Rear child seats henceforth only factory installed

Rear child seats henceforth only factory installed

Just received the following email from Tesla at 9:38 HST (11:38 PST) indicating change in policy regarding installation of the rear child seats. Those with them as a due bill item will undoubtedly still get theirs installed at their service centers but new orders will henceforth only have the option for a factory install. IMO this seems like a reasonable cost control policy now that the seats have become available.

Dear David,

You are receiving this email because your Tesla Model S order does not include Rear Facing 3rd Row Child Seats. We are making a change regarding installation of this option and want you to be aware of this change as soon as possible.

On all cars produced from this point forward, Rear Facing Child Seats will be available only as a "factory installed" option. They will no longer be available as an aftermarket option through our Service Department.

These specially designed child seats are the ideal way to add more passenger space to your Model S while doing something that will make your kids smile. Children love having their own special place to enjoy the ride in Model S. These seats are equipped with five-point harness seat belts for safety and fold completely flat when not in use. It's the best of both worlds, room for two more passengers and fold away storage when not in use.

We are communicating this change now in case you would like to add this option to your order. If you would like to add Rear Facing Child Seats to your order, please let us know by this Tuesday, March 5th at or at 888.771.2505. We will confirm your change and update your order right away.

There is no need to respond to this update if you'd like to proceed forward without the addition of Rear Facing Child Seats. Your Model S order will continue to production as originally planned.

Thank you for your attention to this update. We look forward to getting you behind the wheel of your Model S soon!

Tesla Motors

mauterin | 28. februar 2013

@ddruz, what's your timeline? I received the same email. I finalized on 2/15, now waiting for the delivery button. 60 with air.

ddruz | 28. februar 2013

@mauterin - Off topic answer: Tesla kindly let me upgrade from standard to air suspension on 2/6 finalized. Had previously initially finalized with standard suspension back in the dark ages. Mine is a 60 also.

ir | 28. februar 2013

A little more notice for existing owners would have been nice :/

We were always planing to get them installed when our little one got old enough to fit.

jat | 28. februar 2013

@ir - it says "On all cars produced from this point forward", so it doesn't appear to apply to cars that have already been produced.

Brian H | 28. februar 2013

Doesn't affect you. "Cars produced from this point forward". Existing owners remain under the old policy.

ir | 28. februar 2013

Thanks. I started seeing red before carefully parsing the wording. I guess the email was written for customers with yet to be finished cars.

Anybody seen a general notice where they would clarify this decision?

DouglasR | 28. februar 2013

Clearly, those who have the seats listed in their "due bill" can have them installed aftermarket. It is NOT clear from this email that ANY car produced before today can get them installed aftermarket. Did TM ever promise that the rear child seats would be available after delivery for cars that were not originally configured with them? I don't recall such a promise, whereas I did hear from several sources that the second charger would be available after delivery (and it is). I think this question still requires some clarification.

Mike C | 28. februar 2013

Would also be interested to know if they are an aftermarket option if we already have our cars. No kids yet, but I expect to still be driving this car when I do!

ir | 28. februar 2013

Just called Tesla, after some research, Jason called back with clarifications. This affects ALL delivered Model S cars. Nobody that hasn't already ordered the seats can get them later. :/

Chuck Lusin | 28. februar 2013

I think that they will not continue to have that option prebuilt into the car, unless you really are ordering them. This is a good cost savings for Tesla.

olanmills | 28. februar 2013

Hmm why don't they provide them as an aftermarket option, with an extra charge for aftermarket install like the second charger or paint armor?

DouglasR | 28. februar 2013

I read somewhere that cars configured for the rear-facing seats need special supports or other equipment, even before the seats are installed. So it may not be a simple matter to install them aftermarket. I am not aware of anyone who has had them installed after delivery without having ordered them during the configuration stage.

ir | 28. februar 2013

My car is in for service, so I called to see if they could add the seats for me. The staff was initially optimistic and started updating my work order. A few minutes later, the service manager said that my VIN doesn't support the rear facing child seats! He couldn't explain any further.

My car was delivered last weekend. So it sounds like they started cutting corners long before that e-mail. I never received such an e-mail, so I'm a little pissed that I had to learn about it second hand through this forum.

DouglasR | 01. mars 2013

@ir - "So it sounds like they started cutting corners long before that e-mail"

But was there ever a time that all cars supported these seats? I'm not sure that anything has changed. I always assumed that the 3rd row seats could be added later, but I never heard anyone from TM say it was possible.

sftesla | 01. mars 2013

I have had a number of people from Tesla tell me that it was possible to get the seats installed later and that has always been my plan. My car was delivered in December, so maybe it has whatever is needed to accommodate a service center install. I seem to recall another thread in which people were talking about something hidden under the fabric on the back of the back seats.

ir | 01. mars 2013

@DouglasR - Perhaps it was like this always. But the e-mail does reference a "change regarding installation options" if the change wasn't from allowing after-market to factory only, I don't know what it could be. The most annoying part is that they are just quietly pulling the plug without any explanation. If it is harder to install after-market, then go ahead and charge more like adding the 2nd charger. There must be a bigger reason for this abrubt change.

