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Model S Plaid - One Year Later

Kinda of hard to believe, but one year ago today, I was one of the lucky few to take delivery of one of the first Tesla Model S Plaid

IMG_0816.jpeg


The intervening year has been a blast with this car--I have loved every minute of ownership. I did a 6 month post, so I am going to focus on what has changed in the last six months in the update.

The basics:​

  • Birthday: May 25 2021 7:44:45
  • 9,122 miles
  • Running 2022.12.2.20 (FSD beta build)
  • Lifetime efficiency: 336 Wh/mi
  • Pack 2% degradation - I was at 96.1 kWh usable on delivery, currently at 94.5 kWh -- this post for details

Performance:​

A few folks wondered if the performance held up--this powertrain continues to amaze on a daily basis both on the track and on the streets:
  • My best 1/4 mile time dropped a tenth to 9.473 @ 151.53 -- on all season tires :p
  • My 0-60 time is consistn--just did a run this morning to confirm and came in at 2.13 sec (w/ rollout) -- my best is 2.11 sec so I'd say the car has not lost anything
IMG_0418.jpeg


Service:​

No real updates on the two open issues from my 6-month update--they still have tape on the 2nd row latches to deal with the rattle and the side mirrors still do not flip down properly when I shift into reverse.

I do have two new issues:
  • I was having issues with the DashCam ("USB drive unplugged") and mobile service figured out the USB cable from the glovebox to the "USB hub" had come lose
  • I just stated getting intermittent "Safety restraint system fault" (RCM2_a196) messages. The tech had me check there was nothing jammed under either front seat (there was not) so it is going into the shop next week
I have been lucky and avoided some of the issues, like the low-speed rumble, that other folks are seeing.

Body and interior:​

  • Car is still as tight as the day I picked it up. No new squeaks or rattles, sound floor is still low and the active noise reduction only helped that
  • White interior is still pristine--survived many passengers and one of my German shepherds
  • The wood trim looks like it dried out a bit--I have applied a light coat of Liquid Gold a couple of times which help adore it to its original sheen. I will say it is kinda fragile, it is prone to nicking, so a touch-up stick is a must (link in the 6-month post). I like the open pore, textured finish over the hyper-shellacked look in some cars, but this is the price you pay.
  • Paint is looking great (I do not have PPF installed). There is one sub-mm chip in the hood (which was my stupidity not road debris). I know a few folks had concerns about road rash on the front of the rear wheel arches--mine are minimal chipping (a couple of tiny chips in front of the right arch). Of course this is California so I don't have cinders and the like to deal with. I only hand wash, so the paint is still swirl-free.
  • Miss the pano roof, but I do appreciate the quiet and rigidity the fixed roof brings
  • I have to once again call out the great job Tesla did with lowering the noise floor, then adding high-resolution audio with Tidal was 🤯

AP and FSD​

There are still a couple of quirks/annoyances that persist since day 1
  • Still cannot set following-distance (quirk)
  • The car absolutely struggles with proper following distance--when actual speed is lower than set speed, if a car in front of me accelerates or changes lanes, my car seems to forget that it can go faster now. I have to goose the accelerator and then the car picks up speed (annoyance)
  • Car takes forever to come up to speed when it changes lanes into a faster lanes-I have timed it and it takes 8-10 sec to accelerate to match flow, which is dangerous
  • I have not missed the radar being turned off--nothing got worse and seem to improve phantom braking (the hard braking at high speed)

Software​

This is my only area of disappointment with the car. Most of you got v11 with the holiday update, but I've been running the same SW for a year know and the pace of updates and fixes seems glacial. I mean, one year later, why is this still a thing:

IMG_0408.jpeg


Beyond the UI/UX fails of the button itself, why is it covering the repeater camera views precisely when they are most needed--it should never have been released like this, but in the last year, it should have occurred to someone that this kinds sucks and should be fixed. For me, the biggest feature update was the availability of Tidal. Tidal is great in the it really shows of the quality of the sound system, but overall, things are kinda underwhelming (the implementation of blind spot camera comes to mind). It seems like the SW team is starved for resources, which is a shame. What happened to the games that were shown at release? What is supposed to happen with the rear seat monitor, because the current set of features don't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think Tesla has the best modern UI out there right now, but given all the computing horsepower and displays available, it seems to be under-delivering on both features that are commonplace on other cars (i.e. cross-traffic and 360 views) and unique things only Tesla could pull off that show off the power of their HW+SW platform. RIvian is doing a great job showing the flexibility and fungibility of a software defined platform and Apple's vision for CarPlay is certainly throwing down the gauntlet for UI and extensibility.

