Just how bad is the heat in the rear facing seats, now that it's almost July?

Just how bad is the heat in the rear facing seats, now that it's almost July?

I know this has been discussed, and even the latest article from Consumer Reports complains about the heat in the rear facing seats. This issue is the only thing keeping me from releasing my reservations from on-hold, and at this point it's either wait until next year's Model S design refresh (that Elon hinted will improve the vent system), or just bite the bullet and choose to live with it.

We'd use the rear facing seats for occasional car pooling with kids, so it's not a huge deal, but I've read some stories of the seats being practically unusable in the summer, even with ceramic tint on the rear window.

I'm posting this with the hope of getting more current feedback from people who have the rear seats, not that it's almost July. Is it really that bad, on say the typical 80s, somewhat humid Chicago day? We typically drive around with windows and sunroof open, except on the freeways or when the heat is unbearable.

And, I'm curious whether the exterior car color makes a difference - was originally going with the blue, but am now leaning toward silver so it doesn't get as hot.

Thanks for any input.

GeekEV | 25 June 2013

I can't speak to the jump seats, but MythBusters tested the car color myth. In their test a black car got 10°F hotter than a white one. I don't think that's substantial enough of a difference to make it worth worrying about as it was after sitting all day in the sun. With windows open or AC running the difference is probably negligible.

defmonk | 25 June 2013

Challenges with the rear seats, in my experience:

a) Overprotective moms won't let their kids sit in the back, notwithstanding the obvious advantage of rear-facing seats with five point harnesses. A carpool killer.

b) My son refused to sit in the back for many weeks. Ultimately resolved with iPad usage bribes and explaining that "they're just like race car seats."

c) In Southern Cali, the boy complains of the sun and heat if the ride is longer than 15-20 minutes. I'm going to try a ceramic window tint to see if this helps. The seats are great for short hops, but not currently usable for long trips.

KOL2000 | 25 June 2013

San diego works fine after going full Limo tint in back window along with high AC setting and vents aimed at rear. They love it back there now.

CC | 25 June 2013

After installing Wincos 30% tint, the heat was much better in the back. If you pre-cool the car (use the smart phone app!), it helps a lot as well. While driving, I usually turn up the fan speed to max just to make sure cool air gets back there.

Like defmonk said, when they are bored back there, they will start to complain of everything and anything. Handing them an ipad or a phone to play some Angry birds quiets them down :)

I am thinking about putting a thermometer back there and get some temp reads. I don't think anyone tried yet..

More info on the tint:

shop | 25 June 2013

Don't do it without tinting. If I was putting kids back there I would use a pretty dark tint.

stimeygee | 25 June 2013

How dark?

olanmills | 25 June 2013

I wonder if you could get some kind of fan that suction-cups to the rear windshield and has a long cord to the "cigarette lighter" or USB port.

The next version of the Model S should have ventilation that run to the frame of the rear hatch as an option.

Brian H | 25 June 2013

Kids in the rear seats fry because there's no sunblock or ventilation. You have to arrange both yourself. Elon has promised fixes for future production, no retro mentioned.

electrophorus | 25 June 2013

Twitter conversation about this with Elon, from today:

Pulse | 25 June 2013

My kids ( 4.5 and 2.5 )love the Jump seats. I did the following.
1. Put a 15% high heat rejection tint film at the back.
2. Hooked up a Fan in the back by rigging a cigaret lighter 12 V line all the way from the front of the car to the back.
3. Hooked up a DVD player for them

All is good now. Here is the exact equipment ordered.
1. (pretty good fan)
2. (Cable that goes all the way to the back)
3. (Splitter for DVD and Fan)

Rgv | 25 June 2013

I am in Phoenix and just got the car last week. My son drove twice in the rear seats in 100+ weather around 4-5 pm when it gets the hottest in the day. He did not think it was hot but the rides were only 15-20 mins. I am getting tinting done Thursday.

Brian H | 26 June 2013

I wonder if the newest cars already have better tinting and air flow.

Mathew98 | 26 June 2013

Got mine with jump seats a week ago. Both my kids, 4 & 5, love to stay in the back and entertain themselves. I got them battery powered 5" fans and placed them on the bottom of the foot well. This is in addition to the 30% tint for the back window.

This arrangement seem to work well for our one hour commute each direction. Longer trips will require bribes with either portable video or Ipad equivalent.

omega | 29 May 2015

@CC are you still happy with madico film? everyone else here says go with photosync and crystaline...
How much you paid?


TeslaRider | 20 August 2015

All fellow Model S owners with rear facing child seats,

I've created a rear facing child seat ventilation/entertainment/usb charging solution that I'd love to share with the Tesla community. I'm hand making these in my shop and have posted them on Etsy for $550 (includes shipping to the Continental US).

(Pictures and further description in Etsy listing)

Elon, if you happen to read this, thank you for all that you do. Also, I would love to turn over my design plans to your engineers for a discounted Model X. Please email me at if you are interested (worth a shot, right?).

Link to original post with more pics-