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Are Next Gen seats causing seat belt fitting issues?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by jkliu47, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. jkliu47

    jkliu47 Member

    Apr 30, 2013
    Glendale, CA
    We just replaced a 2013 Model S 85 with a brand new 2016 Model S 85D last month, and the autopilot feature has been getting all my attention :smile:.

    However something has come up which has thrown my wife for a loop.

    The driver side seat belts have been giving her a fit. Literally. Somehow, she just cannot adjust her seat position and belt to a comfortable fit. It invariably digs into her around the neck/collarbone area. I don't have an issue with that. (I am 6'0" and she is 5'6").

    Now this never happened with our 2013 Model S. Could it be the difference is the Next Gen seats in the 2016 85D vs standard seats in the older 2013?
  2. GlmnAlyAirCar

    GlmnAlyAirCar Active Member

    Mar 19, 2015
    Southeast PA
    Seat belt on my 70D with next gen seats drives me nuts too. I put a lambs wool cover on the belt and it helps quite a bit. I sure wish the belt height was adjustable. I'm 5'9" and really close to the average male height so you would think it would be comfortable at that height.
  3. Jian Yang

    Jian Yang Member

    Sep 30, 2015
    Hong Kong
    I think the problem is solvable on the co-pilot seat by raising the seat.
    • Like x 1
  4. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    May 6, 2011
    Corvallis, OR
    What is really needed is an adjustable upper seat belt attachment point. On many/most cars this can be raised or lowered to accommodate passenger comfort and safety. Tesla needs this. My wife and I thought about upgrading to autopilot but she doesn't want to spend the money until she can at least have the seatbelt not dig into her neck. Come on Tesla!
  5. Pinarello

    Pinarello Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    Chicago Suburbs, IL
    I'm experiencing the same problem. I'm 5'5" and the seat belt it too high and cuts into my neck. My wife is 5'2" and it's even worse for her. The other 3 ICE vehicles I own (Jeep, Toyota and Ford) all have adjustable seatbelt heights. Not a whole lot you can do when they are not adjustable. :crying:
  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    San Mateo, CA
  7. MrsT

    MrsT New Member

    Nov 16, 2017
    I've had my car for over a month now, and there is no position in which the seatbelt fits me properly, it cuts at a high angle so it crosses at the intersection of my shoulder and neck, not halfway between my neck and shoulder. I did some research to see if this was merely a comfort issue or a safety issue, and I'm convinced it is a safety issue. I looked to see what the NHTSA recommends if you have a car where the seat belt cannot be positioned correctly (I was hoping there would be a clip or strap or something I could use to pull the shoulder lower) but they report it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to correct the problem. The issue is that seat belts are designed to go over the body in a very particular way to avoid causing additional injuries, and the mis-positioned shoulder belt could put the force of a collision on weaker bones that can cause spinal injuries that do not occur when the shoulder belt is positioned over the stronger bones and muscles of the middle of the shoulder. Likewise if you use an extender clip on the bottom to change the angle going to a fixed point at the top, this puts your internal organs near your waist at risk during a crash.

    I am afraid that there are hundreds of drivers out there just slapping a cushion on the seatbelt where it crosses their neck, instead of demanding that Tesla fix the problem and protect their safety. I'm pursuing a fix through my local dealer right now, but will escalate however I can until this issue is solved. The service girl asked me if I noticed that the belt didn't fit before I bought the car. Frankly, I didn't notice during the 10-minute test drive. And it never in a million years occurred to me that any manufacturer would be selling a car whose seat belts don't fit properly.

    I urge everyone who has this fit problem to contact their dealers and request a correction. I cannot believe Tesla is unaware of this issue, and if they are just waiting for someone to die in a crash they would have survived if their seatbelt had been positioned properly before announcing the retrofit and recall, I will be very disappointed. They should be fixing everyone's cars with the adjustable shoulder proactively.
    • Helpful x 1
  8. beej

    beej Member

    Aug 9, 2017
    You could also try these:
    I'm 5'5" and I use one. Just a plastic device and pretty simple, but not perfect. Not very expensive, so if you don't like it, you haven't invested a lot.
  9. cruiserlarry

    cruiserlarry Gadgetologist

    Jan 24, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    My father in law and I have 2017 S90Ds with next Generation seats....I'm 6'7", and the belts seem OK, but my FIL is only 5'6", and the front seat belt drives him crazy....

    Most newer vehicles, regardless of price, have adjustable front seat belt upper mounts, but not the Tesla S - a safety feature omission that might cause injuries if an accident occurs. Tesla did include standard adjustable upper seat belt mounts in the Tesla Model X, and I have to admit, even I found it more comfortable to ride in it with proportional seat belt heights...

    Why did Tesla avoid outfitting the car with an established safety / comfort feature like the seat belt height adjustment feature ? It does seem the B-pillar panel could be replaced and a new belt mechanism installed if they want to retrofit them into the Model S...

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