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model y front seat headrest modification

Stevedore

Member
Aug 8, 2021
28
21
NJ
Notwithstanding your comprehensive study that included a total of 2 other people, the reason it's a huge problem for Tesla is the broad number of lost sales from their botched headrest design. Those potential customers are going to Tesla competitors Toyota, Ford, and Nissan. Patrons of BMW and Porsche dismiss Tesla outright because of their well-publicized build quality, downscale interiors & drab exteriors.

What nonsense. I have no complaints with the headrests, build quality, "downscale" interiors, or anything else for that matter with my MYP. Tesla is selling everything they can produce as fast as they can.
 

EVer Hopeful

Member
Jul 7, 2021
844
668
Texas
So a guy walks into a Tesla Gallery and says "Here's fifty five grand, cash. I want to buy a Model Y"

The Tesla person says "Certainly sir, do you want the Long Range or the Performance?"

"The Long Range is good for me thanks"

"Do you know about the Supercharging Network?"

"Yes and I love it. The Long Range and the Supercharging Network means I can go anywhere"

"What about the technology? like the Autopilot"

"Oh I love that too. I'd get the FSD, but I might just wait a while for that"

"What about the acceleration?"

"Oh yes, that too. It's fantastic"

"...and the cavernous rear cargo area?"

"Indeed, I'll be able to carry loads of stuff"

"Do you ever go camping? Do you have a dog? When you park it somewhere do you get worried that someone will mess with it?"

"You mean Camping Mode, Dog Mode and Sentry Mode right? Trust me I've read about all those and they're exactly what I'm looking for"

"Ok then, I'll get some paperwork together, by the way have you tried the headrest in the front seat?"

"Not yet, but let me give it a go"

[settles comfortable into front seat then lays back of head against the headrest]

"Wait! The deal's off. This headrest is a botched design and you've lost this sale. I was a potential customer but will be going to Toyota, Ford, and Nissan. I should have listened to this bloke I met in the pub last night who drives a BMW (or is it a Porsche?) and dismissed Tesla outright because of their well-publicized build quality and downscale interiors. And while I'm at it, you have very drab exteriors"

[Man storms out, never to be seen again]
 

GeezerSquid

Still a Geezer & Still A Squid
Jun 17, 2020
268
327
Baton Rouge, LA
Yes, the headrests are a huge problem for Tesla. I went into a Tesla dealer, test drove a Model X (Model Y &3 have the same exact headrests), and told the Tesla salesperson I would not order the car because of the very annoying position of the headrests. She stated that 50% of the people that test drove the Model X told her they would not purchase it because of the forward position of the headrest. I then researched this and discovered the recommended safe distance between the back of your head and the headrest is 2 inches. Tesla positions its headrest to actually touch your head and does not provide those recommended 2 inches that all other manufacturers provide. In addition, she further stated that a majority of her buyers who purchased the vehicle called after owning it a few days and complained about the headrest.
I'm going to do something I've never done on any forum and I've been participating in internet forums since forever!! I'm calling BS!! You joined this forum yesterday!! And you're putting words into the mouth of a Sale Rep for Tesla!! There's no way in hell that conversation, if there really was one, followed the script you posted here.

Hope you are lucky enough to find a car you like as much as I like my Model Y!!
 
The head restraints are this way to score well on the iihs headrest test. The dynamic score in particular measures whiplash. Other manufacturers like BMW employ pyrotechnics in their active head restraints to release a spring to pop them forward to catch your head in a rear end collision. They are not scored for comfort, and it's conceivable that an additional pillow would create enough space to reduce this protection.

No judgement here- we routinely make choices that are less safe for enjoyment or well being, just thought it was worth noting.

Link to IIHS test of Model 3 which has the same headrest. (Model Y not tested yet)

 
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DanDi58

Active Member
Jun 22, 2020
1,615
1,280
Dayton NJ
The head restraints are this way to score well on the iihs headrest test. The dynamic score in particular measures whiplash. Other manufacturers like BMW employ pyrotechnics in their active head restraints to release a spring to pop them forward to catch your head in a rear end collision. They are not scored for comfort, and it's conceivable that an additional pillow would create enough space to reduce this protection.

No judgement here- we routinely make choices that are less safe for enjoyment or well being, just thought it was worth noting.

