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No movable headrests?

From posts of pictures that I've seen, it seems the model S won't have adjustable height headrests. Wonder if there's a reason for this! Love the car so far. :)

In the two Betas I've been in, the front seat headrests were fixed, and the rear ones were adjustable. I can't speak as to why thy made this choice.

Typically see non-movable headrests in non-production cars and they never ship as they must not perform as well in crash protection, be more costly to produce, reduce visibility for rear occupants, or are just not as aesthetically pleasing.

I find that I never adjust them regardless so I don't care either way...FWIW

Volvo is famous for premier passenger safety as well as for having non-adjustable head rests in production cars (I don't know for sure if that's still the case, but looking at some shots from their latest models I guess so). And then of course, sports cars have non-adjustable head rests more often than not, but that probably does not count for comparison.

Yeah I was thinking sports cars have non removable headrests, but still, I like movable (and removable) headrests. Especially on the rear, as this helps visibility when there are no rear passengers (which is probably 80% of the time).

One thing, on long trips, when I'm sleeping, I love to adjust the headrest for the most comfortable sleeping position. :)

i drive volvo's since 2002 i love these seats ultra comfy, my head never touch the headrest when i drive anyway. non adjustable mean well adjusted when you need it, in a crash. Model S seats look good to me hope they are like my volvo's seats.

Yep. Wifes volvo. Same way.

@thwang99: The Model S's rear seat headrests were adjustable (at least on the 2 betas I've seen). I didn't think to see if they were removable, but adjustable ones usually are.

At the Geneva Motor Show, I checked a couple of cars: Volvo's latest models, Nissan Leaf, Fisker Karma, any sports car actually -- no adjustable head rests on front seats. I only now realize that I did not check for the back seats (except Mercedes S-class: rear head rests are 4-way adjustable, motorized and w/ memory!) but those are generally adjustable (if only to push them down low and allow for better rear view when not needed).

non adjustable mean well adjusted when you need it, in a crash. (joesontesla)

I tend to agree b/c in general adjustable head rests are not correctly adjusted and thus it is better to have them non-adjustable and in a reasonable position in the first place, except that in the Model S the non-adjustable front head rests support my neck and not the back of my head (at the same time, I have just barely (not) enough head room). Mind you, that's for the Beta model that was on display. I still hope that the head rests on the production seats, whether adjustable or not, will fit me well, and that the seat height adjustment will allow for an even lower setting than in the Beta model.

VB;
supports your neck? Erk. You just gave me a nasty image of your head in the jump seats after a major rear-ender. Definitely a concern!
<:-(

I was sitting in a red Beta (sorry, didn't note the VIN #) in NYC yesterday.

Neither the front nor back had moveable headrests. The front seats' backs were high enough to provide head support, but the rear seats' were not.

But: it seemed that if you're tall enough to have your head above the top of the rear seat, your head really can't snap back over the seat in a rear end collision (the major safety concern for which head rests exist). The reason? The roof line comes down there, and when I tried to allow my head to fall back over the seat's top, my head touched the padded roof/hatch interior. So I'm not worried about the lack of rear seat head rests with regard to rear end collisions.

I was told by Kyle Thompson at the Menlo Park Tesla store that the headrests were not necessarily finalized yet so what you see in the Beta may not necessarily appear in final production.

The front seats are bucket seats and very rarely have movable headrests because they have tall seatbacks. Bench seats have short seatbacks and have adjustable headrests to accommodate taller drivers.

FYI, the headrests I was referring to are the rear, not sure what happens with the front seats.

DallasTXModelS, that's a very American way of looking at it. Mercedes, Audi, BMW all have very comparable Seats to those built into the Model S Beta vehicles, and all have adjustable headrests. The higher-end models have 4-way of even 6-way power adjustments (up/down, front/back or tilt, wider/tighter).

What makes that viewpoint American, Volker?

What makes that viewpoint American, Volker? (brianman)

The differentiation between bucket seats and bench seats. The front bench seems a very American thing to me. All European sedans, wagons and compacts I can think of have single seats for the driver and the passenger.

I am not sure what exactly DallasTXModelS refers to with the term "bucket seats". If that means racing seats, then I agree: They routinely have integrated head rests. But the kind of racing seats I have in mind are only used in race cars, or some tuned/sport-optioned sedans or compacts.

The seats that are found in the Model S Betas I have seen so far, and in its targeted competitors (A6/7, 5-series, E-class w/o sports kit) are far from racing seats. They are comfort-oriented, single seats with some lateral support and a couple of ergonomic features to support and protect your back and thigh. I wouldn't call those "bucket seats", but since DallasTXModelS explicitly refers to the seats found in the Model S Beta, I assume that's what he means. In this case however, the argument does not work for Europeans, b/c European cars with comparable seats do have adjustable headrests (notable exception: Volvo).

I'd suggest that the North American definition of bucket seat is any seat that isn't a bench seat and that has a depression in the centre.

Volker.Berlin | March 8, 2012
Volvo is famous for premier passenger safety as well as for having non-adjustable head rests in production cars (I don't know for sure if that's still the case, but looking at some shots from their latest models I guess so). And then of course, sports cars have non-adjustable head rests more often than not, but that probably does not count for comparison.

