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Model X Middle Row Seat Design - possible reason for current design

Discussion in 'Model X' started by rogbmw, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. rogbmw

    rogbmw Member

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    I know there has been much discussion regarding the middle row seat design, and the inability to fold the middle row seats flat. After looking at the design studio, and have a car with similar designed seats, here is an opinion/observation that many may not have thought of.

    In looking at the design studio, it looks like the seat belts are part of the seat itself. This design is complex, complicated, and adds demands that non-seat incorporated seat belts do not have. I currently own another vehicle which has the seat belts incorporated into the design, and am familiar with all the demands and requirements such a design requires. To have the seat belt incorporated into the seat as opposed to the body structure (as most cars have) it requires the seat frame and back to be extremely strong. In my current car with incorporated seat belts (BMW 8 Series), the seats do articulate, but do not come close to folding flat. The seat belt frames are reinforced to take extra stress of the incorporated seat belt and are heavy. By incorporating the seat belt into the seat frame, one does not have to "get around the seatbelt" attached to the body structure to get into the row behind the seats. This looks like it would have been a big design requirement by TESLA to make it easy to get into the third row - as TESLA has made a big deal of. Elon has made ease of entry/egress from the back row a major point in his presentations.

    To get a seat with an incorporated seat belt to safely secure passengers in place and pass crash tests is probably a big reason the second row seats do not fold flat, but rather tilt forward. By making the seat frame rigid, it eliminates this issue.

    This may not be the reason the current seats do not fold flat, but it sure does make sense if you look at it in this context.

    section-interior-primary-black.jpg
     
  2. BerTX

    BerTX Member

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    Thanks for this -- yes, this idea has been discussed several times before in other threads.
     
  3. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    Yup, and others have given examples of specific cars with 2nd row seats that fold flat.
     
  4. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    Thanks .... a logical explanation. Make sense. I can live with that.
     
  5. Mark Z

    Mark Z Active Member

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    And I have suggested at several threads that the artistic black plastic seat backs should be removable to uncover a carpeted seat back that would fold down. To restore the beauty and non-fold rigidity of the seat, re-install the artistic black plastic seat back cover. It would require a new design, but it could be done.

    Built-in seat belts in foldable seats have been around for years. This 2003 concept looks very comfortable, has built-in seat belts and it folds. http://www.seriouswheels.com/2000-2003/2003-Cadillac-Escalade-ESV-Executive-Edition-Concept-Rear-Seats-1024x768.htm

    2003-Cadillac-Escalade-ESV-Executive-Edition-Rear-Seats-1024x768.jpg
     
  6. GeekGirls

    GeekGirls Kid in Candy Store

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    ... and here I thought the argument was going to be that by sharing the same seat design with the manned Dragon capsule, Tesla and Space X were sharing engineering costs. Okay, I have zero evidence that this is actually true but that's what the second row made me think of the instant I saw it.
     
  7. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    There may be something to that. Perhaps they accidentally left "Tesla" off the order form, so the supplier only made enough seats for "SpaceX", and that explains the shortage of second-row seats for the Model X.
     
  8. Saxena

    Saxena Member

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    Best explanation I've heard so far :)
     
  9. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    But SpaceX is supposed to take one million pioneers to Mars.....
     
  10. EchoDelta

    EchoDelta Member

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    That explains it! Space X is hoarding the cupholders
     
  11. X-Wing

    X-Wing Member

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    #11 X-Wing, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
    The Mercedes V-Class is The Benchmark to follow.

    The 2nd Row can Rotate, Fold Flat and be Removed

    The 3rd Row can Fold Fat and be Removed

    2015_mercedes-benz_v-class_63_1920x1080.jpg
    2015_mercedes-benz_v-class_68_1920x1080.jpg
    Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 12.49.17 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 12.48.29 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 12.47.43 PM.png

    Credit to Source Video

    Interestingly The V-Class is now available in North America as the Mercedes-Benz Metris. But the passenger version of the Metris is very watered down. The 2nd and 3rd row seats can only be removed and not fold flat.

    Cost cutting? Clearly there is a market for VIP transportation, e.g. Airstream Autobahn (VIP Transport, NOT a RV). Why not offer an OEM solution? Perhaps later down the road?

    Regulatory issue? I suspect this is the challenge that Tesla couldn't over come.

