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Rear Facing Seats Wanted

Hi all,

I am in Australia and there are simply none around here. I have a 2015 P85D, which I love more than any car I have ever owned, including BMW M3's and M5's, and I take care of my grandchildren regularly. My daughter has informed me she is having her 3rd child in November and trying to fit 3 car seats across the back seat is a nightmare.

The oldest is 4 and would be a perfect candidate for a rear facing seat.

I am looking for a full install package with everything that I may need, I am told there is an internal boot release when the option is factory installed, and of course I will need the re-enforced bumper addition.

I know it's a big ask to package and ship to Australia but I am happy to pay whatever shipping costs are required.

I hope there is someone out there who may be able to assist.
 

d-bone

Member
Nov 16, 2017
68
27
Milwaukee, WI
Hi all,

I am in Australia and there are simply none around here. I have a 2015 P85D, which I love more than any car I have ever owned, including BMW M3's and M5's, and I take care of my grandchildren regularly. My daughter has informed me she is having her 3rd child in November and trying to fit 3 car seats across the back seat is a nightmare.

The oldest is 4 and would be a perfect candidate for a rear facing seat.

I am looking for a full install package with everything that I may need, I am told there is an internal boot release when the option is factory installed, and of course I will need the re-enforced bumper addition.

I know it's a big ask to package and ship to Australia but I am happy to pay whatever shipping costs are required.

I hope there is someone out there who may be able to assist.

You can fit 3 car seats across pretty easily if the middle one is rear facing. I currently have 2 narrow car seats (all the Diono's are pretty narrow for instance) on the outsides and the middle is the baby carrier with the snap-in base.

To get the rear facing seats and the bumper support, check out the parts for sale section here, especially if you find someone parting out a front collision car that had the rear seats, and also eBay. I got the bumper support piece via eBay, and the rear facing seats from someone here on the parts for sale forum. The internal boor release isn't a necessary item if you have trouble sourcing it, you can just use the MCU to open and close the trunk.
 
My biggest issue in installing 3 seats is the really deep indents on the rear bench seat which tend to force the seats inwards on an slight angle, pushing the outer seats onto the centre seat.

Another other option is to have some inserts made up that fill the bench seat indents to make the entire bench seat fairly flat.

I have also considered making a panel to sit over the entire seat, with a coating or covering that would prevent slippage, so that the 3 seats will mount flat and therefore remain correctly vertical.

Installing the rear facing seats means that I can continue to use 2 car seats on the rear bench seat and the slight angle will not cause a problem.
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,434
1,181
USA
Fyi. The “internal boot release” is just a switch that activates the normal trunk opening mechanism. All the cars I’ve touched were prewired for it, you just need the switch. If the car has power liftgate, the trunk will fully open. If it doesn’t, the trunk will unlatch and can be pushed open.

Good luck! Hope you get lucky. They are hard to find. It’s a big ask!
 

Don85D

Member
Mar 25, 2016
331
290
Markham, Ontario
I considered the rear facing seat option for our Model S but discovered later that they need to be welded onto the frame during manufacturing and once cut out they cannot be reused. It is a safety issue and one that I would not want for my grandkids while in my care.

Luckily kids grow up quickly and booster seats were all that they needed. I have heard that AC cooing in the rear is not effective so another reason to skip the third row seating option.

It's not like the old days when most big station wagons had a rear facing seat that was shaded by the roof. Even so they were for short distances only.

You may need a minivan for this short term requirement even if it burns gasoline. Safety would be my concern.
 

Vinade

Member
Nov 3, 2017
43
15
Montreal
Don85D, for your information, they are NOT welded onto the frame, they are bolted to the frame with 2 bolts. Very easy to take them out, and you can use them for another car. You just need to add the bumper reenforcment, of course (also bolted).

Almost all Model S (few exceptions) have all the holes needed for the bolts and the trim precut to receive the seats.
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,434
1,181
USA
I considered the rear facing seat option for our Model S but discovered later that they need to be welded onto the frame during manufacturing and once cut out they cannot be reused. It is a safety issue and one that I would not want for my grandkids while in my care.

Luckily kids grow up quickly and booster seats were all that they needed. I have heard that AC cooing in the rear is not effective so another reason to skip the third row seating option.

It's not like the old days when most big station wagons had a rear facing seat that was shaded by the roof. Even so they were for short distances only.

You may need a minivan for this short term requirement even if it burns gasoline. Safety would be my concern.

Will 2nd that this is completely untrue. They are not welded in place. They don't have to be cut out... Just two bolts for the seats, and a few more bolts for the brackets, etc.
 

spectrum

Member
Jun 17, 2018
479
372
Atlanta
I wanted to chime in since no one else said this and I'm sure you care dearly about the children you will be placing in those two rear facing seats.

Model S cars ordered with rear facing seats have an additional second reinforced rear subframe for safety reasons. The seats aren't meant to be used in a Model S that were not ordered with the seats. God forbid, if you ever get rear ended, do you really want to place your 4 year old in a crumple zone, strictly for the sake of convenience?

I'm not questioning your choice, just making you aware of this!
 

d-bone

Member
Nov 16, 2017
68
27
Milwaukee, WI
I wanted to chime in since no one else said this and I'm sure you care dearly about the children you will be placing in those two rear facing seats.

Model S cars ordered with rear facing seats have an additional second reinforced rear subframe for safety reasons. The seats aren't meant to be used in a Model S that were not ordered with the seats. God forbid, if you ever get rear ended, do you really want to place your 4 year old in a crumple zone, strictly for the sake of convenience?

I'm not questioning your choice, just making you aware of this!

Yes, I mentioned this in my post above. The rear bumper support can be sourced and installed as well. It's bolted underneath the steel bumper, and all cars have the nuts and bolts already in place there for the support.
 

Don85D

Member
Mar 25, 2016
331
290
Markham, Ontario
OK, my experience was during the ordering process in 2014. The rear facing seats had to be cut out and could not be reused at that time. Perhaps it was a temporary restriction during early design.

I knew that our grandkids would outgrow the rear facing seats quickly and the money wasted if the seats could not be removed and reinstalled when selling the vehicle.

I defer to those that know the current status.

BTW, our daughter has a 7 passenger SUV for taking the kids, their sports equipment and friends to events. I simply park the Model S at her house and use her SUV when it's my opportunity to drive. I'm happy not have have rear facing seats for our Model S.
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,434
1,181
USA
OK, my experience was during the ordering process in 2014. The rear facing seats had to be cut out and could not be reused at that time.

This was never true. You might have been told this, but it remains incorrect. Tesla posted all the instructions on seat retrofitting on the NHTSA website. There is nothing about welding them in or cutting them out.

The actual mounting points are steel tabs that bolt to a t-shaped nut that fits in an aluminum body channel. Welding steel to aluminum isn’t possible, even ignoring that the tabs also anchor the center point of the five point harness, and the heat would destroy the harness

The only place welding comes up is a tiny handful of cars (around 30, the service bulletin lists them by VIN) were not prepped to have the rear crossmember installed, and the mounting studs would need to be welded in place. Most simply consider these cars not retrofittable.
 

Don85D

Member
Mar 25, 2016
331
290
Markham, Ontario
I'm not making this up even though it may be incorrect today. I skipped the rear facing seat option because the seats could not be removed and re-installed. Perhaps the on-line configurator was out of date or in the process of update when I signed in to order.

Carry on with the search for rear facing seats for the OP. When his grandkids grow bigger he can always resell the rear facing seats.
 

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