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Model S shifting to park while driving?

I was looking at the quick reference manual and saw this:
Note that Model S senses your weight in the driver’s seat. If you lift off the seat, it may shift into

P (Park)

I take this to mean this is true even while driving hence the words "If you lift off the seat..." Has anybody experienced this? If this happens while driving, it could be dangerous. A person is likely to lift off little or all the way when taking out wallet or phone from the front pocket of the pants, grabbing something from the back seat, get a real good view when backing out (until one has learned to use the camera) and so on. Yeah these are all bad practices and should be avoided but old habits die hard.

Let's not get distracted on the old habits and what should not be done. Let's focus on how the car actually behaves. Has anybody experienced MS shifting into park when they "lifted off" their seat while driving?
 
I have had it happen while backing up and looking over my shoulder. Apparently I lifted slightly off the seat. Can't speak for what happens at speed going forward. The first time it happened I was backing into a charging spot, and couldn't figure out what happened right away. It's not a big deal though, I just use the rear view camera now and don't turn around over my shoulder.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,894
Toronto, ON
I had it happen going through a car wash. I decided I needed my cell phone from my pocket, so I unbuckled and lifted my butt to get at my pants pocket and the car went into Park! As soon as it happened I knew what I'd done. The car kinda hopped over the car wash roller, but I got it in to Neutral before the next roller came along.
 
Same as others, I experience it frequently at low speed in reverse while backing out of my garage and messing with the seat... and although I like the concept I find it kind of annoying because it seems touchy and abrupt...

I was wondering if the newer cars with the real computer controlled braking do a smoother job of stopping instead of just applying the emergency brake screws?
 
Glad to know it only happens at low speeds. I use a big phone (Lumia 1520) and sometimes lift my butt off to take it out, although I have gotten better at keeping it out in the car lately. Camera is great but it doesn't give corner view or side view. I am afraid I won't see kids running around in the parking lot when backing out so I often lift off especially at kids friendly places.
 

Discoducky

P100DL, 2021 M3, 4 CT reservations and counting
Supporting Member
Dec 25, 2011
4,735
20,693
My mountain
This only happens if you drive without your seatbelt.
It is the seat sensor that is in play here, but only shifts into park at very low speeds like others have said. At higher speeds an alert is shown as is also the case if a front passenger is unbelted.

The thread title should be changed IMO to include "...at low speeds (by design)" as this is not a bug and people might think this is an issue with the car.
 

pgiralt

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 16, 2013
1,521
157
Cary, NC
It is the seat sensor that is in play here, but only shifts into park at very low speeds like others have said. At higher speeds an alert is shown as is also the case if a front passenger is unbelted.

The thread title should be changed IMO to include "...at low speeds (by design)" as this is not a bug and people might think this is an issue with the car.

Yes, it is the seat sensor, however if you have your seatbelt on, you can still lift yourself off the seat and it won't go into park because it knows the seatbelt is on. The only combination that makes this happen is low speed + seat off chair + seatbelt off. Title should be "Call goes into park at low speed when lifting off seat with seatbelt off "
 
you are not supposed to run MODEL S through automatic car wash,... smh

I had it happen going through a car wash. I decided I needed my cell phone from my pocket, so I unbuckled and lifted my butt to get at my pants pocket and the car went into Park! As soon as it happened I knew what I'd done. The car kinda hopped over the car wash roller, but I got it in to Neutral before the next roller came along.
 
The only combination that makes this happen is low speed + seat off chair + seatbelt off.
... + foot off accelerator.

I tried this in the driveway and had trouble getting it to happen on purpose. It was because I was holding the accelerator slightly to creep along. About 1/2 second after releasing the pedal it shifted to Park. Works forward and reverse, and yes, only without the seat belt latched.
 

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,449
2,093
DEDHAM, MA
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by Vgsllc1 viewpost-right.png
you are not supposed to run MODEL S through automatic car wash,... smh
Well, the heck with that. When it's way below freezing and the car has so much road salt brine on it that I can't see out the windows, it's going through a car wash.

@mknox, I am with you! I fully expect I will need to run mine though a car wash, too. I plan to use a brushless wash (spray only), but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do!

I do, however, plan to get OptiCoat Pro treatment next week, to help protect the paint. I understand it helps make it easier to keep the car clean, too.
 
Last edited:

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,994
8,949
Seattle area, WA
I *think* it happens only when seatbelt is not on. I had it happen when backing up a couple of times. But, to the credit of this feature, I once parked (or so I thought) but it turns out I must not have pressed the park button hard enough because the car stayed in "drive", so when I got out of the car, the car started rolling (creep on) but then stopped quickly. And yes, the car was dinging at me, but I got conditioned to ignore the alarm when exiting the car since it dings all the time whenever I turn the lights on manually (when it's almost but not quite dark outside) and I go to exist the car, even though the lights do just go off and there is no problem. Originally it used to ding and show a text alarm description, but after I filed a bug with Tesla, they fixed the message (text no longer appears) but whoever fixed the software must not have had speakers connected to their development unit so they didn't realize the audible alarm still sounds. This is an old issue, quietly hoping will go away with 7.x, but if not, will file a new bug.
 

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