Link to IIHS test of Model 3 which has the same headrest. (Model Y not tested yet)

I think I'd rather have a fixed headrest rather than a pyrotechnic going off inches from my head....!
 

rjpjnk

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
1,024
636
NJ
Yes. The HV battery flows so much current that a conventional switch to break the circuit in the event of an emergency would have to be huge and would not fit in the car. The alternative was to use a pyro switch, which is basically an explosive link. It is of course single use only and has to be replaced after an accident that blows it.
 

DanDi58

Active Member
Jun 22, 2020
1,615
1,280
Dayton NJ
Can the later 2021 model Y headrests be removed in the same way as in the model 3 video? I see several people who seem to think they can not. I may need to do a similar mod for my wife to find a comfortable seating position.
No, because the headrests are upholstered with the seat backs - they are not upholstered separately like the M3. That said, I think I've seen videos where people open up the seatback to access the head rest and perhaps make some modifications that way. But it would be much more involved versus simply popping them off the seatback.
 
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OB1Kenobi

Member
Jun 6, 2021
50
111
Colorado
No, because the headrests are upholstered with the seat backs - they are not upholstered separately like the M3. That said, I think I've seen videos where people open up the seatback to access the head rest and perhaps make some modifications that way. But it would be much more involved versus simply popping them off the seatback.
Interesting, I cannot seem to find or have seen any videos showing a different way of getting into the seat on the model Y, specifically.
 

JandC

New Member
Oct 25, 2021
1
0
MInnesota
I'm perplexed as to why people think they're not an issue- I'm 6' and my wife 5-3 and we BOTH thought the abscence of adjustment was a deal-breaker. After looking into it, the story is that Elon thought he could design a better seat than the people that do it professionally, so the design/manufacturing was brought in-house. If the 2022 generation gets adjustable ones, we'll buy one....it's THAT MUCH OF A PAIN!
 

Cameron 1971

New Member
Nov 23, 2021
1
0
Victoria
I did a test drive in the Y yesterday and discovered the front seat head rests are not adjustable. The angle is so sharp forward that if you have your seat reasonably upright, your head is crunched down. I complained to the salesman but there's nothing he could do, of course.

I could tilt the seat back, but then I'll have to reach too far for the steering wheel or crunch up my legs. On long drives, perhaps adjusting the seat every 30 minutes or so could help.

But, I'd like a better solution. Has anyone looked into having a body shop or other trade actually bend the steel bar attaching the head rest ? Just 5-10 degrees would probably be sufficient. Any other suggestions ?

This is a real show stopper. If it's painful to be in the car for more than 30 minutes, I probably shouldn't buy it.
I also agree. As far as I can tell ALL tesla head rest are fixed. At the moment I cannot buy a Tesla for my wife because of this reason. She is 5 foot 9. Slight. But cannot get comfortable. Why don’t they make the headrests adjustable?
ps: I’m 6 foot 2 (same height as Elon I think. It was comfortable for me fixed!
pps: I wonder how much market they are alienating
 

Pianewman

2021 MYLR VIN 88,XXX, Rd/Wh, 12/20 delivery
Oct 28, 2020
1,719
1,249
Fort Worth
I also agree. As far as I can tell ALL tesla head rest are fixed. At the moment I cannot buy a Tesla for my wife because of this reason. She is 5 foot 9. Slight. But cannot get comfortable. Why don’t they make the headrests adjustable?
ps: I’m 6 foot 2 (same height as Elon I think. It was comfortable for me fixed!
pps: I wonder how much market they are alienating
Uhh...based on their sales? Not enough that Tesla will be doing a major redesign of the seats.

Gee, imagine the backlog of orders if the headrests were adjustable to fit everyone??? Mind-boggling.
 

lordbarf

Member
Jan 30, 2021
5
2
OC
I did my first long distance trip this week for the holidays and the head rest became super uncomfortable over time due to the headrest being angled forward. I was unable to find a seating position that didn't result in neck strain. For reference I'm about 6'-3", the back of my skull isn't flat but more rounded.

I flipped the head rest around today after reading this thread. I'll have to do another long trip to see how it helps, but for now my head is a couple inches off the headrest which feels like an improvement. The head rest is too far back at this point to rest my head on the headrest, but it feels more natural with my head not touching it. I may try bending the bars if this doesn't work.

I don't think the fact they have a backlog of orders is reason to disregard this issue.... how many of these new owners will discover the same issue over time? Not sure it's feasible for everyone to test drive for multiple hours to discover whether this is an issue for them.
 

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