Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.

Do our brake lights signal brake usage or deceleration?

I'm pretty sure when the car approaches a stopped car and slows down quickly that it's using the brakes and not only regenerative braking.

I was wondering if the little brake lights on the little car on the dash come on, is the car using the actual brakes?

Does regenerative braking only, make the brake lights come on?


Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
Northern California
The brake lights come on whenever you press on the brake pedal or the car deceleration exceeds a certain rate to account for regen braking. The DOT defines the rate for US cars.

The brake lights in the car depiction in the center binnacle come on whenever the brakes lights are illuminated. On later cars it shows the brake lights shining on the road behind the car, so it is quite obvious when the brake lights are illuminated.
  • Helpful
  • Like
Reactions: EA500 and scottf200

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.