Tesla To Remove Launch Mode Power Restrictions

5 months ago by Eric Loveday 47

Launch Mode Details

Launch Mode Details

A few weeks ago, Tesla openly admitted to limiting power output of vehicles that too often use launch mode.

Tesla Model S P100D

Tesla Model S P100D

The initial exchange went down like this on Tesla Motors Club Forum:

“Unfortunately I’m here to say this is true. My car was limited just after the 8.0 update and at first I was convinced it was related to that. I did lots of testing and emailed Tesla my findings. Before this limitation my car would pull around 1600 amps from the battery and 512 KW of power when fully charged, now the car will only pull around 1500 amps and 480 KW of power, a loss of about 40 HP on a 4 month old car.”

A Tesla representative responded to his inquiry with this statement:

“Thank you for your time. To recap our conversation, using launch mode places an increased stress on the entire powertrain accelerating aging and fatigue of various components. The computer systems automatically track launch mode usage and continually estimate fatigue damage. Depending on how launch mode is used, the computer may eventually limit the available power during launch mode to protect the powertrain. Note that this is a common strategy also employed in other high performance cars. As discussed, upgrading to the P100D ludicrous will remove this limit and will not be limited in the future as the P100D does not have this limit for launch mode.”

tesla-p100d-model-s-logoThe Tesla Motors Club Forum thread blew up with complaints, so much so that Jon McNeil, Tesla’s president of sales and service, later chimed in to say that Tesla is listening to its owners and, as a result, has decided to remove the power restrictions. Quoting McNeil:

“Based on your input, we have decided to remove all software performance reductions tied to frequent max power usage. These changes will roll out with our next software update.”

The next software update is expected in 3 weeks or so. McNeil continued:

“We had put these reductions in place to proactively protect the powertrain from wear and tear. Instead, we will monitor the condition of the powertrain and let our customers know if service is needed so that we can take proactive steps, such as by replacing parts if necessary, to maintain the vehicle’s performance.”

McNeil says that replacing parts will be covered under warranty, though we’re sure some damaged parts could fall into the abused category and not be included as a warranty repair.

It seems Tesla is keen on listening to owners and this is certainly not this first time the automaker has responded to owner complaints in a very timely manner.

Source: Tesla Motors Club Forum via Electrek

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47 responses to "Tesla To Remove Launch Mode Power Restrictions"

  1. MTN Ranger says:

    Who determines what parts are “abused” and not “abused”? Removing the limit doesn’t solve the issue of parts that seem to be under-engineered for the job.

    1. Djoni says:

      If you bought your car only to use the Launch mode on a close circuit as require by Tesla, it’s not going to survive as well.
      Otherwise, not so much,because any supercar will fail ultimately with such behavior.

      Pretty easy to break anything if you try hard.

      1. jimjonjack&jill says:

        All things will eventually Fail Under CONSTANT PERSISTENT ABUSE………

        1. ffbj says:

          Having babied a 1989 Toyota into 2017 I can unequivocally state that how your drive your car will either lengthen or shorten the running/service life of the vehicle.

      2. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

        Djoini said:
        “. . . because any supercar will fail ultimately with such behavior. Pretty easy to break anything if you try hard.”

        The launch control on the Porsche 911 Turbo is designed with lifetime parts (good for over 100,000 miles) with no degradation in performance, and can do back-to-back launches all day long. Below is a video of the Porsche 911 Turbo doing 61 back-to-back launches.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5DRCTW-Q7o

        1. ffbj says:

          Porsche? You mean the cars that break if you look at them harshly?

        2. Djoni says:

          You just don’t know what I can do to any super stuff.

          If you want to break something as hard as I can sometime, guess what?

          Testing the limit is a gift for some.

          1. Djoni says:

            Just add, don’t worry, I also love my mother…sometime.

            1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

              LOL!

    2. offib says:

      Geez… You wouldn’t be flooring your brand new A6 constantly after 4 months? It will never last. It’s just BS. It just shows little care and sympathy some drivers are to their vehicles.