Yoke​

Continue to be a yoke fan--would not go back to a wheel even if Elon came over to install it. I love the yoke+stalkless control scheme. I have driven everything from city streets, to freeway to winding coastal roads and switchbacks and the yoke has always been great--the only thing I have not done is high-speed track driving with the yoke, so cannot comment on that. The caveat is the yoke requires some re-learning of how to steer--some folks will will be cool with that while others won't. I am not trying to convince anyone of anything other than to give it a honest try for a week or so.

Random​

  • I got one of the pirate CCS chargers from South Korea -- works great
  • I still have about half of the Tequila left :)

Bottom line:​

I love this car, it is fast, fun and gorgeous and, given a choice, I'd buy it all over again.

IMG_0407.jpeg


** UPDATED ** I screwed up on the pack degradation, it is at 2% not 6%
 
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I'm glad you have been so lucky!
My Plaid delivered early Nov '21 has been much worse. I'm heading into my 6th service center visit to try and correct problems noted at delivery, with no end in sight. They can't seem to fix all the issues I've had.

Main issues:
  1. Passenger door really hard to close since the glass is adjusted incorrectly. Bolts were stripped from the factory, so the glass can't be adjusted. New glass backordered for months.
  2. Horrible vibrations during light acceleration between 40-50 mph, as others have noted. They've replaced my half shafts twice, which temporarily solves the problem, but the vibration comes back after a week each time. No solution available.
  3. Suspension creaks in the front of the car after half shaft vibration. SC unable to fix. Sounds like an old rusty pickup going over every bump on the road.
  4. Loud yoke buzzing after the first button press. Two software updates temporarily fixed the bug, but only for a day. Then it came right back. SC claims "they all do this" and won't replace the yoke. Supposedly the most recent '22s have yokes that don't buzz? Pushing for a replacement yoke soon.
  5. Console cubby light backwards. SC tried to fix it by replacing it with a new console, but the new console also has the same problem AND has broken slides, so the cup holders can't be moved. Also, it rattles, squeaks, and some parts are loose inside the console now.
  6. Various other squeaks and creaks all over the car that I can't seem to narrow down. I've fixed the rear seat one with tape, but can't find the other ones.
Also, FSD Beta is hot garbage and can't manage to drive one mile without a half dozen disengagements, but that's not the Plaids fault.
Headlights are also terrible, compared to my 2018 Model 3, but that's supposedly been fixed with the '22 updates....
 
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WilliamG

Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
6,190
10,032
Seattle, WA
I'm glad you have been so lucky!
My Plaid delivered early Nov '21 has been much worse. I'm heading into my 6th service center visit to try and correct problems noted at delivery, with no end in sight. They can't seem to fix all the issues I've had.

Main issues:
  1. Passenger door really hard to close since the glass is adjusted incorrectly. Bolts were stripped from the factory, so the glass can't be adjusted. New glass backordered for months.
  2. Horrible vibrations during light acceleration between 40-50 mph, as others have noted. They've replaced my half shafts twice, which temporarily solves the problem, but the vibration comes back after a week each time. No solution available.
  3. Suspension creaks in the front of the car after half shaft vibration. SC unable to fix. Sounds like an old rusty pickup going over every bump on the road.
  4. Loud yoke buzzing after the first button press. Two software updates temporarily fixed the bug, but only for a day. Then it came right back. SC claims "they all do this" and won't replace the yoke. Supposedly the most recent '22s have yokes that don't buzz? Pushing for a replacement yoke soon.
  5. Console cubby light backwards. SC tried to fix it by replacing it with a new console, but the new console also has the same problem AND has broken slides, so the cup holders can't be moved. Also, it rattles, squeaks, and some parts are loose inside the console now.
  6. Various other squeaks and creaks all over the car that I can't seem to narrow down. I've fixed the rear seat one with tape, but can't find the other ones.
Also, FSD Beta is hot garbage and can't manage to drive one mile without a half dozen disengagements, but that's not the Plaids fault.
Headlights are also terrible, compared to my 2018 Model 3, but that's supposedly been fixed with the '22 updates....
Ugh. Yeah it’s impossible to argue with any of those complaints.
 
Ugh. Yeah it’s impossible to argue with any of those complaints.
Ha, yeah, it sounds like your car has all of them too. Mostly minor stuff, but super annoying that they can't get manufacturing right on a $150k car. Although, I probably won't accept most of those things on a $30k new car....
 
Nice review! August will be a year for me and I absolutely love this car. Aside from the minor vibration in the 40mph range and a slightly shaky drivers side mirror, I don't have any issues. After using a single small layer of electrical tape around the rear seat latches, the car is extremely quiet with no other rattles or suspension noises. I love testing FSD beta even though it clearly needs plenty of work.

