Experience with Rear facing child seats

Experience with Rear facing child seats

Hi Forum,

I was hoping to see if anyone has gotten these delivered/installed and what your experience has been? They told us it would be a few months before they were available in any mass quantity. Few basic questions:

1. Are they easily foldable (ie single person can do it without a lot of strength?)
2. Can they be permanently removed (ie once the kids are grown up)?
3. Do your kids actually like being back there?
4. Do kids complain at all about dizziness/nausea (ie moving forward but visually looking backwards can cause equilibrium issues and motion sickness for some people)?

Honestly, I think I only got them so I can say "I'm throwing the kids in the trunk" without child protective services coming after me. Unfortunately now threatening kids by saying we're going to throw you in the trunk if you don't quiet down really won't have the same effect ... oh well, will have to start threatening with the frunk. ;>)

andresk | 22 January 2013

I don't have the seats myself, but was talking to a Model S owner who had them. To answer your questions:

1. I saw him fold them and it was very easy and seemed well engineered. Fit neatly in the hole that is in the trunk.

2. They can be removed.

3/4 - I asked his son (7-8?) if he liked being back there and he said "yes" with a big grin.

xradr | 22 January 2013

@ Andresk,

Thanks so much. most appreciated.

rd2 | 22 January 2013


Thanks for the comments. To my knowledge, this is the first owner who actually has the seats installed! I wonder how quickly they are rolling them out...

PhilipO | 22 January 2013

I picked up my S on Friday at the factory with my 5yo and 2yo. The seats are removable, and fold up and down very easily. My kids absolutely love being back there! However, we have notices two things:

1.) The belts, while easy to fasten, get twisted very easily. A little bit of a hastle but not a big deal.

2.) because the seats are the "car seats" the kids are sitting much closer together than when they sit in an ICE or even in the back seat of the S in their regular car seats. This led to some hair pulling and pinching! Now we just tell them that if they can't play nicely in the trunk they are going to have to ride in the cabin in their car seats!! This seems to get them to behave for at least 3 minutes.

xradr | 22 January 2013

@ PhillipO,

Congrats on the car. Thanks so much for the info and your experience thusfar with the seats. Glad they love getting in the back and hopefully neither gets car/motion sickness.

rwang | 22 January 2013

The seats work well. The only issue I had was the installation. They left a big gap between the rear seats and the side of the car. That will have to be replaced.

Brian H | 23 January 2013

Tell them if necessary only one will go back there at a time, and then enforce it. That should quell the battles.

xradr | 23 January 2013

@ Rwang,

Could you explain a bit further? What do you mean that there is a big gap between the seat and the side of the car? From what I saw of them at the get amped event, they were not flush against the side wall. How big of a gap do you mean, and is the concern more aesthetic or something that has functional/safety considerations?


Musterion | 23 January 2013

It is hard to find videos of the elusive rear child seats folding. I found this one useful.
At 0:29 the Tesla guy opens them out of the footwell in one fluid motion and with one hand.
It is possible these are the previous version before the current production ones and so it is great to hear the personal experience stories posted here. Also curious about the gap problem of @rwang.

Jamon | 25 January 2013

I picked up my S from the factory today and was pleasantly shocked to find the rear seats installed! They said some cars (but not yet all) are starting to receive the seats. They look great and the kids love riding back there (and so do my coworkers!). I was worried that sudden acceleration might paste them against the rear window, but the seats keep them very well contained!

The seats fold down nicely into the trunk. It doesn't take much effort or strength, but it's a bit more awkward than I would expect. It folds into 3 parts, and the headrests tend to swing out and interfere with the folding if you're not careful about it. When putting them up, the seats fold out very easily and seem to latch into place securely. The kids had a blast and made friends with some drivers behind us. Only problem is that 3 kids will now be fighting over the 2 most popular seats in the car!

Brian H | 26 January 2013

Tell us about these little co-workers ...

appljd | 26 January 2013

We picked up the car last week. The jump seats where installed. Out 4 year old twin boys love it !
Very easy to fold/unfold.

Anthony H | 26 January 2013

Thank you for the video!

I should have ordered the seats.

Don't need but one of them, but those are cool!

kelly | 26 January 2013

Waiting eagerly for our jump seats and hoping my 7 year will be able to fit. Can someone post some pictures with occupants in the seats? Maybe hatch open & closed??? That would be much appreciated!

suegie | 26 January 2013

I heard it could be March, but I'm asking again if you are seeing some deliveries! Back orders should be imminent!

TeslaLABlue | 27 January 2013

I am scheduled for Feb16-March2. 2 weeks ago they told me I will not get seats with the car as they have to get the folks with deliveries in 2012 their seats 1st.

Is it possible they caught up and or are doing the under promise over deliver concept?

What reservation numbers are getting seats?