      If Tesla is going to let them floor it constantly, they will have to pay a fee to support the drowning repair centres – or try drag racing less.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        offib, How many launches should the buyer of a 100k+ car be allowed, after having been sold a Model S that bears little other difference from Model S’s costing >$50k less?

        I think you have to answer that question, at least for yourself, before supposing what these buyers don’t deserve.

        Tesla should have stated the number. They didn’t, and now have done the right thing. I’m still curious what you’d think was appropriate?

      2. John says:

        This about LAUNCH MODE, not just flooring it. For example Tesla Racing Channel doesn’t even use the launch mode when drag racing.

    3. Koenigsegg says:

      Clearly the parts that will become extremely worn in P100D’s will be because of the hard launching sub 2 second 0-60’s.

      I really dont understand these whiners. The standard 85 is super quick. Can’t imagine how fast P100D is. I’ve only been in a P90D and thats just utterly absurd.

    4. JeremyK says:

      The parts were probably engineered for the “original” job, but OTA software updates push the individual components past the stress that they were originally validated to. Higher stress “can” equal lower cycles if the part is near it’s design limitation to begin with (and let’s face it…all modern vehicle components are “optimized”, meaning that there isn’t much safety factor built into the original design).

      You CAN’T just push out performance updates without proper validation. Yet another Tesla growing pain that they’ll have to live through to figure out.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Ah! Finally we have a comment from someone who has been paying attention. Thank you, JeremyK.

        For Tesla to keep “upping the ante” on how quick the 0-60 time is, without simultaneously increasing the robustness of the drivetrain, is obviously going to lead to problems.

        I think most of us know that there are certain high-performance gasmobile cars which are built so that you can “redline” them; push their engine past a safe operating speed, in order to get a thrill, or to help win a race. But — correct me if I’m wrong — those cars are sold with a clear warning that redlining the engine may result in damaging or destroying it.

        There is no such warning associated with “Launch Mode” in the Tesla Model S or X. Look at the “fine print” in the “Launch Mode Details” posted to the top of this article… and thanks, Eric Loveday!

        There isn’t a single word stating, suggesting, or implying that using Launch Mode too many times is discouraged, or that it might damage the car, or that Tesla will start limiting the power available if you use it more than X number of times.

        The only warnings are safety concerns about avoiding accidents.

        At what point does how Tesla is using “Launch Mode” to advertise the cars, cross the line between good, effective advertising… and deceptive advertising? And has Tesla already crossed that line? As a Tesla fan, I am quite distressed that this appears to be an appropriate question here.

        Bottom line, as I see it: Blaming drivers for actually using the “Launch Mode” which Tesla uses as a selling point, using it in the manner which Tesla describes and is often seen in videos, is blaming the victim.

        1. floydboy says:

          Why dont we keep our “powder dry” on assumptions on the robustness of Tesla drivetrain parts, until said robustness has actually been independently validated.

          As for allowing owners to do as they please, I’m all for that. Tesla should, of course, provide the appropriate caveats to the owners regarding this type of use, as tends to be standard practice in the industry.

      2. Paul says:

        This is nieve to think that the engineers at Tesla did not overdesign the components to handle the theoretical max torque the motors can put out.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Perhaps you’re not aware of the “milling noise” problem that was quite prevalent in early production Model S’s, and was often (perhaps usually) a sign of excessive wear in the car’s reduction gear. According to one survey, as many as 35% of Model S’s had to have the drive unit replaced (!), and the biggest problem leading to that was the milling noise. The frequency of occurrence has been improved in the last year or two, but it’s still a problem frequently reported on the Tesla Owners Club forum, even for newer cars.

          So, if Tesla designed the drivetrain to be more robust than is necessary… then they failed to achieve their design goal, at least where the reduction gear is concerned.

  2. Michael says:

    Tesla are so keen to shout about the 0-60 times when they upgrade a mode and knock a fraction of a second off it. Some buyers may buy on this alone, and then to have restricted it would contravene SOGA and ASA. They had no choice but to back down or face legal action as they have done before in Norway.

