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Rear Seats Not Detecting Child in Car Seat

I’ve got a new 5-seat Model Y and absolutely loving it! One issue I did notice - the 2 rear seats are not detecting my 2 children in their car seats. They weigh 30 pounds and the car seat weighs 20 pounds - so 50 total.

I’ve read complaints about the occupant detectors being too sensitive, but none saying they weren’t sensitive enough. To make sure they weren’t defective I pulled out the car seats and sat in all 3 seats in the back, and each time the seat belt notification popped up.

The issue is the rear vents don’t turn on when Climate is set to Auto.

Is this normal for a 50 pound weight? Should I have a Mobile Tech out to look at it?
 
Following.
I did not realize that the rear vents were supposed to come on automatically if it detected rear seat occupants, I've just been turning it on when the kid is riding in the car seat in the back.

Quick update - I did some troubleshooting, and it looks like the occupancy sensor is in the middle of the seat, where it dips down. The car seats put most of their weight on the front of the seat (where your thighs go), so I'm guessing that is why its not detecting the seats or the kids.

Looks like you are having the same issue! Only issue with manually turning on back, then everything turns to Manual mode. Not ideal.

Is this what anyone else is experiencing?
 
I think I found a solution:
  • Take car seats out
  • Have adults sit in back 2 seats with no seat belts on
  • Click the Unbuckled button on the screen, and it goes to car-seat mode
  • Turn off car, install car seats
Now, even though it doesn't detect passengers (or the car seats/children), the seats are still in "car-seat mode" - so the back vents stay on!

I turned the car on and off, and it's stayed that way. Here's hoping it's a permanent fix.


shingles - hopefully this helps you not have to manually turn on the rear vents every time!
 
I think I found a solution:
  • Take car seats out
  • Have adults sit in back 2 seats with no seat belts on
  • Click the Unbuckled button on the screen, and it goes to car-seat mode
  • Turn off car, install car seats
Now, even though it doesn't detect passengers (or the car seats/children), the seats are still in "car-seat mode" - so the back vents stay on!

I turned the car on and off, and it's stayed that way. Here's hoping it's a permanent fix.


shingles - hopefully this helps you not have to manually turn on the rear vents every time!
I am going to test that out later! Thanks!!
 
Bad news - tried the car this morning, and rear vents were turned OFF. I checked and "car-seat mode" was turned ON.

So I guess it still needs to detect those weights to enable the vents.

Any recommendations? I could try blankets under the car seats, but I don't want to make them unsafe. I wish Tesla had a software fix to ALWAYS enable them while keeping on AUTO.
 

VikH

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 23, 2015
1,221
1,358
Midwest, USA
I’ve got a new 5-seat Model Y and absolutely loving it! One issue I did notice - the 2 rear seats are not detecting my 2 children in their car seats. They weigh 30 pounds and the car seat weighs 20 pounds - so 50 total.

I’ve read complaints about the occupant detectors being too sensitive, but none saying they weren’t sensitive enough. To make sure they weren’t defective I pulled out the car seats and sat in all 3 seats in the back, and each time the seat belt notification popped up.

The issue is the rear vents don’t turn on when Climate is set to Auto.

Is this normal for a 50 pound weight? Should I have a Mobile Tech out to look at it?
Why not install the car seats using the seat belts instead of the LATCH anchors? Also note that LATCH anchors. Most seat manufacturers require rear facing @ 65lbs and front @ 69 lbs (includes car seat weight), but some seat manufacturers may have lower limits.
 
Why not install the car seats using the seat belts instead of the LATCH anchors? Also note that LATCH anchors. Most seat manufacturers require rear facing @ 65lbs and front @ 69 lbs (includes car seat weight), but some seat manufacturers may have lower limits.
I tried plugging in the seatbelts, but that doesn’t trigger the rear vents to turn on. You think it would, but they’re only triggered by weight in the middle of the seat.
 
Update: I repositioned the car seats and now it will cycle from detecting it to non detecting it, depending on how my child is sitting (total weight or car seat + child is 50 pounds). Definitely annoying and is the reverse experience than what I've seen in the forums - other users reporting it's too sensitive.

Think I should have a Mobile Tech look at it, or is that just the design?
 
Update: I repositioned the car seats and now it will cycle from detecting it to non detecting it, depending on how my child is sitting (total weight or car seat + child is 50 pounds). Definitely annoying and is the reverse experience than what I've seen in the forums - other users reporting it's too sensitive.

