Questions about the rear facing seats

Questions about the rear facing seats

I love the makeup of the 5+2 design of the Model S. Right now I'm shopping for a vehicle that can hold 3 adults and 2 car seats, and the only things that work well are minivans, the R-class and really wide 5 passenger vehicles like extended cab pickup trucks. Even most 7-8 passenger SUV's don't work -- with 2 car seats in the middle row, the back seats become inaccessible.

1) Do the rear jump seats have LATCH attachment points for child seats? Is it safe to put a 2 year old in a car seat in the rear seat?

2) In Ontario, the law says that any kid that is 8 years old or younger and less than 80 pounds has to be in a car seat or a booster seat. It seems to me that the jump seat, being specifically designed for children, should meet this requirement without the booster.

3) How safe are they really in the back seat? Right now my toddler in a rear facing car seat in the middle of the backseat of my 328 is far more likely to survive any sort of collision than I am. Would the jump seats be comparable?


Oliver in Seattle | March 20, 2011

I can't speak for the Model S, but we have a Q7 with the third row option. Since the center seatback in the middle row folds down independently, there is pretty good access to the third row (minimal crawling) even with two car seats installed. Also, there is a reasonable amount of space between the two car middle row car seats for an adult under 190 pounds.

Not sure how wide the seating area is in back of the model S, but the overall width of the car is the same as the Q7.... So there might be space for an adult between two car seats. I think some people have reservations about putting kids in the third row, but it seems to me (and I am no automobile safety expert) that it would be quite unlikely to be rear ended as hard as you might be hit in a head on collision (but not beyond the realm of possibility). Our plan is to use the third row option only rarely, but it sure will be nice on occasion.


Oliver 2926

Brian H | March 22, 2011

Facing back is safer in a collision. Some places are now requiring that child seats be strapped in that way. (Forces are absorbed by the whole back of the seat, not the straps.)

MikAo | March 22, 2011

I cannot see two jump seats as a real solution for my kids. Safety is one issue in rear-end collisions but also in other damages. Why? Have a look for the design video, part 2. First of all, kids have to sit very upright in order the second row to be leaning backwards. (There must be empty space between them) Still kids foreheads will be very close to the class panel or the trunk lid. I cannot think that they can have decent view out from the car, unless it is nearly directly upwards. With nice acceleration foreheads will hit the class/frame. I think that safety regulations will be a real issue in the US and first casualty with head fracture will make a billion dollar law suit against TM.

Volker.Berlin | March 22, 2011

Assuming that Elon will not hesitate to put his own kids in the "trunk seats" (as he seems to imply in some interviews), this tells much more about the safety and comfort of these seats than any pictures or videos of the prototype or skinless body.

Tom A | March 22, 2011

I'd say item (1) would be a reasonable assumption.

Item (2) - who knows - you'd have to contact Tesla and/or the appropriate Canadian authorities.

Item (3) - It has to pass crash tests. So, it would depend on the gov't requirements for the crash tests: would child-sized dummies be required to be placed in those seats during tests? I would hope so. If not, then it's a gamble because there'd be no unbiased, 3rd-party test results to rely upon. By the same token, Tesla needs a strong adoption of their cars - not only as a car, but as an EV, particularly. So, I sincerely doubt that they would provide a feature that had any realistic probability of disaster.

Besides, we won't really know anything until the Betas are built.

LHE | March 29, 2011

There's been very little research with regards to read end collisions. Though it get some attention now in Europe. And yes, the damage done can be similar to a front-end collision. Or worse, as most cars are just not designed to deal with a rear end collisions adequatly.

At this moment in time, if a company depends on or refers to government guidelines for this; well then they would not be building a safe car.

Hence I'm wondering what Tesla has done to mitigate this.

Roblab | March 30, 2011

Probably the same that Volvo and MB and others that have had rear facing jump seats in the back.

Brian H | March 30, 2011

On the rear-safety thread someone started, I suggested

Kids (old enough to speak) would be a safety feature: screams of "Goose it!" should provide enough warning to get out of the way.


Nicu | March 31, 2011

Not related to the child seats, but to rear end crashes.

We have radars and auto braking in the event of an obstacle approaching too fast. They are software wizards at Tesla (I hope, at least, otherwise they should hire some !).

Put a second radar at the back and if something is approaching too fast and there is nothing in front of the car, accelerate furiously ! they have the perfect power-train for this : quick response, powerful and huge torque !

One should also be sure you're not entering a crossing this way ;)

Mark Petersen | March 31, 2011


this will give a new meaning to tail gating
just drive really close and the car in front, and it will accelerate, so you can go faster

msiano17 | March 31, 2011

@ Nicu

I definitely see the potential with your idea but also the possible disasters that would ensue with it also, like what Mark pointed out.

Just a well built design with proper crumple zones and restraints for the rear as well as the front.

Nicu | April 1, 2011

@Mark Petersen P-110

I compared it to the auto breaking to avoid comments as yours. Just a second of thought would indicate that it is only triggered when the other vehicle cannot break in time to avoid a collision. That is a threshold high enough. Your car will not stop when you are at very low speed but very close to the other car in front of you !

It would of course take a lot of time to do it right ! And first to evaluate if what you gain is significantly better than what you lose.

But it should be obvious to me too that any new idea will hit a wall of critics, independently of its real value, it just happens all the time :p

Mark Petersen | April 2, 2011


well irony, apparently dont come easy on this forum

yes of cause such a feature must not react to tailgating
but how sensitive must it be, completely avoid the accident or just trying to minimize it
what happens if the acceleration avoid the rear end accident, just to cause you to lose controle, as you was not prepared for the powerful acceleration

Brian H | April 3, 2011

I know! External air bags, popping up in front of the oncoming smasher. Supplemented with water tubes that jet up into the air on impact to dissipate energy!
Ain't engineering fun?

MikAo | April 4, 2011

Nicu - I see someone stopped into red lights while being approached behind fast. I can see deadly impact from the side while speeding thru trafficlanes and also deadly lawsuit to TM. Bad idea.

Kallisman | April 4, 2011

Probably better to just give an audible and visual warning to the driver telling what's about to happen.

Nicu | April 5, 2011

@ Mika

If you read my first post, that was the first concern I had. i did not say it's a "finished" product, just something that could be explored as it needs no hardware modifications.

A car with explosive fuel in the back where it could leak / catch fire / explode in case of a rear crash seems a very bad idea, still somehow it has been worked out and we all carry the bomb with us every day !

dashrb | April 9, 2011

This is probably the only time you'll be able to say "ICE vehicles are the bomb!" on this forum and not be thrown out! :-)

vinniechadha | September 4, 2015

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sauce | September 4, 2015

@vinniechadha: not cool.


vinniechadha | September 4, 2015

@Sauce just trying to help and providing my code at the same time.

ivan | November 19, 2015

Could someone answer:

1) Do the rear jump seats have LATCH/ISOFIX attachment points for child seats?

EESROCK | November 19, 2015

@ivan, the rear seats have a 5 point harness and are meant for children, so we don't use a child seat on top of the rear seats. You can do a search on the web for images of the Tesla rear seats to see how the shoulder belts and latch are positioned.

SamO | November 19, 2015


I have the seats and there is no LATCH/ISOFIX.

The 2nd row seats have LATCH.

Rchop0 | November 20, 2015

"1) Do the rear jump seats have LATCH/ISOFIX attachment points for child seats?"

No, nor should they. They are a COMPLETE 5-point harness system meant for kids weighing 35-85 lbs. Car seats go in the second row