    1. Trollnonymous says:

      +1

      I believe there is no language in any contract that states that those who use launch mode excessively will be automatically “throttled back”.

      that’s was a law suit waiting to happen.

  3. Someone out there says:

    And this is why you shouldn’t put these super strong motors in an EV. Sure it’s no problem physically fitting a 1000 hp electric motor in a car but then everything else will suffer and you will end up with a support/service nightmare. Established auto manufacturers seem to have realized this but the startups still insist on these ridiculously overpowered vehicles.

    1. Roy LeMeur says:

      “ridiculously overpowered vehicles”
      If you believe this, please press “No! I want my Mommy!”

      1. Someone out there says:

        Of course they are. A family car doesn’t need to go to 60 mph in 2.4 seconds.

        1. mhpr262 says:

          You do realize that it is entirely up to your right foot how hard you actually accelerate? And if you misjudge a passing maneuver one day you will be glad of the excess power.

          1. Djoni says:

            You don’t get it.
            Launch mode isn’t possible for passing, neither “Ludicrous”; plain normal mode is a lot more that you need to overcome any unpredictable situation.
            But if you are always pushing the safety margin with an inappropriate driving, no power will save you.
            On the contrary, too much power in inappropriate hand is lethal.
            Please drive accordingly.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Someone out there” said:

          “A family car doesn’t need to go to 60 mph in 2.4 seconds.”

          But Tesla is advertising the Tesla Model S with the Ludicrous option as a family car which can do exactly that. In fact, the entire idea of a “Ludicrous Launch Mode” is Tesla underlining the fact that the car is capable of high performance acceleration.

          And correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s only in the very recent and belated addition of another “opt in” warning screen that Tesla makes any attempt to warn the driver that using “Ludicrous Launch Mode” very often might actually damage the car.

          I really don’t understand the attitude of some commenting on this issue, blaming drivers for using their Tesla car in exactly the manner it’s advertised as being able to do.

          Isn’t that blaming the victim?

          1. Djoni says:

            C’mon PP!
            So you have never see ads of car jumping, sliding, spinning, or corner tight narrow winding road or see SUV on mountain top.

            Does that mean that it’s the purpose of those?

            Just leave advertising where it stands, please.
            In your phantasmal.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              Is that why 2 Model S have been driven off the cliff on windy roads already? LOL.

              You mean those ads aren’t true? =)

            2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              I’m not aware of any car that is built with a button labeled “Climb the side of a mountain mode”. 😉

              And I think most car buyers are capable of differentiating between the CGI (computer render) fantasies seen in most TV car commercials these days, and reality. (Please note I said “most”, not all; I’m sure we can find exceptions among the “low information” crowd.)

        3. Paul says:

          Depends entirely on who you ask. I see it as family entertainment. Why should only two people get to enjoy the acceleration?;)

      2. Dr ValueSeeker says:

        Why will someone call Mommy after coughing up 150 grands? He will call his lawyer.

    2. John says:

      This about LAUNCH MODE, not just flooring it. For example Tesla Racing Channel doesn’t even use the launch mode when drag racing.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        It’s about more than launch mode, Tesla removed the explicit language reserving them the right to apply “limiting controls” to Performance cars, on the main configuration page.

  4. JeremyK says:

    Tesla put themselves in this position. If you’re going to strongly advertise performance, specifically 0-60 times, then you’re opening yourself up to aggressive driving. Therefore, the design must accommodate that and be validated accordingly….ESPECIALLY if OTA updates are going to potentially increase the stress on these components down the road.

    You KNOW that a Ford Mustang’s powertrain is over-engineered to survive exactly this kind of abuse.

    1. Paul says:

      You do realize that there is the possibility that Tesla knows exactly what the max current the electric motors are capable of utilizing? That isn’t rocket science to know the limits of an electric motor. If you analyze Tesla’s OTA updates with that approach, you begin to realize that maybe Tesla was smart from day one by limiting the first gens to “test” reliability. They potentially are releasing OTA updates as they “prove” components can handle it.