    MercedesBenz_Metris_031.jpg
    MercedesBenz_Metris_030.jpg
     
  12. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I have also pointed out that the previous two generations of the Toyota Sienna also has seats with integrated seatbelts that could fold flat and be removed, but with the latest generation they have made the seats unfoldable. While Toyota's official explanation for that change was seat comfort, it could also be regulatory or safety related. We know Tesla will not compromise on getting the absolute highest safety rating possible, so even if there was a way to make the seats fold but get a slightly lower safety rating, Tesla will not be doing that.
     
  13. X-Wing

    X-Wing Member

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    Every design decision is a compromise between function, form and economics.

    E.g. How safe is the 3rd row in the Model S? Perhaps not as safe as the front drive & passenger seats in absolute terms, but that made it into production. Will a folding Model X 2nd row be less safe than the Model S 3rd row?

    Sometimes the regulation is not really about safety but rather costly red tapes to cut through.

    E.g. 2015 Golf R storage under the center console armrest is locked out and inaccessible for the US market, because it lacks a latch. By the way the Golf R is made in Germany, most other Golf trims are made in Mexico.

    E.g. 2015 Golf R also cannot be ordered with a sunroof. Because the chasis is shared with the e-Golf and was certified in the US without a Sunroof.

    Doesn't mean that a unlatched storage space or sunroof are inherently dangerous. No, just red tapes that were not economical for VW to overcome. So, they took short cuts. Wait, didn't they also do that with their diesel engines? Shows you their corporate culture.
     
  14. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    The third row has a pillar it can latch to, although I don't know for certain if it was used. That is not an option for the 2nd row seats.
     
  15. flathillll

    flathillll Member

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    #15 flathillll, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
    Haven't you ever been in a car with seats that adjust manually forward/backward where on a hard stop the seat goes forward because the latchet was not fully seated?

    Now imagine the same thing happening with a seat that folds forward and has the seat belt integrated into the back and using a ratchet type mech.

    Yes with a good latching and/or ratcheting mechanism it will work 99.9% of the time but sometimes the ratchet doesn't fully click into place. This is not a question of if it can be done but whether the risk is acceptable. Long-term I think Tesla will have a fail-safe folding second row with something other than a ratchet or latchet, but I can assure you it is not simple. All other folding seats with seat belts integrated can fail in an accident, especially if they also recline. Tesla will have a folding second row that won't recline. It will use actuated locking pins.
     
  16. X-Wing

    X-Wing Member

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    What about the lack of crumple zone in the Model S 3rd Row when you get rear ended? No side curtain airbags either correct? Can't ignore that if we are gonna rave about the frunk and lack of ICE in a crash.

    Not to mention the lack of AC with the 3rd Row on the Model S. If Tesla really has a high threshold for safety and comfort, the 3rd jumper likely wouldn't have made it into production.

    My humble opinion is that Elon builds whatever he fancies and some people follow him like a cult. Not unlike some people did with Apple and Jobs. Remember when people swore by the 3.5" screen size on the iPhone?
     
  17. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Those factors would apply to all third row seats in existence (and not having AC in 3rd Row has nothing to do with safety), so it will not affect Tesla's scores in a crash test. All I am talking about is the seat belt requirements (which might). Third row has the option of either the seat latching onto the side pillars or even having belts mounted there (these are options used by 2nd row seats of practically all SUVs). Those options are not possible in the 2nd row of the Model X because of the Falcon wing doors.
     
  18. yesup

    yesup Member

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    There is a lot of speculation why the second row does not fold.

    I bet that after we have all convinced ourselves that we have finally found the definitive reason, Tesla would announce the availability of foldable 2nd row option and all the theories get thrown out of the window.....
     
  19. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I think everyone hopes that would be the case, but are not optimistic about it. There has to be some difficulty to it or Tesla would have just kept the same design from the concept.
     
  20. X-Wing

    X-Wing Member

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    #20 X-Wing, Oct 6, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
    I was specifically addressing this mentality that puts Tesla on a pedestal.

    Mercedes-Benz did a great job designing the V-Class 2nd row seats (see pictures above), meanwhile Tesla screwed up. (EDIT:Let Me Rephrase This) Let's not believe that Tesla is infallible or when they do make a questionable choice simply attributing it to safety or aesthetics.

    A SUV/Crossover that cannot carry a bookcase is actually kinda pathetic.

    Originally Wrote: "No need to drink the Tesla branded Kood-Aid and attributing it to safety or design aesthetics."
     

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