Tesla Continues to Strip Its Cars: First Radar, Now Passenger Lumbar Support

Tesla Model Y lumbar support control false trim 5 photos
Photo: Chrissugar21 via Reddit
It used to be that the best way to get a car stripped was to park it in a bad neighborhood overnight, maybe even break one of its windows yourself just to get the party started quicker. Now, though, the stripping seems to be taking place inside the factory where the car is built.
That's obviously an overly dramatic way of describing what's going on at Tesla. Still, it has gotten current owners and potential ones alike thinking where all this is going to stop. First, the news of all Model 3s and Model Ys built starting with last month would not get a radar sensor, marking Tesla's move toward a vision-only driving assist system that relies solely on cameras.

Naturally, some people weren't too happy about it. Despite Musk's assurances that the radar hadn't been helpful for a long time and was simply adding weight and cost to the manufacturing process, some feared for their safety. On the other hand, others simply questioned the company's method of operating these changes on pre-placed orders, presumably seeing that as a breach of trust, if not worse.

Little did they know that was only the beginning. Now, new Model Y owners are complaining about taking delivery of their cars with the adjustable lumbar support on the passenger side missing. It's a largely insignificant feature but one the buyers were expecting to find on their vehicles.

In the meantime, Elon Musk has come out and commented on the situation. He explained in a tweet that the decision to remove them on all Model Ys and Model 3s was made because "logs showed almost no usage," so keeping all the components that made up the feature didn't make sense in terms of cost and mass.

Nobody's arguing against that, but what people don't like is how they find out about these changes—after taking delivery of their new car. The person who pointed out the modification says they own an older Model Y as well, so they were very surprised to see the new one came without this creature comfort.

As a matter of fact, the entire tone on the r/TeslaMotors subreddit has changed dramatically over the past few weeks. Between the constant price hikes, the delay of Model S Plaid launch, the removal of the radar on Models 3 and Y, and now this lumbar support situation—not to mention the way the latter two were (or rather weren't) introduced to the public—the once-loyal Tesla owners are beginning to show signs of unhappiness with the way the company is treating them.

These are definitely troubling times for Tesla, and the Model S Plaid launch can't come soon enough, though even that might be left a little in the shade now that the Rimac Nevera is out, and it's hard to imagine the S will manage to beat its performance.

Of course, that's a $2 million hypercar, whereas the S is a $100,000 family sedan, but still, the idea that Tesla isn't the top EV dog in terms of performance is going to sit on everyone's minds. Is Musk's overpromising tactic coming back to bite him, or is this just one more hurdle for Tesla to clear on its way to maintaining its most valuable global car brand status? Grab the popcorn.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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