I'm probably not the only person who was planning to add the seats when our kids could fit in them. If anybody can get a clear answer from Tesla, please let us know.

bsimoes | 02. mars 2013

I never got this email either. I have no need of the seats, but it is interesting.

sshrivas | 02. mars 2013

I just hope this does not hold up (till 3/5 or a few days later) the magical "delivery" button for folks like myself who are expecting it anytime now since I was not going to opt for one.

jchangyy | 02. mars 2013

I mentioned in other threads. VINs greater than 542x CANNOT add rear seats after delivery.

DouglasR | 02. mars 2013


Are you saying that VINs lower than 5420 CAN add rear seats after delivery?

Lou in SoCal | 02. mars 2013

I was told by Ownership Experience that no cars already delivered or in production can add the seats. I hope they do us right and allow cars before a certain vin order the seats.

Lou in SoCal | 17. mars 2013

Anyone have an update on this?

haansberger | 17. mars 2013

I visited the Auto Show in Geneva this week and noticed that the car with the child seats had a connection point on the back side of the seats ( like a plate with 2 holes and a bar that holds the hooks latching the seats against the back row ) and 2 connection points at the foot well where some straps run through. The car without the seats did not have these points. I guess no connection points means no seats to install !?!
For a picture of the connection point, take a look at .

skulleyb | 17. mars 2013

I have the connection points vin 6403

TSLAPWR | 17. mars 2013

I have connection points too VIN 3372, didn't order child seats!

ken830 | 19. mars 2013

Not angry. But this is a huge disappointment. We would have ordered the rear-facing jump seats if we were never told that it could be added later. I think the only thing worse than poor communication is mis-communication. If it were possible, I would have even happily paid extra upfront for it and have it installed a couple of years down the line.

My vin is 5467. Picked up from factory 2/22/2013.

From an Ownership Experience Advocate via e-mail:
Yes, your VIN cannot be retrofitted with rear facing child seats.

Tesla is unique in that we have the ability to make changes to final designs very rapidly. That’s the advantage of being a smaller more nimble custom vehicle manufacturer. Unfortunately, sometimes this has the side effect of being too rapid of a process to update 100% of customers. An email was sent to all customers who’s vehicle was still at the point changes could be made, however your VIN was already past that point in assembly. As a result, the new build style was applied to your Model S before communications could be sent out.

I apologize about this situation, I know it’s not the best way to start out.

Best regards,

DouglasR | 19. mars 2013

My VIN is 1527, and the back of the rear seat has a slit, under which seems to be a metallic fitting or connection point of some sort. Does this mean Tesla will let me add the rear facing seats? Have they agreed to do it for anyone, and if so, what do they charge?

My grandsons are too big for the seats, so I won't have it done, but I'm mostly just curious.

Brian H | 20. mars 2013

I think the VIN cutoff is in the region of 4-5000. Your car could be upgraded to a 7-seater.

dano | 20. mars 2013

I might be able to clear up some of the confusion by relating my saga. I was told at the Tesla store after my test drive, but before my finalization, that I could indeed install the seats after getting the car. I have a 1 year old who would not be able to use them for a few years, so I though I'd wait till later and save $1500. My VIN was 7036.

When this thread popped up, I never got the email explaing the change in policy. Since my car had yet to arrive, and I will eventuall need the seats, I called up my Delivery Specialist and told him that I needed to add the seats. He said fine, no problem.

The next day he called me and said that they couldn't add the seats to my car because it was too far into production. He explained that the cars destined to have the third row seating option get extra bracing installed back there for safety reasons, and that the bracing can not be added after the car is built.

He went on to say that the reason I didn't get the email was that my car was a member of a small group of cars which were already in production at the time Tesla made this announcement, so there was nothing that could be done to add the seats anyway. Hence, no email.

And then, two days later, my car was ready for delivery.

I was quite upset, so I explained to my Delivery Specialist that I needed those seats, one way or the other, and that they needed to make it happen somehow. So the situation escalated to the next level of Tesla managment, and get this: Tesla is building me a whole new car, just for the seating addition!

Seems rather inefficient to me, but it was the only option, according to Tesla. They said my new car would be expedited, and to expect it in another ~month and a half, so I'm still waiting. The car that was going to be mine will get "orphaned", he said, meaning it will be released to the press fleet, or be assigned to a store as a test vehicle. So that's my story. I'm glad Tesla offered me the solution, but bummed that I have to wait that excruciating month or two before my dream car becomes a reality.

Brian H | 20. mars 2013

Considering the number of orphans TM needs for demos, etc., seems like an equitable solution.

ken830 | 20. mars 2013

I don't know what to do. Not having the option to add the seats later is really bumming me out... We need the seats. I wish Tesla reps never told us repeatedly that we can add them later...

Lou in SoCal | 20. mars 2013

I sent another email to Ownership Experience and I actually got a call back. Was told that there is no vin cutoff. Any cars already in production and delivered cannot add the seats. It must be added during configuration. Definitely very disappointing.

Mike C | 20. mars 2013

@dano, that is interesting.

I wonder if the jump seat cars have been getting this extra bracing this whole time (in which case there's no excuse for not having communicated this to us) - or whether, starting from the supposed VIN cutoff on, the non-jump seat cars are now getting LESS bracing?

Although from an NHTSA ratings standpoint, I wouldn't think they could change the car structurally. But something clearly has changed here, I wonder if this is part of the attempt to get to 25% margins.