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Successful retrofit of passenger lumbar on 2021 Model Y

I don't think they will restore functionality anytime soon. It'll give lie to,"no one is using it." They already removed data from the USB-C's in the center console. Now they are not including the mobile charger with new cars. I'm waiting to see what else gets removed.
That brings the question, does that mean controllers plugged into there rather it be wireless dongle or hardwired dont work in the newer vehicles? Surely they cant disable data on cars that already had it? Could they?
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
1,613
1,260
USA
That brings the question, does that mean controllers plugged into there rather it be wireless dongle or hardwired dont work in the newer vehicles? Surely they cant disable data on cars that already had it? Could they?
From a technical perspective Tesla very likely could disable the upstream USB port that the center console module connects up to. (I don't really know anything about the Model 3's computers, but I work on non-automotive computers and operating systems, including various aspects of USB functionality.)

I'm assuming it's a full USB topology all the way from the MCU, but even if it's something else between the center console and MCU, I'm sure they could disable USB data on the center console in some fashion if they really wanted to.

It'd be pretty nasty for them to do that, but damn, they set a bad precedent already with passenger lumbar...
 
Sucks to hear that everyone had their retrofits disabled as I was actually considering doing this, but I figured I’d chime in that you can reuse these plastic rivets. The seat bottom cover snapped off it’s retaining guide when I leaned into my car to clean the windshield and my knee hit it at a good amount of force. I was able to remove the rivet and snap the cover back into its guide so it wouldn’t loosen up over time. But to save myself a trip to the dealer to pick up a 2 cent piece of plastic I wrapped some thin sewing string around the end that was splayed open like the middle one above until it was closed back up, then fed it though the hole and pulled the string off and it expanded back out perfectly in place. I put the center pin back in and good as new!
Same. I had just found this thread, and now just got to the part where this retrofit has been disabled. Well, that sucks. I guess I will be looking for some option I can install manually, with some control I can velcro under the seat, or, will be stuck using up some of my storage space storing some lumbar pillow I can use if I am on a road trip with someone and the other person takes a turn driving.

I blew I disc in my back years ago, and while it is in good shape for my activities, I required lumbar support when sitting in a car.

I am set to take delivery in May-June, and so can figure it out in that time.
 
From a technical perspective Tesla very likely could disable the upstream USB port that the center console module connects up to. (I don't really know anything about the Model 3's computers, but I work on non-automotive computers and operating systems, including various aspects of USB functionality.)

I'm assuming it's a full USB topology all the way from the MCU, but even if it's something else between the center console and MCU, I'm sure they could disable USB data on the center console in some fashion if they really wanted to.

It'd be pretty nasty for them to do that, but damn, they set a bad precedent already with passenger lumbar...
Without knowing or seeing the schematics and what is controlled by the MCU, we can only guess but we already know that Tesla is able to pull data from almost anything in the car. It likely means they can disable anything they can obtain data from. The lumbar controls for sure and very likely the USB-Cs too. Anyone with a newer car that tries to replace the non-data USBs with an older spare part that has data, might get to enjoy it for a short while until it gets disabled.
Seeing the way things are going, it is very likely all related to a parts shortage. If more DIY-ers like us were to buy existing spares, they have to keep making them and likely with the chip shortages, they would prefer not to and focus on pumping out new cars as part of the production ramp. By disabling these features, they can discourage owners from trying to circumvent and install the parts.

Since they don't see a need to explain themselves, we get short tweets that state no one uses them, so tough luck. It is likely to happen to more features as time goes by. Likely why a Tesla OEM power frunk never happened and with the current shortage, won't for the foreseeable future. They could save money by removing the frunk and hood. Less parts to manufacture and they could save on the chipset for the latch controller. If they could get away with it, they could remove the power trunk feature too. The TPMS in the tires for tire pressure because most owners do not check it on a daily basis. Reduce the number of speakers because most owners do not use all 13 of them or have the ability to hear all the nuance notes from all the road noise. They already quietly removed one from 14 to 13. I doubt anyone noticed. Remove the brake pedal because one pedal driving is preferred by most drivers.
 
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I wonder if there could be a way to bypass the computer connection and put in the mechanical part, and wire a simple control that you can shove under the seat.
I'm sure it's doable. Wouldn't even have to be that ghetto looking. I don't see why you couldn't use your own microcontroller (even an arduino or something) to handle the button presses from the stock button.

But it's absurd we even have to consider this. The feature really should never have been removed, and they should not have disabled the ability to retrofit.
 
I'm sure it's doable. Wouldn't even have to be that ghetto looking. I don't see why you couldn't use your own microcontroller (even an arduino or something) to handle the button presses from the stock button.

But it's absurd we even have to consider this. The feature really should never have been removed, and they should not have disabled the ability to retrofit.
you may not even need to go that far if there is constant hot in the switch.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
18,287
45,327
Oregon
The feature really should never have been removed, and they should not have disabled the ability to retrofit.
I'm sure that the reason is probably because the newer vehicles don't have the hardware to support it, so the updated the software for all vehicles that didn't ship with it to not attempt to use the hardware that is no longer included.
 
I'm sure that the reason is probably because the newer vehicles don't have the hardware to support it, so the updated the software for all vehicles that didn't ship with it to not attempt to use the hardware that is no longer included.
No, people have added all the missing hardware and it worked for a while but Tesla disabled it by software so people would stop retrofitting it.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
18,287
45,327
Oregon
No, people have added all the missing hardware and it worked for a while but Tesla disabled it by software so people would stop retrofitting it.
You are missing the point. Tesla disabled it for every vehicle that didn't ship with the lumbar module installed. The likely reason is that current vehicles don't have the hardware to support the module, so the software had to be updated so that it didn't report errors because of the missing control circuitry. (The stuff other than the lumbar module and buttons, which was probably on the right vehicle control board.)

They could have left it enabled for vehicles that had support for it, if they kept track of which vehicle has which right vehicle control board. (With or without lumbar controls.)
 
You are missing the point. Tesla disabled it for every vehicle that didn't ship with the lumbar module installed. The likely reason is that current vehicles don't have the hardware to support the module, so the software had to be updated so that it didn't report errors because of the missing control circuitry. (The stuff other than the lumbar module and buttons, which was probably on the right vehicle control board.)

They could have left it enabled for vehicles that had support for it, if they kept track of which vehicle has which right vehicle control board. (With or without lumbar controls.)
I mean that's largely speculation on your part. I've seen no evidence that Tesla has removed even more hardware.

In any case, this kind of thing would not be difficult to figure out dynamically. As shown with things like the charge port ECU update the car can interrogate the module and figure out which packages to install during a software update.
 
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You are missing the point. Tesla disabled it for every vehicle that didn't ship with the lumbar module installed. The likely reason is that current vehicles don't have the hardware to support the module, so the software had to be updated so that it didn't report errors because of the missing control circuitry. (The stuff other than the lumbar module and buttons, which was probably on the right vehicle control board.)

They could have left it enabled for vehicles that had support for it, if they kept track of which vehicle has which right vehicle control board. (With or without lumbar controls.)
Left and right lumbar controls are handled by the left and right VC modules, respectively. VC LEFT and VC RIGHT have the same part numbers between LHD and RHD vehicles.

Unless Tesla criss-crosses wiring and uses VC LEFT to control a RHD drivers seat lumbar (which would be really weird), VC RIGHT should be hardware capable for lumbar control.
 
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