  5. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

    So a second owner whose Tesla is out of warranty can be in for some very expensive repairs.

    Is there anyway to display on the Tesla’s screens exactly how many times that particular Tesla used Ludacris Mode and/or regular Launch Control when purchasing the car second hand?

    1. Dr ValueSeeker says:

      The power train warranty is for 8 years/unlimited miles. That’s a long, long period of warranty pain for Tesla. Not to mention the other things that already keep failing.
      After 8 years/100k miles, the value of the car would be really really low. Whoever buys it won’t buy it for launch modes. Already the bids on Teslas on Ebay are very low.

      1. mhpr262 says:

        That’s BS. Tesla Model S hold their value better and depreciate less than any other car in their category (size- and performancewise)

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Dr ValueSeeker posted more FUD:

        “That’s a long, long period of warranty pain for Tesla. Not to mention the other things that already keep failing.”

        Oh, good grief. Why is it that the anti-Tesla FUDsters can’t stick to the truth even when it would serve them better? Sometimes I think that not only do they not care about the difference between truth and lies, they have forgotten that the difference is actually important to most people!

        The amount Tesla spends on warranty repairs is reported in every quarterly statement. The figures are public knowledge. And despite the repeated Big Lies of FUDsters like “Dr ValueSeeker”, those expenses are less than average for cars selling in Tesla’s price category.

  6. Some Guy says:

    I have zero sympathy for Tesla whiners who insist on abusing their costly vehicles.

    1. Paul says:

      +1 I would take a guess that all the people whinning about this issue actually lease or took a loan for their model S.

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Tesla rep said:

    “Depending on how launch mode is used, the computer may eventually limit the available power during launch mode to protect the powertrain. Note that this is a common strategy also employed in other high performance cars.”

    Really? Just how “common” is this? I know that others posting to InsideEVs have named exactly two cars from other auto makers which do this. If that’s all, then calling it “common” is factually incorrect.

    I must say, I’m extremely disappointed that Tesla would pull crap like this. I don’t cut them any slack for ending the practice, since it was painfully obvious that this could only be a PR nightmare for them.

    Yes, I’m still a strong fan of Tesla Motors. But that doesn’t stop me from being pissed off over this particular issue. I see it as simply dishonest, period. Nor do I think that Tesla is sorry they did it; they appear to only be sorry they were caught.

    All just my opinion, of course.

  8. ModernMarvelFan says:

    I think that is a good thing.

    Tesla should allow it and then adds a “count” to display the number of times it uses. When the car goes for sales/tradeins, Tesla or next owner can properly “value” the car based on the amount of “wear and tear” it has received..

    That would make the buyer happy and keeps a data recording of such use…

  9. If they can log if a car is at 100% throttle position, that the cars temp was adjusted up and not down, I can’t imagine them not having a launch mode counter in the log!

    Whether it would be openly displayed, or just retrievable by service, is another matter!

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      There must be a counter of the number of “launches” the car makes. How else would the car’s software “know” when to permanently reduce power?

      But I’m guessing the cars aren’t programmed to display the info to drivers. It may be accessible by special screens to Tesla service centers, or perhaps it can only be retrieved by Tesla’s computer programmers.

  10. heisenberghtbacktotheroots says:

    While I could not care less about launch mode, I would really like to see TESLA putting supercaps into their P100D.

    SUPERCAPS NOW !!!

    (Yep, I know the naysayers will talk about energy density and bla bla, but really I don’t care… You don’t need that much of capacity… Just please Tesla finally produce your first HYBRID!)

    The biggest (if not only) obstacle is cost.

    I am sure there is some spare space in the Gigafactory where Tesla could put up a supercapacitor production line…

    All those people concerned about resale values and battery life and bla bla bla should just look at the impact of a supercap addition to a battery pack on the degradation of the battery.

    There is no way, Tesla will not produce their own supercaps in 2018!

  11. fostal says:

    Meanwhile, in the USA…

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