is more sensitive to new software, he could downgrade to 2019, but since I am having my eMCU recall done. Told him to do it later. I am going to try to ask if the SC can downgrade to few version back like 2020.40
 

tccartier

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 27, 2015
989
1,037
AZ.
What about on really early builds doing the MCU upgrade? my car is vin# 162 Signature. I've been considering the upgrade. I skipped it when my emmc failed and just did the daughter board replacement at the time because there was no path forward for me to keep my XM, AM, FM radios. But that has been solved of late. I'm currently looking at bubbling in my instrument cluster, my understanding is the new center screen would not be compatible with the current instrument cluster in my car so it would have to be replaced as well which should solve the bubbling issue. just don't know how effective this upgrade will be on really early builds such as mine. Anyone out there upgrade a Signature car?
Tesla already reimbursed me for the daughter board replacement so the only dog I'll have in this fight is the cost of the upgrade and the associated cost to maintain the radio tuners as opposed to the cost of a replacement gen 1 instrument cluster would like to hear the thoughts of anyone that has done the mcu-2 upgrade on their signature car or perhaps any free autopilot car.
 

Sig72

Member
Apr 10, 2015
470
128
San Mateo, CA
I'm planning on doing the MCU2 upgrade at some point likely next year. I'm going to swap in a new battery pack first since you can't change firmware configuration for the vehicle w/ MCU2. I want to turn my car into a P90 before that I do the MCU upgrade, but I see no reason why it wouldn't be doable on Sig cars
 

gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
3,481
4,038
San Diego
I got MCU2 upgrade on another car (not my 2012).. got upgrade June 2020. in July 2021, got the yellow bands. Tesla did the UV treatment and it looks fine now.
 
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Mar 11, 2010
4,583
1,510
Humboldt/Los Altos
But do the MCU2 screens turn yellow, or has that issue been resolved in the newer screens? I'm lucky enough to have neither bubbles nor yellow, still on my (presumed original) MCU1 screen.
I thought the yellow was fixed. I never had that problem but in 2016 just after my warranty is when I started getting bubbles. slowly dripping and making a mess later and also the software was so slow and screen would go black for way too long when it reset.
I figure for the $1500 price to make it reliable again isn't the worst, my car is @~100k miles with free LTE internet and lifetime supercharging. Now it has a browser that works, youtube & some of the other features + better screen resolution.
 
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tccartier

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 27, 2015
989
1,037
AZ.
Well for any that are curious I decided to bite the bullet on the MCU 2 upgrade due to the fact that my instrument cluster started bubbling and leaking etc. The upgrade necessitates the replacement of the cluster as well as the original is not compatible with the updated center stack.

I've got my fingers crossed that it actually works the only sacrifice I have to make is my AM. radio will be lost as there is no path forward for that one. For an additional $500 I can keep XM and FM radio capability. I guess my only hope at this point is that as with other upgrades that I've had done namely my panoramic roof which was far from a satisfactory result I might add, that doing this update will not make my car worse than it is at present.

In a couple weeks we'll see what happens I'll come back and update just in case anyone is curious as to the outcome of an update done on such an early car to my knowledge I have not read or heard of anyone doing an update on an early Vin such as mine aside from in this thread.
 

markwong

Member
Aug 14, 2014
94
10
Arizona
Well for any that are curious I decided to bite the bullet on the MCU 2 upgrade due to the fact that my instrument cluster started bubbling and leaking etc. The upgrade necessitates the replacement of the cluster as well as the original is not compatible with the updated center stack.

I've got my fingers crossed that it actually works the only sacrifice I have to make is my AM. radio will be lost as there is no path forward for that one. For an additional $500 I can keep XM and FM radio capability. I guess my only hope at this point is that as with other upgrades that I've had done namely my panoramic roof which was far from a satisfactory result I might add, that doing this update will not make my car worse than it is at present.

In a couple weeks we'll see what happens I'll come back and update just in case anyone is curious as to the outcome of an update done on such an early car to my knowledge I have not read or heard of anyone doing an update on an early Vin such as mine aside from in this thread.
What did you do with your roof?
 
Mar 11, 2010
4,583
1,510
Humboldt/Los Altos
What did you do with your roof?
not sure about @tccartier but My original had the motors or cables stripping in the A pillar area. They replaced those under warranty but then they could never get them to align side to side or something so it had issues. I think I paid $1,500 just out of warranty for a 'fix' & got a partial V2 upgrade w/ new cassette. It never worked right & shimmies side to side and binds, pretty sure they quoted $6500 for a full fix. at least it does work if you assist it & it opens to vent and 25% without issue.
It never worked proper which is why they redesigned them. & I assume got rid of them
Head tech claimed that it was because my car was stressed from autocross. 🙃
 

tccartier

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 27, 2015
989
1,037
AZ.
not sure about @tccartier but My original had the motors or cables stripping in the A pillar area. They replaced those under warranty but then they could never get them to align side to side or something so it had issues. I think I paid $1,500 just out of warranty for a 'fix' & got a partial V2 upgrade w/ new cassette. It never worked right & shimmies side to side and binds, pretty sure they quoted $6500 for a full fix. at least it does work if you assist it & it opens to vent and 25% without issue.
It never worked proper which is why they redesigned them. & I assume got rid of them
Head tech claimed that it was because my car was stressed from autocross. 🙃

That is it exactly the very same issue that I was having. Repeated ratcheting and stripping and binding of the cables and drive mechanism in the left a pillar. So when they offered me the option to replace the entire panoramic roof with a updated re-engineered version I thought that would be a no brainer particularly since it was under warranty at the time. The result was no better and it has since failed twice out of warranty for the same reason and the alignment is ridiculous. It does still work however but I cringe every time I open it for fear that it may not close.

In my case the technician at the Tesla store told me that the poor fitment with the new roof panels was due to the fact that signature cars were different and that panoramic roof 2.0 did not fit those the same as it did later production cars. If I had known that before I opted for the replacement I would have left the panoramic roof alone and just dealt with the drive cables and motors in the a pillar which was the source and still is the cause of the problem. Then at least I wouldn't have wound up with a hodgepodge of misaligned panels on top of my car and a gap between the panoramic roof and the rear hatch and approximately a 1/4 inch different in height between the same. It's ridiculous.
IMG_20190802_150558.jpg
 
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