Jamon | 27 January 2013

@virtuallarry: I bet yours will come with jump seats. I don't know how they're catching up for cars that were delivered without them, but it sound like they are being installed in most new cars now. When I picked mine up last week the jump seats were listed on the due bill, then crossed off by the DS when he saw that they were already installed in my car. He said they're starting to show up in cars coming out of the factory now.

@kelly: my 8 year old is 52" tall and he fits pretty well. Long legs make it a little awkward, but otherwise no problem. His 9 y.o. (taller) friend also fit fine for a joy ride yesterday.

I'm telling you, this car is better than Disneyland for these kids right now!!

rd2 | 27 January 2013

I was told by Menlo Park rep that rear seats will be rolled out to 'early adopters' first , so sounds like they will go up the list starting with Sig's. Guess we will find out...

TeslaLABlue | 27 January 2013

@jamon. Thanks for the info, I hope your right re delivery w the seats.

I don't want to put our toddler seat for my 3 year old in the back seat.... New car new leather can get compressed from the seat.

Also want him to know that the only option for him is the back jumper seats..... Just in case he asks about sitting facing forward to see the giant iPad .

Brian H | 27 January 2013

He wouldn't get much joy out of the touchscreen with no video, anyway. Just tell him, "Can't play cartoons or movies!"

Brian H | 27 January 2013

Which brings up a "future feature" idea: HUD display video for the jumpseat occupants!

Brian H | 27 January 2013

typo: HUD video ...

"display" is repetitious, of course!

TeslaLABlue | 30 January 2013

Any info on new cars being delivered w jumper seats?

blurry_eyed | 30 January 2013

I'm a Signature owner (VIN #532) and we ordered our car with the rear jump seats. Received the car November 2nd without the seats.

Tomorrow (Jan. 31st) we are taking the car to the Seattle service center to have them installed. We will pick up the car on Friday (there were other service items we've been waiting on and they will take care of those as well, so they need the car overnight.

Kids are very excited to give the seats a try over the weekend!

appljd | 30 January 2013

Found a good mat to put in the foot hole when the kids are in the jump seat. $12.99 @ Target - Mohawk Utility Mat 22x47".
Here are some pics with the kids in the seats from the outside view.

Alex K | 30 January 2013

@appljd | JANUARY 30, 2013: Here are some pics with the kids in the seats from the outside view.

Hey, those seats have cup holders! I guess that's one way to get some extra cup holders in the car.

ghillair | 31 January 2013

@appljd - Looks like the kids have the Tesla GRIN!

markapeterman | 31 January 2013

Is there a place to put the footwell cover when the kids are using the seats?

Christopher3 | 31 January 2013

I get a lot of rubbernecks now without my kids in the trunk. This may add people that aren't interested in the car but are wondering why my kids are back there. My kids are going to love those seats. The main problem will come from the fact that I have three kids.

appljd | 31 January 2013

Markapeterman: no very comfortable with the footwell but yes you could put it back. One of my pictures when we took delivery had the foot hole covered.

markapeterman | 31 January 2013

appljd - I meant is there a way to put the well cover behind the kids seats (standing up between the rear seats and kids seats) so it is out of the way when the seats are in use, but still available in the car to cover the well if you need to fold up the seats for storage. Thanks.

skulleyb | 31 January 2013

Do they have to be installed or can you guy them later?

Salman | 31 January 2013

@markapeterman, no, there's really no place in the car to store the well cover when not in use that I can find. (My DS also said this.)

@culley, I'm 99% certain you can buy them later, though I don't see them currently listed under "Model S Accessories" in the Buy section of the website. You will have to take the car to a service center to have them put in or taken out, though.

DarrellH | 5 February 2013

Our jump-seats were installed this morning in S27. Our granddaughters love them. I only wish I could try them out. Not going to happen! 8-(

Brian H | 5 February 2013

Kids seem to universally dig the jumpseats. Wonder if any have had a negative reaction?!?

xradr | 6 February 2013

Getting the jump seats installed on Friday (Yay!). Will let you all know how they perform. But sounds like from those of you that have them, they are universally loved by the little ones.

appljd | 6 February 2013

My kids only want to get picked up and dropped off at school in the "White" car... They are 4 years old... they just love those jump seats.

Hobart | 8 February 2013

Looks like they have to be of some height to be able to see anything out the rear window? Is that right? If that is the case about what height? Was thinking if they can't see out they would be way too bored, but I suppose with two back there they will find something to keep them busy.

xradr | 9 February 2013

just got the seats installed. so far, they are an absolute hit. children want to sit in the jump seats only.

opening and closing the seats is a breeze. the kids do not seem to have any issues facing rear with car moving forward (no nausea or disequilibrium).

We just chuck them in the back, give 'em an ipad and we have quiet bliss. Child related noise and non-sense is less apparent with them back there.

Overall, feel like the seats keep the kids in better restraint than the car seats/boosters. Kids can see up/out of the rear mirror but not directly the car behind them (ours are relatively small kids). I think taller kids would be able to see out at cars behind easier.

@ - you can get them installed later (many of us have had the car delivered without the seats and they are now installing them at service centers).