Think I should have a Mobile Tech look at it, or is that just the design?
Do you have one of those seat protector pads? So mine is not working no matter what I try. We just manually turn it on each time we are in the car with the kid. I suppose having the mobile tech look at it is the only way to get this back into the Tesla system. Is there someone we can email to ask what is the official functionality?
 
Do you have one of those seat protector pads? So mine is not working no matter what I try. We just manually turn it on each time we are in the car with the kid. I suppose having the mobile tech look at it is the only way to get this back into the Tesla system. Is there someone we can email to ask what is the official functionality?

I do have a seat protector! And yes, the manual says you shouldn't use one - so guessing that's going to be their official response. But no way I'm damaging the seats without using one.

I just wish they would enable it in software - the ability to leave the rear vents on without resetting every time.
 
I second attempting a seatbelt install if you're doing latch. I know you said you plugged the belt in, but did you install with seatbelt rather than latch? I think it may make a difference depending on the type of seat you have. The seatbelt install on a convertible style or even base style seat should put extra force down on the seat where the latch just has it sitting there. I bet that extra force included with the weight of 15-20lb kid would be enough.
 
So I thought about you when dropping my kid off this morning. She’s 6 and just into a booster which universally require latch to be used (don’t get me started on the missing middle seat latch issues on cars). I realized our last 2 cars we used seatbelt method on Britax click tight advocates and both got turned in with pretty mangled seats. We always used the protective covers too. You mentioned being worried about the seat so might want to keep that in mind, wrenching it down may have a permanent affect.

I agree it would be nice to just have it as an option. There’s so many little things like this that would probably be trivial to implement for them and most car companies have already done. Incase a tesla engineer reads this add that and the ability to set dome lights on door open and not just park.
 
@teknoprep - a little update on this. So the rear seat is in "car seat mode", which we know does no solve the problem. On a whim, I ordered these clips from amazon.

I had the wife test it today. Seat is still in car seat mode, clip is in the buckle for the position the car seat is in. Wife reports the rear fan came on when she got in the car to pick up the little one this afternoon. Might be worth a try for $7 bucks.
 
@teknoprep - a little update on this. So the rear seat is in "car seat mode", which we know does no solve the problem. On a whim, I ordered these clips from amazon.

I had the wife test it today. Seat is still in car seat mode, clip is in the buckle for the position the car seat is in. Wife reports the rear fan came on when she got in the car to pick up the little one this afternoon. Might be worth a try for $7 bucks.
Thanks for the update. But curious what they do?

I pulled the seat belts and connected them behind the car seat. So they were connected, but the rear blower still didn’t work most of the time. Only if I manually turned it on.

It should work via seat belt and not weight sensor - but I don’t think they have it programmed that way. But I will definitely test!
 
Thanks for the update. But curious what they do?

I pulled the seat belts and connected them behind the car seat. So they were connected, but the rear blower still didn’t work most of the time. Only if I manually turned it on.

It should work via seat belt and not weight sensor - but I don’t think they have it programmed that way. But I will definitely test!
Sorry, I missed that part where you did that already with the belts. But yes, just simulating seat being buckled in.
 
@teknoprep - a little update on this. So the rear seat is in "car seat mode", which we know does no solve the problem. On a whim, I ordered these clips from amazon.

I had the wife test it today. Seat is still in car seat mode, clip is in the buckle for the position the car seat is in. Wife reports the rear fan came on when she got in the car to pick up the little one this afternoon. Might be worth a try for $7 bucks.
The reviews for that product are pure gold. Have a read...
 
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Mrbrock

Active Member
Mar 26, 2020
1,969
1,662
Walla Walla, WA
I recently posted about this in the interior section. I have the same setup in my 3 as in the wife's Y and the 3 is just fine detecting the seat base (with seat protector) but it goes unnoticed in the Y and we have the same problem with the rear seat climate not activating on auto. I pulled the seat bottom to make sure everything was plugged in properly. We are having a tech come out tomorrow to test and repair.

I personally wonder if this has something to do with the rear seat fold down triggering the seatbelt warning issue. Maybe software disabled? Seems unsafe so I doubt but you never know.
 
Just a follow up: wife confirmed it turned on automatically today.

So the setup we have is a Chicco Fit4 4-1, on top of seat protector, behind the driver seat, installed rear facing, installed via lower anchors, and seat is in "car seat mode". With the clip I linked above, we are 2 for 2 in the air coming on automatically for the rear. Fingers crossed.
 
One last update. My wife mentioned that when the kid was not in the seat, ie after she drops him off at day care and gets back in the car by herself, the air does not come on. But when the little guy is in the seats, it does come on. So perhaps there's some sort of a weight sensor on there too.
 

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