Hands down it is the best car I've owned. I sold my 1100hp cadillac cts-v a few days ago. It was an awesome and fast car to own the past 6 years but the plaid is a half second quicker, doesn't require maintenance and can be used year round. It will run 9s in the rain :)
 

WilliamG

Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
6,190
10,032
Seattle, WA
Nice review! August will be a year for me and I absolutely love this car. Aside from the minor vibration in the 40mph range and a slightly shaky drivers side mirror, I don't have any issues. After using a single small layer of electrical tape around the rear seat latches, the car is extremely quiet with no other rattles or suspension noises. I love testing FSD beta even though it clearly needs plenty of work.

Hands down it is the best car I've owned. I sold my 1100hp cadillac cts-v a few days ago. It was an awesome and fast car to own the past 6 years but the plaid is a half second quicker, doesn't require maintenance and can be used year round. It will run 9s in the rain :)

BTW, the latest 2022s haven't even fixed that shaking mirror or ~40mph vibration (speaking from experience). Thanks, Tesla.
 
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I believe this is largely related to the lack of radar. I have 2 Tesla Vision cars (including a 2022 Model S LR) and they both suck at following distance. It is basically 2 or 7 and there is no granularity. I drove a Tesla HW3 non-FSD radar car recently and it was a significantly better at following distance control.
I don't think so, my car still has radar (end Jan build) and no FSD Beta, and I am greatly annoyed by this on a regular basis.

The car will approach a slower car on the highway and cuddle right up to their bumper before slowly falling back to the set following distance. If that car then accelerates, it takes forever to realize it can also accelerate (I usually have to encourage it). On a 2 lane highway it's just annoying (and I hate when it gets real close as we have alot of semi trucks and lots of gravel on our roads). But in city driving, it's downright disruptive to traffic flow and I don't even use it anymore.
 

cwanja

Active Member
Jun 14, 2021
3,704
10,944
Houston, Texas
I don't think so, my car still has radar (end Jan build) and no FSD Beta, and I am greatly annoyed by this on a regular basis.

The car will approach a slower car on the highway and cuddle right up to their bumper before slowly falling back to the set following distance. If that car then accelerates, it takes forever to realize it can also accelerate (I usually have to encourage it). On a 2 lane highway it's just annoying (and I hate when it gets real close as we have alot of semi trucks and lots of gravel on our roads). But in city driving, it's downright disruptive to traffic flow and I don't even use it anymore.
Might have radar, but radar is not being used as far as I am aware. Last question.
 
Might have radar, but radar is not being used as far as I am aware. Last question.
As far as I'm aware, the radar remains functional unless you opt into FSD Beta, at which point it goes vision only. My build date was end Jan, so AFAIK it still utilizes radar.

Either way, vision or radar, it sucks!!
 
As far as I'm aware, the radar remains functional unless you opt into FSD Beta, at which point it goes vision only. My build date was end Jan, so AFAIK it still utilizes radar.

Either way, vision or radar, it sucks!!
From what I can tell, the FSD beta is only active on local roads and it reverts back to the old/ same autopilot code on the highway. All the visualizations change. Even the way it detects if you are paying attention changes. Its uses the passenger camera on local roads, but then doesn't use it on the highway.
 
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cwanja

Active Member
Jun 14, 2021
3,704
10,944
Houston, Texas
As far as I'm aware, the radar remains functional unless you opt into FSD Beta, at which point it goes vision only. My build date was end Jan, so AFAIK it still utilizes radar.

Either way, vision or radar, it sucks!!
But everything built after yours does not have radar. You would think they would simplify their software stack and remove any dependencies on radar then - regardless of if your car is equipped with the hardware or not. Especially since 3s and Ys do not have radar. But I honestly do not know definitively.
 
I'm glad you have been so lucky!
My Plaid delivered early Nov '21 has been much worse. I'm heading into my 6th service center visit to try and correct problems noted at delivery, with no end in sight. They can't seem to fix all the issues I've had.

Main issues:
  1. Passenger door really hard to close since the glass is adjusted incorrectly. Bolts were stripped from the factory, so the glass can't be adjusted. New glass backordered for months.
  2. Horrible vibrations during light acceleration between 40-50 mph, as others have noted. They've replaced my half shafts twice, which temporarily solves the problem, but the vibration comes back after a week each time. No solution available.
  3. Suspension creaks in the front of the car after half shaft vibration. SC unable to fix. Sounds like an old rusty pickup going over every bump on the road.
  4. Loud yoke buzzing after the first button press. Two software updates temporarily fixed the bug, but only for a day. Then it came right back. SC claims "they all do this" and won't replace the yoke. Supposedly the most recent '22s have yokes that don't buzz? Pushing for a replacement yoke soon.
  5. Console cubby light backwards. SC tried to fix it by replacing it with a new console, but the new console also has the same problem AND has broken slides, so the cup holders can't be moved. Also, it rattles, squeaks, and some parts are loose inside the console now.
  6. Various other squeaks and creaks all over the car that I can't seem to narrow down. I've fixed the rear seat one with tape, but can't find the other ones.
Also, FSD Beta is hot garbage and can't manage to drive one mile without a half dozen disengagements, but that's not the Plaids fault.
Headlights are also terrible, compared to my 2018 Model 3, but that's supposedly been fixed with the '22 updates....
I think you should sell the car at this point and move on, hopefully you will enjoy your next one.
 