@ markapeterman - I can't seem to figure out a way to put the cover anywhere sensible in the car while the seats are being used. Just leaving it at home for now. would be nice if they came up with a more foldable cover perhaps?

rlpm | 9 February 2013

@xradr : check out this post on TMC for how some have been able to fit the footwell cover behind the jump seats:

Brian H | 10 February 2013

So far, no reports of thumbs down from kids. A hit!

xradr | 10 February 2013

@rlpm. SWEET. Thanks so much. This is helpful. Will try this setup today!

spraisoody | 10 February 2013

I never ordered the rear seats, mainly because my kids were too small and I was told I could add them later when they are bigger, they had initially said it was for kids 6 and older. I got my final MVPA last week and was reading the requirements for the rear seats and came to find my 4 year old can already sit back there and my 3 year old is almost big enough. Called tesla about adding them after I get the car and they said it can be done at the service center ( car is already shipped) but when I talked to my delivery specialist, he said it was difficult to add after the car has been built because it requires a latch system that is installed when the car is being built. So does anyone know anything else, getting conflicting info from Tesla?

rlpm | 10 February 2013

@xradr : You're welcome!

And thanks to everyone posting information. I've learned a huge amount about this car, even though I don't expect to take delivery for several weeks.

@spraisoody : I'm in a similar situation. I didn't add the seats when I finalized. I might want to add them later. An email from ownership said that they could be installed post-production, but would incur additional labor charge.

From what I've read, the latches are in all back center seats, on the side facing the trunk area, just belowmthe headrest, hidden under upholstery. To install, they cut out the upholstery, then add plastic pieces to make it pretty. See here:

Once they get all the seats installed for those with them on thier punch lists, perhaps TM will add them to the store site, as they did the second charger.

CC | 1 March 2013

I took delivery 1 wk ago, vin #49xx S60 kwh, came with the rear facing seats already installed, which was a surprise.

The seat is very well designed, very easy to fold (4 steps) and store perfectly in the foot well in the trunk. You can still put the foot well cover over it once the seat is folded.

I heard the seats can be removed, but I was too excited when I picked up the car and forgot to ask the DS how it can be done.

My 5 yr old says the seats are very comfortable, and he loves seating in the back. Initially he did complain of some dizziness, but it was because of the pressure buffetting issue with the trunk lid not being tight. After I adjusted the rubber dempeners, buffetting is gone, and he hasn't complain of dizziness, only complained that "Daddy, you are going too fast!!!" :)

My 2 yr old kept asking to sit in the back too, but he is too young :) However, he loves playing back there while the car is in the garage !


earlyretirement | 29 August 2013

I picked up my car yesterday. My 2 kids LOVE the rear jump seats but can any of you owners out there that have had them for a while tell me if there is a way you can safety childproof the lock from opening?

I was reversing out of my driveway yesterday when I saw my kids fall forward. Apparently my younger son accidentally hit the lever to release it so it folded. That seems dangerous.

Is there way to lock it so they can't open it while the car is in motion (in Drive or Reverse)?

Someone mentioned on another thread there was a way to child proof them from opening it but didn't explain it. I'd greatly appreciate an explanation. Thanks.

201w77 | 29 August 2013

My daughter gets car sick in every vehicle we have owned (including our minivan). We just got our MS yesterday and she LOVES the seat. It is a big hit with all her friends as well. Even with dad "testing" the acceleration many times, she did not seem to get the least bit car sick which my wife and I cannnot believe. (Verdict still out on trips longer than30 mins.).

These seats convert open/closed in 15 seconds! They are also permenantly removable when the kids outgrow them and take less than an hour to remove. Per the San Diego Sales Manager- removed seats are as if they have never been there. For those contemplating purchasing the seats, make sure you read Tesla's safety rating press release very closely. For all cars ordered with these seats, Tesla adds a second rear bumper for added protection. So even if your kids outgrow the seats & you remove them, you essentially paid $2500 for added rear accident protection. Pretty cool!

sunrunner | 29 August 2013

We have 5 year old twins that love the seats. It was a little hot initially, but after crystalline tint - they have no complaints!

bent | 30 August 2013

"For all cars ordered with these seats, Tesla adds a second rear bumper for added protection. So even if your kids outgrow the seats & you remove them, you essentially paid $2500 for added rear accident protection. Pretty cool!"

I don't think it's clear that the extra bumper adds safety for the two front rows, just that it makes the jump seats safer.

Presumably a bumper in that region is going to be more rigid and therefore lead to a harder crash experience for the occupants than had there been a crumple zone in its place. It will protect you from the impactor actually penetrating all the way to the occupants but that distance is so great this is unlikely to be the main threat in an accident (once the jump seats are removed): the main threat is the sudden acceleration which I would think is better mitigated by crumple zones.

But all this is armchair speculation, has Tesla said anything specific about the safety effect of the extra bumper on the two front rows?

Brian H | 30 August 2013

Pictures, everyone!