2013 Tesla Model S: Software 5.8 Update, Low Ride Height Disabled
November 26, 2013
Recently our 2013 Tesla Model S received notification (through its cellular connection) that a software update was available. Just like on a PC, you can download it immediately and install, or schedule a time of your choosing.
As you can see in the photo, the update added a variety of new enhancements. But there's one thing that isn't listed: as of 5.8, Tesla changed the way the vehicle's ride height adjusts lower using the air suspension at high speed.
Using the Model S's touchscreen, you can adjust the ride height if the car is fitted with the optional air suspension. The main modes are Very High, High, Standard and Low. The Low mode automatically engages at highway speeds (60 mph and above) to improve aerodynamic efficiency. Or, at least that's the way it used to work. While the option for Low still appears on the screen, its functionality is largely disabled as of the 5.8 update.
Having read about this on the Tesla forums, it seems some owners initially suspected that the change was due to Tesla being proactive about the car's recent news exposure regarding striking road debris and catching fire. However, other owners have determined that it's potentially a software bug, as Low now only engages at speeds above 97 mph. (60 mph converts to 97 kph.)
I've verified that Low on our car no longer engages in the way Tesla originally said it is supposed to. But I haven't driven it at speeds above 97 mph to check that aspect, either.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor