It appears that Tesla has quietly returned the Model 3’s auto-dimming side mirrors, which was discontinued earlier this year. The feature was recently noticed by new Model 3 owners and Tesla enthusiasts, many of whom were able to compare the newly-produced cars with vehicles that were manufactured a few months ago.
Auto-dimming side mirrors are quite useful, as they have the capability to dim the light reflecting from their surface. This reduces the glare from headlights of vehicles behind the driver. This increases safety and reduces driver fatigue, especially on long trips that involve a lot of freeway driving.
Interestingly enough, the Model 3’s auto-dimming side mirrors are actually one of the all-electric sedan’s more polarizing features. Some Model 3 owners loved their convenience, while others noted that the function tends to be inconsistent. Tesla owner-hacker @greentheonly, in a post on Twitter, stated that the quirks of the feature were likely due to the placement of the auto-dimming side mirrors’ light sensor.
These experiences prompted a number of Model 3 owners to ask Elon Musk for a manual control option for the feature. Musk, for his part, noted that such a function could indeed be added to the Model 3’s auto-dimming side mirrors. Buyers of the Model 3 around March then noticed that their vehicles no longer had the function. The Model Y, which started its production ramp around the same time, was not equipped with the feature as well.
Six months down the road, it appears that Tesla has opted to equip its all-electric sedan with auto-dimming side mirrors once more. The return of the feature was reported by Drive Tesla Canada, which provided a comparison of Model 3 side mirrors from vehicles that were recently produced and those that were manufactured a few months ago. Tesla’s Design Studio, which removed references to auto-dimming side mirrors when the feature was retired earlier this year, is yet to be updated by the electric car maker.
Considering that auto-dimming side mirrors are now back in the Model 3, it would be quite interesting to see if the Model Y receives the function as well. The crossover, after all, is expected to share about 75% of its parts with its sedan sibling. The only thing that remains to be seen is if Tesla has improved the feature since it was retired. Perhaps this time around, the auto-dimming side mirrors will function more accurately. Better yet, perhaps the company could release manual controls for the feature soon, as noted by Elon Musk in May.