I know the model S hasn't been on the roads that long but wanted to know if anyone out there that bought the rear facing seats and not using them anymore? If so are you willing to sell them?
Even if someone is and they're willing to sell them and there is an easy way to remove them and reinstall them, it is my understanding that cars that come with the rear facing seats have additional protection in the rear of the car that is not installed on cars without the option, so if you were to do so, you would actually not have the same safety as someone who had them installed from the factory. I would not recommend doing this for that reason.
My Mercedes was recently rear ended at full speed while at a complete stop doing considerable damage. The extent of the damage from a full speed rear collision likely be fatal or resulting in serious injury. I did not for 1 second even consider purchasing the seats. There are also issues with air circulation back there.
I can't imagine the rear facing seats being intended for anything more than occasional use.
The earlier cars all had the reinforced back w/ 3rd row seats as an option. Later cars only have it if ordered w/ the seats. So the potential to add the seats or not depends on your VIN.
Joe H. - I think your Mercedes story is irrelevant. The rear facing seat cars have a reinforced rear hatch area. Your Mercedes obviously did not. Although we have yet to see the official crash test results, Elon has repeatedly said that those seats are the safest in the car.
The air circulation, however, is a factor in the rear. I tinted my rear hatch window and I put a little portable fan back there. On recent day-trips, very sunny days that were multiple hours in length each way, there were no complaints from the kids of being too hot in the back when the AC was on and the fan was on. Tesla even sent out an email with instructions to make them more comfortable. But without tinting and without the AC, it definitely can be too hot back there.
"[...]those seats are the safest in the car.[...]
It's usually omitted, but it was in context with "frontal impact" (see video of 1st MS delivery), not necessarily the same for rear impacts.
I believe Elon said at Teslive that the safety in Tesla includes the design of the rear facing seats to sustain a rear end collision. Remember the motivation for them was to carry his kids, so he has a very personal reason to make them super safe. And I also think it is a facyory option, you can not buy from another owner and add yourself, maybe some pfysical modifications that had to be done in the factory..
@rd2 I will not argue that this is a much safer car but pic is below to confirm why shyed away from rear facing seats. My son was in the backseat when the accident occurred.
Stupid you can't edit post that got really skewed but you get the point.
JoeH, that car was designed with back end as crush zone. The Model S is designed to protect the 3rd row occupants.
You cannot retrofit cars without jump seats unless you ordered your vehicle that way at the factory but did not receive the seats. Installing seats in cars where they were not originally ordered is putting your rear occupants in a life threatening situation. Cars w/ jump seats ordered at the factory are additionally reinforced in the rear to protect your children from a rear impact. This is not the case for an after market type of situation.
If you install jump seats in your car and did not previously order your vehicle this way from the factory, you do not have the additional structural reinforcement in the rear and could kill your third row passengers in the event of a rear collision.
@DTsea and @AmpedRealtor thanks for the info.
Both my kids love it back there. Haven't tinted the rear yet. Planning to for next summer.
You can't just install after the fact.
The early cars were retrofittable; current ones are not.
We use our rear seats daily. The kids love it back there. We've actually never experienced the heat problem. The car is garaged at home, and I live in the Bay Area where it doesn't get that hot anyway. I haven't felt the need to buy the extra fan or add tinting.
But yes, I'll second the other posters who say that the latest cars have extra support installed because of the optional rear seats.
The car's designed to protect the third row, look at any picture of the battery pack & chassis naked and you'll be able to tell better. I have the rear seats and don't use them as often because of heat issues back there for the kids.
I discussed this with Tesla and they offered to pay for tinting, but I'm probably going to opt out of that approach and return the seats for a refund until they have a fix for the circulation. Kids love them otherwise.
Shop Amazon for an O2 fan to put back there. About $20, supposedly works great.
Joe, cars with the seats have a Boron beam to prevent intrusion. Boron is incredibly strong and I would guess the same accident would have looked very different in the Tesla...