Tesla is expected to roll out the new Model S vehicles, with the manufacturer promising a lot of improvements. One of those improvements is the reintroduction of the rear facing seats, which come with mixed feelings. The news came after Elon Musk responded to a tweet and hinted at the new models’ rear facing seat comeback. This has led to many people airing their thoughts about the rear facing seats and whether they’re worth it.
Rear facing seats in Model S help to safeguard your children from forward-collision accidents, offer the option of carrying more passengers in the car, and can be configured to be used for various other purposes. However, the seats may only practically fit children.
That’s not all, as you still need to know if you can add rear facing seats to Tesla, whether the rear facing seats are safe, and the weight that these seats can support, which you will learn if you read on.
What to Know About the Rear Facing Seats in Tesla Model S
Rear facing seats in Model S are not new since they technically have always been there, but only as an accessory instead of a configuration. However, Elon Musk has hinted that the third-row seats might make a comeback, even though the news has not been published on the official website.
He claims that the new updated seats will not only be for children, and they might even fit adults, making the new Model S a seven-seater. Here are general thoughts on the Model S rear facing seats:
- Safety – Rear facing seats offer protection to children, primarily those younger than ten years old, from collision accidents, which amount to around 90% of all road accidents in the US.
- More room – Rear facing seats instantly convert your Model S sedan into a seven-seater minivan, which you can configure as needed. This comes in handy if you have more children in the car.
- Accessories – Rear facing seats in Model S are available as accessories since they’re not configured with the car, which allows you to have them in the car when it’s necessary.
- Only for children – Unfortunately, the current rear facing seats in Model S are meant for children below ten years. However, Tesla has plans of including rear facing seats that could fit adults.
Rear facing seats are a great way to utilize the trunk space in your Tesla Model S, especially if you’re in the company of adults and children.
Can You Add Rear Facing Seats To Tesla?
It’s possible to add rear facing seats to Tesla vehicles, particularly the Model S, since they come equipped with the capability of adding third-row seats. With a bit of handiwork and time, you can add rear facing seats to your Tesla in as little as a day.
What’s the Procedure for Adding Rear Facing Seats to Tesla?
To add rear facing seats to your Tesla, you need to understand where the seats go and which components to remove. It might take you less than two hours to add these seats, depending on how customized your Tesla is, and it all comes down to mental exercise on your side rather than physical effort.
Here is the procedure:
- Remove the bumper for the reinforcement bar. – It’s the first step when preparing the installation, and you’ll typically have to do it in a Tesla that hasn’t had any rear facing seats installed before.
- Wire the inside trunk opening button. – You’ll need to configure the opening button to allow the trunk to be opened from the inside. However, for Model S, this option is not required since you can open the trunk from the inside.
- Remove the trunk floor carpets. – You’ll need to cut the carpet to reveal the mounting bolts on which you’ll attach the rear facing seats.
- Install rear seatback lock mechanism. – The mechanism helps to hold the rear facing seats in place and prevents unnecessary movements.
Note: Keep in mind that you cannot install third-row seats on a vehicle with second row Executive Seating.
If you’ve never installed a rear facing seat in a car before, don’t attempt to do this by yourself. Instead, hire a professional who will help you through the process.
How Much Does It Cost To Add Rear Facing Seats To A Tesla?
The total cost will depend on the type of rear facing seats you want, how much customization your Tesla needs to undergo to get the chairs in, and if there are any extra services required, such as replacing the trunk floor carpet. Here is an estimate of how much you should expect to pay to have third-row seats added to your Tesla:
- Rear facing seats – The new seats will cost you around $1000, and used ones might cost you between $500 and $900. Again, be sure you buy good-quality seats. Make sure the seats come with side strikers, which many sellers seem to forget.
- Bumper reinforcement – It’ll cost you $300, but you have to get it from a Tesla-certified shop since Tesla won’t sell it to you. You can also buy them from eBay or Amazon. Make sure you buy one meant for the Tesla model you have.
- Manual labor – You’ll incur this cost if you allow a professional to handle the addition of the third-row seats in your Tesla. It’ll cost you at least $150, depending on the body shop you choose.
Are Tesla’s Rear Facing Seats Safe?
Tesla’s rear facing seats are safe in forward collision accidents as they protect the occupants from the impact caused by the collision. However, the safety aspect of these seats is still debatable regarding extreme crashes such as the vehicle rolling or when the vehicle is hit from the back.
How Can You Improve The Safety Of Rear Facing Seats?
As much as we would like to, we can do little to prevent accidents from occurring. However, we can take preventive measures, which will most likely reduce casualties and injuries if an accident happens. For example, here’s what you can do with rear facing seats in a Tesla to keep the occupants safe:
- Tether to forward-facing seats. – Tethering helps to hold the seat in place, hence adding more stability and safety to anyone using the rear facing seats.
- Use seat belts. – It’s a no-brainer that seat belts are very crucial to our safety. Make sure the rear seat occupants have their seat belts tightly on.
- Carry out regular inspections. – Always check the status of rear seats in your Tesla Model S regularly. If possible, have them inspected by a professional once in a while to ensure they’re in the proper condition.
How Much Weight Can Tesla’s Rear Facing Seats Hold?
The weight limit of a Tesla’s rear facing seat is 70 pounds, with the required height leaving at least one inch between the top of the child’s head and the top of the car seat. The height requirements are meant to protect the child in case of an accident, ensuring that the forward-facing seat will absorb all the impact from the collision, hence protecting the child’s head.
Despite being a Sedan, the Tesla Model S can be converted into a seven-seater vehicle by adding third-row seats. However, there have been some concerns regarding these seats, as they have primarily been made for children under the age of 10. Tesla announced the new Model S would support the rear facing seats, but this time they’ll be capable of supporting an adult.
The rear facing seats provide safety for the kids and more room to take on many passengers. Adding rear facing seats to a Tesla is easy, and if you choose to hire someone, it will cost you less than $2500.