Car News

Tesla Today: Facelifted Model S, Model X recall

More features and faster charge times are the orders of the day today at Tesla, who revealed a facelifted version of the Model S.

While Tesla doesn’t use “new face of (insert brand here)” language, it’s clear that the arrival of the Model X SUV is signaling a changing of the tide – albeit a small one – at Tesla.

In that light, the Models S gets a smoothed out front bumper as well as new headlights that recall the items seen on the X. These styling features will probably also be seen on the Model 3, due to arrive in 2017.
Inside, two new wood types – Figured and Dark wood ash – complete the update.

Under the skin, I suppose the addition of the Model X’s “Biohazard Mode” filtration system deserves some mention. It’s a good addition for folks who live in congested, pollution-prone areas.

However: the other big news applies to every Tesla buyer, whether they live in LA, B.C., Toronto or Timbuktu, and that’s the addition of an optional new charging system. Until now, the Model S came standard with a 48 amp onboard charger, which would charge the car from 0 to full in six hours or so. Now, the car can be specced with a 72 amp charger, no matter the trim, that should cut charge times through a standard outlet in half. Charge times through a 240V public charger or Supercharger, however, won’t change.

Of course, with the reveal of the facelifted Model S, Tesla is obviously trying to deflect attention away from some not-so-great news involving the company.

A malfunctioning latch for the rear seat recliner forced Tesla to recall just under 3,000 Model X SUVs; 2,700 have sold in the US so far this year. The issue revolves around the seat unexpectedly reclining during internal strength testing.