Update Out optionWhen I took delivery of my Model S in April I was on version 5.9 (1.51.94) of the Model S. firmware. About a month later when my car was in for minor service they updated me to a newer version of 5.9. Then on June 10, 2014 I got my first over the air software update to an even later version of 5.9 (1.51.109) and I wrote about the update experience.

Each of these releases had the exact same release notes in them. Any changes from one build of 5.9 to the next were known only to Tesla. I figured all the changes were minor and these were just small tweaks they were making to version 5.9 as it rolled out.

Then at the end of August I got an over-the-air software update to version 5.12 (build 1.64.38). I was disappointed to see the release notes had still not been updated. Evidently Tesla doesn’t find it important to let the owners know what things are getting fixed or adjusted in each release they provide.

Tesla only tells you about the major things in software releases.

This leaves the owners to discuss the differences and what they see/don’t see between the various versions. There are all sorts of rumors and it’s really hard to figure out what actually changed versus what people just didn’t notice before.

Sunroof ControlsI’ve noticed two things between 5.9 and 5.12:

    • The sunroof “comfort” setting/stop is now at 75% versus the 80% it was in 5.9. Evidently Tesla decided it was more comfortable at 75% open. I wonder when they will figure its most comfortable at “closed”? Why don’t they just let me set the comfort setting?
    • You can now reset your Slacker ID/login back to the factory supplied one in the case you’ve put in your own or lost it for some reason. There’s a reset option under the media preferences.

From reading reports about 5.11 and 5.12 there may be a few other differences:

    • The home link buttons may now be larger to make them easier to press.
    • There may now be an icon when the passenger airbag is disabled (a passenger that isn’t heavy enough is occupying the seat).
    • There are some reports of troubles connecting with the Tesla App with 5.12. You may need to disable energy saving mode if you experience it but also contact ownership and report the issue.
    • Turning on climate control via app may now be remembering recirculate setting.
    • Traditional Chinese characters and Japanese characters from the media player may now be able to be displayed
    • Have you noticed anything else?

Its great to see improvements going to the Model S rolling out through software updates. No other car in the world gets incremental improvements like this. I only wish that Tesla was more forthcoming with the changes in each release. Some creative owners are attempting to create firmware change logs over at Tesla Motors Club but the reports are spotty and incomplete so far.

I understand reporting these changes may be a problem with many available versions builds for each version but I’m sure the people at Tesla could come up with a creative way of communicating these changes without revealing secrets or causing widespread panic in the owners that don’t yet have that particular version.

Tesla, we’d like to hear about all the improvements/changes you’re making to our cars!