Volker.Berlin | March 12, 2012
At the Geneva Motor Show, I checked a couple of cars: Volvo's latest models, Nissan Leaf, Fisker Karma, any sports car actually -- no adjustable head rests on front seats. I only now realize that I did not check for the back seats (except Mercedes S-class: rear head rests are 4-way adjustable, motorized and w/ memory!) but those are generally adjustable (if only to push them down low and allow for better rear view when not needed).

Volker.Berlin | April 30, 2012
DallasTXModelS, that's a very American way of looking at it. Mercedes, Audi, BMW all have very comparable Seats to those built into the Model S Beta vehicles, and all have adjustable headrests. The higher-end models have 4-way of even 6-way power adjustments (up/down, front/back or tilt, wider/tighter).

Very hypocritical, That must be a very European way of thinking????
Not, I would never make such a stereotypical blanket statement about all people from another country.

Thanks. Brianman

Give him a little room, Dallas. I think he was talking about American auto-makers, not necessarily consumers.

Also, I don't think he intended it as a slight but rather an educated guess at a cultural differentiation (for whatever reason).

DallasTXModelS, breathe calmly. ;-)

1. You feeling attacked on a personal/national level: I apologize, no harm meant. As a matter of fact, North Americans have a history in front bench seats and Europeans haven't. And what a North American calls a "bucket seat" may be a different thing from what a European calls a bucket seat. I tried to explain the European view above, thanks to jerry3 for defining the North American view.

There is really no "stereotypical blanket statement" contained, merely an acknowledgment of different cultural conventions and a different history on designing car seats.

2. You attacking me on a personal level: "Very hypocritical"? No. I know all my quotes, and I could not have done a better job digging them out and compiling them in this thread, where they belong! Thank you very much. :-) Reading carefully, you will find that I do not express opinion, but merely state observations to balance the opinions that are out there.

If someone says: "The Model S must have adjustable headrests" I'll find counter-examples. If someone says: "The Model S must have fixed headrests" I'll find counter examples, too. Not because I'm hypocritical, but because all these examples are out there. Volvo is still the only European car maker that comes to my mind, that uses fixed headrests in full size wagons and sedans.

You want to hear my personal opinion? I appreciate the advantages of fixed headrests: Less weight, less fuzz, more stability in case of a crash and cannot be wrongly adjusted. Well, the last one is their only weak point: They assume and require that "one size fits all". The headrests in the Model S Beta that was on display in Geneva supported my neck rather than the back of my head (I'm tall). If that's the case in the production model (which I was reassured will be different in that regard), then all the benefits of fixed headrests are in vain and the fixedness hurts more (quite literally) than it helps.

If I have the choice between a fixed headrest and an adjustable headrest that both support my head well, I'll choose the fixed one. If the fixed one does not support my head well but the adjustable one can be adjusted to fit, I'll choose the adjustable one. It's that simple.

IMHO we should have adjustable headrests for comfort, for all that drive time when we're NOT getting in accidents.

Volker is correct, high-end euro cars except Volvo all have perfectly functional, protective headrests that move and allow drivers to customize to suit their needs. Once you get used to that, it's next to impossible to give up. I may think new Camaros look ultra cool and offer great power, in a rear-wheel drive 8-cyl. package, but that old-style bucket seat with integrated headrest doesn't qualify. (True, Americans have become accustomed to speaking of only two kinds of seats: bucket and bench. Almost all cars now have "bucket" seats.)

I've driven a lot of cars but never had one where the headrest wouldn't protect you in a rear-end collision just because it was set to a comfortable height. The ones that are dangerous are the tiny little 3-inch-tall pseudo-headrests from the old days.

Hard to believe anyone at Tesla would actually promote HITTING YOUR HEAD ON THE CEILING in the rear as a protection against whiplash, thus obviating the need for proper headrests. GOT to be kidding me. We get to add cervical spine axial-load injury to the whiplash hyperflexion/hyperextension injury...this is progress?

Starting to look like a good thing I won't be needing this car in the very near future; maybe in the meantime they might take the concerns over seats & headrests seriously enough to upgrade to the modern standard expected by drivers of luxury cars in both N. America and Europe, and elsewhere

@hyjyljyj | DECEMBER 13, 2012: [...] high-end euro cars except Volvo all have perfectly functional, protective headrests that move and allow drivers to customize to suit their needs[...] maybe in the meantime they might take the concerns over seats & headrests seriously enough to upgrade to the modern standard expected by drivers of luxury cars in both N. America and Europe, and elsewhere

I think movable headrests are great, but not all European cars have them. For example all modern Porsches, other than the Cayenne, don't have them:

The TESLA would be PERFECT if they had an option for a 2 person rear seat versus bench seat that provided headrest and comfort for those are driven and for adults in the backseat. The headrests in current production in the rear seats are tiny and too low. The front fixed head rests are fine. They should just use VOLVO whiplash headrest technology and call it a day. TESLA would then be hands down the safest, most comfortable and appealing car on the market! This is an easy fix! Let's do it!! All those that say that VOLVO has fixed headrest are correct for the front seats, but the rear are always and should always be adjustable!


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