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Rear Facing Seats

I have not been able to find much information about the rear facing seats. I talked with reps at TM Portland and Bellevue and they could not answer my questions either. First, I have a 4 year old in a booster car seat and a 2 year old in a child seat. Does anyone know if the rear facing seats are designed so that you do not use the booster seat? The seats have a 5pt harness and have limited head room, but I obviously want my child safe (1st priority). Second, are the seats permanent or can they be removed to allow for more cargo space, if needed?

PS my first post...I am so excited for my Tesla but it will be a while #10,702

The seats are removable--but not easily, so you remove them when your children no longer need them.

You don't use the booster seat--booster seats are for adult-sized seats. There is a maximum and minimum child height, but I don't know the actual numbers.

Your best bet is to write Tesla and get a formal answer.

Toddlers to 10-yr olds fit in the rear seats. Elon sez they are the safest part of the car, with special reinforcement, etc.

They fold down for storage space, almost flat. There are videos here and there that show the effect.

@ N8Tyler – We received our Model S on 7/27/12. We included the rear facing child seats in our configuration. The rear facing seats were not available when our car was delivered. We are expecting delivery of the seats in a few weeks. Here is what the Owner Safety Information booklet says about the seats: “Rear facing seats are child restraint systems and must only be used for children over 37” tall and weighting between 35 and 77 lbs. Always ensure the top of the child’s head can not contact the vehicle and that the child is seated comfortably with the seat belts positioned and latched correctly. Follow all instructions provided and do not use supplemental child restraint systems in these seats.”

"weighting"? TM grammar fail! /9-p

Brian H, TM got it right. I typed it incorrectly and did not catch it in my proofreading. Drats!

"Elon sez they are the safest part of the car, with special reinforcement, etc."

My recollection is that there was a qualification on that comment: "... for head-on collisions."

So, if you've got kids in the back, and you feel a wreck coming -- orient the vehicle accordingly. ;)

Your recollection is wrong. They did special (non-standard) half-car impacts on the rear to ensure it would protect the seat occupants even if the rear was impacted full-on on half the car width, the worst scenario.

Rear impacts in general are less dangerous, in any case. There is only the differential in momentum with the trailing car to account for, not the sum of two opposed-vector masses.

"They did special (non-standard) half-car impacts on the rear to ensure it would protect the seat occupants even if the rear was impacted full-on on half the car width, the worst scenario."

I didn't say the rear seats wouldn't be safe. I said the phrasing by Tesla does not imply they are the safest of all the seats in the Model S from all impact directions.

"Your recollection is wrong."
Perhaps.

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/revealing-model-s-beta
Beta Reveal Pt. 1: Intro & Safety
Elon Musk: "Even for the rear seats ... The third row is actually the safest place in the car for a front or side impact. Even for a rear impact..."

That was in October 2011. My recollection was that the phrasing changed in a newer video/interview. I remember because it was one of those typical Elon sentences where he makes an assertion followed by a long pause and then the qualifier. An example: "The best car (pause) in every dimension (pause) that matters." (Note that I'm glad that he removed the pauses from this example statement @ June 22, 2012.)

Rear facing seats are child restraint systems and must only be used for children over 37” tall and weighting between 35 and 77 lbs.

(reminds me of taking the kids to an amusement park..."you must be this tall to ride in this car")

Call me an inattentive father, but if the kids only fit back there for 42lbs of growth, approximately which ages correlate with those weight specs? And what happens if you have a smaller or larger kid back there? Can you be ticketed? (unlikely) Can your insurance fail to pay a claim? (unlikely) Or is it that you're subjecting your kids to sub-optimal collision protection? (my best guess)

Thanks.

brianman;
Elon's pauses are processing delays as he scans and cross-references his eidetic recollection of all the data he's ever read and computes a statement consistent with every datum. ;)

E-brian;
We seem to be having a Brian Brain trust happening here!

Smaller kids will slip'n'slide around in the seats, and larger ones will have foreheads pressed on the rear window glass, so the limits are pretty much self-enforcing, I think. :0

>:)

I think the pauses come not from data recollection but from "phrasing for public consumption". He seems to do it the first, or first few, times he formulates a new phrasing. By the 3rd or 4th time, the pauses are removed as the quote becomes one of his "standard" go to comments.

Self-evaluating... I'm not really bothered that he needs to pause to formulate. I think what tweaks me is the ordering.

I much prefer...

(, )+ .

to...

( )+.

The latter sounds more "used car salesman" / "politician" and the strength of the assertion decays as you wonder when the sentence will finish.

The former comes across as defining boundaries and then concluding with the assertion. It gives it more punch and comes across as more honest, trustworthy.

I'm an engineer, so what do I know. Just sayin'.

Let's try that again...

A - [ [qualifier][pause] ]+ [assertion] .
B - [assertion] [ [pause][qualifier] ]+ .

I strongly prefer A.

brianman;
Engineer, fix thyself! Your qualifier came last.

Formulas for trustworthiness are the meat and drink of the marketeer. Grifter's Motto: "Once you can fake sincerity, everything else is easy!"

Elon is what he is. What he is not is a marketer.

Elon is basically an engineer, so he sounds like one. Many, perhaps most, successful companies are started by engineers and other technically oriented people. The businesses go downhill once the technically oriented founders have left and the marketeers and bean counters take over.

Looks like (on average) the rear seats' weight range covers ages 4 to 10 or 11:

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/average-child-weight-by-age.html

I have a 6 and 7 yr old, I have asked, emailed and the one answer I got was that the seats are for a max 60" and 100lbs

@ Azdcmoney - Whomever you are working with at Tesla, ask them to check the specification for the rear facing child seats listed in the Tesla 2012 Model S Owner Safety Manual. It says, "Rear facing seats are child restraint systems and must only be used for children over 37” tall and weighting between 35 and 77 lbs. Always ensure the top of the child’s head can not contact the vehicle and that the child is seated comfortably with the seat belts positioned and latched correctly. Follow all instructions provided and do not use supplemental child restraint systems in these seats."

I wonder why they left out a maximum height in the Safety manual? It would see to me to be important.

jerry3, It could be that not all people are the same. Torsos differ. Just because someone is 4 feet tall does not mean they won't hit their head on the ceiling if their torso is 3 foot 6 inch (an exaggeration but you see the idea). But by that same thought process there shouldn't be a minimum height listed either.

Theresa,

You're correct. There should really be a minimum and maximum upper body size. However, if you're going to have a minimum height, then there should be a maximum height as well.

It sounds like the rear facing seats are basically a replacement for booster seats. Once you are big enough to switch from a car seat you go to the way back seats, then later graduate to the normal adult seats.

Jerry;
But then there are the kids with 18" torsos and 42"-long legs! I've never seen one, but ...

Rod and Barbara
I was at the store opening at the Scottsdale store, early Friday morning, when I asked ,nano one knew the answer and finally one guy came over and said that was what he was told from Corp. Goeorge hadn't arrived yet he was enjoying the night life a little too much. I decided to to get them in my car.


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