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Model S with Rear Seat Option Safer?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by wq2345, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. wq2345

    wq2345 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    California
    First off - my expected delivery of ordered Model S (S85, Black/Black, Leather, Tech, parking sensors, subzero package) is early April at the factory.

    Second - I wasn't sure which sub-forum to post this thread so have put it in the Main Model S one.
    Mods - feel free to move to the appropriate subforum location.

    I personally did not feel the need to order the rear seats, however, looking through the variety of threads here about the third seat option, the following has come to my attention - I may be wrong about anything I write down below, so please feel free to correct me on this:

    1) Prior to VIN 54xx, all Model S were manufactured so that the rear seats could be added. What this apparently entails is a reinforced rear bumper for added safety of the rear occupants plus the correct interior hardware so the seats could be placed along with an emergency hatch release.

    2) Since then (VIN 54xx and later), if the rear seat option is not requested at the time of ordering, this specific rear bumper reinforcement is not added to the Model S nor the other elements needed to add the seat.

    Here is my question:

    Is the added reinforcement for the rear bumper something that would actually increase the safety for the other occupants in the front/middle rows of the vehicle in a rear-end collision? That is, would it be better to order the $2,500 option of the rear seats just to have the added reinforcement? I believe I read one forum post that suggested the crumple zones of the Model S without the rear seat option actually could potentially be safer than the reinforced rear bumper for the front/middle row occupants - but it was not clear.

    Bottom Line Question: Does it make sense to add the third row option to increase safety for the rest of the cabin as well?


    It's probably too late for me to do that, but I didn't find any specific info about this looking through all the threads.
    Interested to hear what people think. Thanks.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Go Green
    Future: Model S (S85, Black/Black, Leather, Tech, parking sensors, subzero package)
    Currently: 2013 Toyota RAV4EV, 2011 Nissan Leaf, 9.95kW Solar on roof since '09
    Formerly: 2000 Honda Civic GX, 2000 Toyota Camry CNG, 2008 MiniE, 2012 BMW ActiveE
     
  2. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    I'm speculating and I'm not an expert, but I would think a larger crumple zone is better in a major collision (except for the milk and eggs in your trunk).
     
  3. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    #3 SwedishAdvocate, Feb 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Also not an expert. But the way I understand it, it’s better to have the softer crash structure without the third-row rear facing seats in the event of an rear-end collision. The injury that occupants risk if their car is rear-ended is called whiplash. I’m pretty sure a softer crash structure is better at absorbing energy, thus reducing the energy that would otherwise worsen the whiplash effect on the occupants.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Clarification: Whiplash is a neck injury. It can be very serious...

    - - - Updated - - -

    A short video about whiplash injuries:

     
  4. amitb00

    amitb00 Member

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    Location:
    Miramar, FL
    Yes, from pure safety perspective, having the crumble zone (that is not the reinforced one which is added for third row) is better. Think about it like this. Say you are holding a steel rod at your back and some one hits the steel rod. You are holding a plastic rod and someone hits the plastic rod with same force. You are more likely to get hurt more with the steel rod since it will pass on the force to you. Plastic rod will crumble little bit and some of the energy will get away in deforming it.
    Now even with the third row reinforcements, Model S is the safest car and I have added third row seat.
     
  5. wq2345

    wq2345 Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    California
    Thanks for the quick responses and opinions. It actually helps my plan in going to the factory earlier to get my Model S. No need to add the Rear Seat Option and delay things if it's actually not safer. Obviously, crash test data comparing the two cars would be ideal but I assume that hasn't been done yet (or reported).

    By the way - I'm a bit miffed by how my delivery is being planned:
    My car is ready by March 20th, but I'm out of the country from March 21st-30th. To me it makes sense to tour the factory & take delivery after I get back. Basically the factory is saying if I don't pick it up by March 31st, then production would be delayed into April and I would have to wait until mid-April to pickup. Not a terrible delay, but a bad time for me to go - my sister (single mom) is about to pop twins in April (now on strict bedrest). I feel like they're pressuring me to make the March deadline. However, knowing that I shouldn't bother adding the rear seat option makes it easier for me to figure out a way to get up there March 31st and not delay things to mid-April. Hopefully, the supercharged trip back to Southern California will be trouble-free so I can be back home in time for work on April 1st.

    I have to say - I better get this car soon. My obsession with reading this forum and the related blogs has been keeping me up at night! It's time to drive the car!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Go Green
    Future: Model S (S85, Black/Black, Leather, Tech, parking sensors, subzero package)
    Currently: 2013 Toyota RAV4EV, 2011 Nissan Leaf, 9.95kW Solar on roof since '09
    Formerly: 2000 Honda Civic GX, 2000 Toyota Camry CNG, 2008 MiniE, 2012 BMW ActiveE
     
  6. xza8

    xza8 Member

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    The car should be ready in early April... they are just pushing for March 31st to maximize their earnings report for Q1.
     
  7. wq2345

    wq2345 Member

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    Even if the initial delivery estimate was March 20th?
     
  8. MassX1317

    MassX1317 Addicted to TMC

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    I don't blame them. Why would they want to hang on to a car for 11 days when they can slide another car in that spot and make a customer very happy while getting a little bit of extra revenue in Q1.
     

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