I think you should sell the car at this point and move on, hopefully you will enjoy your next one.
Probably. But, I enjoy the fast. Most other things about it are good. But the bugs are really annoying.

I don't know what else I'd get. Maybe another 3 performance, since they seem to have fewer build issues. The taycan I drove was slow. But, I didn't get to drive the turbo S.
 
Great write up. I am at about 6.5 months of ownership. Love the car. That said, I, too, have all sorts of rattles. Dropped the car off today for 3rd or 4th service appointment. This one is because the center screen squeaks hilariously loudly when going over bumps. It is enough to drive a person insane. There is another rattle in the headliner above driver door but the center screen is so loud the tech couldn't hear it lol. My center console light is also backwards, they ordered a new computer module of some sort, waiting for that to arrive.

Dash material is separating above the glove box, too. Oh well, it is still hard to argue with the speed. My neighbor got a taycan and took me for a ride, I was expecting to be blown away by the interior quality and was surprised at how meh it was. Surfaces felt hollow to me. Much more plastic than I expected. The screens going across the dash were cool but I was disappointed they didn't flow into one another more. Just obvious separate screens. The ambient lighting was nice though. It has features I wish we had but I was somewhat relieved to not have "luxury interior" envy.

I bet his doesn't rattle though haha
 
Probably. But, I enjoy the fast. Most other things about it are good. But the bugs are really annoying.

I don't know what else I'd get. Maybe another 3 performance, since they seem to have fewer build issues. The taycan I drove was slow. But, I didn't get to drive the turbo S.
I hear you same here, but there is no car worth the stress and your peace of mind. you can get another Plaid, there are bunch with low miles around that you can actually test drive and feel. for me the vibration is the most annoying thing (it is still super subtle after 5k miles, but lets see if it will get worse). all the other issues are just bugs and issues that all cars will have even the expensive ones. I lived with BMW and Porsche shenanigans for decades.
 
I hear you same here, but there is no car worth the stress and your peace of mind. you can get another Plaid, there are bunch with low miles around that you can actually test drive and feel. for me the vibration is the most annoying thing (it is still super subtle after 5k miles, but lets see if it will get worse). all the other issues are just bugs and issues that all cars will have even the expensive ones. I lived with BMW and Porsche shenanigans for decades.

Yeah, that may be the solution. But it would involve re-doing all my annoying loan paperwork. I got a nice 1.24% / 65 mo. loan on it that was a huge pain to setup, so I'm hopeful that this one can be fixed.
 
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Yeah, that may be the solution. But it would involve re-doing all my annoying loan paperwork. I got a nice 1.24% / 65 mo. loan on it that was a huge pain to setup, so I'm hopeful that this one can be fixed.
yeah, you are not getting that interest rate anymore :( maybe if you sell it private party with the recent increases in price you could offset the diff in what your new interest will be.
 

VikH

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 23, 2015
1,240
1,384
Midwest, USA
I don't think so, my car still has radar (end Jan build) and no FSD Beta, and I am greatly annoyed by this on a regular basis.

The car will approach a slower car on the highway and cuddle right up to their bumper before slowly falling back to the set following distance. If that car then accelerates, it takes forever to realize it can also accelerate (I usually have to encourage it). On a 2 lane highway it's just annoying (and I hate when it gets real close as we have alot of semi trucks and lots of gravel on our roads). But in city driving, it's downright disruptive to traffic flow and I don't even use it anymore.
Assuming you have radar, maybe there has been some regression in the radar stack. Would have to test a radar and non-radar car next to each other to be sure. In theory, the radar car should perform better at following distance since it can read distance exactly.
 
Assuming you have radar, maybe there has been some regression in the radar stack. Would have to test a radar and non-radar car next to each other to be sure. In theory, the radar car should perform better at following distance since it can read distance exactly.
No it will not, it is up to the SW to use it or not. 2 cars with radar and no radar at the same SW stack will behave the same if Tesla truly ditched the Radar input in code as they announced.

Unless there are rogue developers who kept some code to use it in some cases.
 

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