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Very uncomfortable bottom seat cushion

I have never seen this issue in a forum. I can't believe that I am the only Model S owner (2017) that experiences pain in the butt when driving over 1 hour. This pain is extreme and not just inconvenient. The seat frame under the vegan leather and padding consists of a metal platform from the front of the seat cushion to about 1/2 way back where it becomes wire and cord to the rear of the seat. I have seen the seat minus the seat cover and padding on Tesla seats sold on eBay so I can see what is under my seat's padding. Apparently, my butt bones are directly over the end of the metal platform so that when seated part of my butt is over the wire and cords and my bones are directly over the end of the metal platform.

My Tesla SC has replaced my seat but the new seat is exactly the same with same pain. I have owned many new vehicles and dozens of other vehicles and have never had this problem. The SC says they can not put more padding under the seat cover due to the construction of the seat cover, as well as sensors.Why does Tesla have this problem (for me) when I have never had a problem with car seats in a new Mercedes, new Corvette, new PT Cruiser, etc., etc. The problem is not one of SEAT ADJUSTMENT.

My only solution seems to be putting a piece of solid foam on top of my seat cushion. This seems crazy given the cost of the car - $80,000+.
 
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David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,382
2,031
DEDHAM, MA
Seat comfort has actually been discussed in several threads, although perhaps not with the specificity of your post.

Here is one thread with some suggestions, including my own to try a Sacro-Ease after-market cushion (see my comments in post #8).

Driver's Seat extremely uncomfortable.

I recommend experimenting with after-market cushions. As someone with similar issues to yours, but in several different cars over the years, I empathize and wish you luck. Seats are a highly personal item.

(As an aside, I have seen many comments in reviews that the Model 3 seats are very comfortable, and better than those in the Model S. But one acquaintance told me this weekend that he had no problems with his Model S seat, but is having pain from his new Model 3! So experience varies.)
 
I have similar seat bottom discomfort with my 2017 MS and cloth seats. What’s interesting I has a 2015 MS loaner for a few days and found the seats very comfortable.

Going to try a cushion and see if it helps.

Many people want to upgrade to the newer style seats. Wonder if anyone wants to trade?
 
I'm also looking for options to make my Sig's Driver seat more comfortable. I find the 3's seats much better, but really want to make my S better for longer trips too. I don't think the Service Center will swap the seat unless something is ripped (they did that for my passenger seat), nor will they do the retrofits anymore. Looking at the Sacro Ease as suggest above and would love to hear other's suggestions as well!
 
I'm also looking for options to make my Sig's Driver seat more comfortable. I find the 3's seats much better, but really want to make my S better for longer trips too. I don't think the Service Center will swap the seat unless something is ripped (they did that for my passenger seat), nor will they do the retrofits anymore. Looking at the Sacro Ease as suggest above and would love to hear other's suggestions as well!

My SC did change the seat for me, and even did it at my home by the Road Rangers. Unfortunately, there's no difference. It's just the way the seat bottom is built. I had asked that the bottom be repadded (extra Padding) but they said because of the sensors in the seat they could not do that. There are only 4-5 people who have problems with almost everyone on this and the Tesla forum saying the seats were very comfortable. I guess the construction of my butt is the problem although I have never, even once, had a problem with the approximately75- 100 other vehicles I have owned in the past 50 years. I have a small pillow I will use when I have to drive more than 1 1/2 hours. Seems crazy to have to use an outside device to not be uncomfortable but there isn't any other alternative.
 

David29

Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,382
2,031
DEDHAM, MA
My SC did change the seat for me, and even did it at my home by the Road Rangers. Unfortunately, there's no difference. It's just the way the seat bottom is built. I had asked that the bottom be repadded (extra Padding) but they said because of the sensors in the seat they could not do that. There are only 4-5 people who have problems with almost everyone on this and the Tesla forum saying the seats were very comfortable. I guess the construction of my butt is the problem although I have never, even once, had a problem with the approximately75- 100 other vehicles I have owned in the past 50 years. I have a small pillow I will use when I have to drive more than 1 1/2 hours. Seems crazy to have to use an outside device to not be uncomfortable but there isn't any other alternative.

What year and model do you have? (Sorry if I missed that earlier.) Tesla has had at least 4 different seat designs in Model S, that I know about. Their first design was in the cars through at least 2015 (when my car was built) and is relatively flat, with not much bolstering. The seat design may have changed slightly over the several years these were made. For awhile, Tesla offered a warranty repair in which the cushioning was changed in some way, for older cars. The second version was the "Next generation" seats built for Tesla by Recaro and offered as an option for awhile. These seats had more bolstering and were, if I recall correctly, quite firm. For awhile, Tesla offered these through the Service Center for retrofit (for several thousand dollars, very pricey), but I do not know if they still do. The third version was based upon the Model X seats, which were built in-house by Tesla and seemed to get a good reception in the X. Currently, new Model S cars can be purchased with either cloth (textile) or pseudo-leather seats. The seats have slightly different contours, and in the performance models the seats have ventilation. So one of these is what I consider the fourth variant (I do not know which one is closest to the original Model X seat).

All these four have probably varied a bit over their production run (ventilation being added and removed is one example). Some people seemed to strongly prefer each of these, and others found each of them to be uncomfortable, so it seemed to be a highly personal issue.

So, what you might do is to find examples of these various seats and drive them to see if any of them is better for you than what you have. (Loaners, CPO cars, used cars for sale, and cars at EV events are all candidates for you to try out.) Then you could possibly buy seats like that from a wreck, or possibly as replacement parts from Tesla. Be careful if you go that route, because there are posts that indicate the seat wiring harnesses changed over the years. Good luck -- I know form experience how miserable an uncomfortable seat can be.
 
I have never seen this issue in a forum. I can't believe that I am the only Model S owner (2017) that experiences pain in the butt when driving over 1 hour. This pain is extreme and not just inconvenient. The seat frame under the vegan leather and padding consists of a metal platform from the front of the seat cushion to about 1/2 way back where it becomes wire and cord to the rear of the seat. I have seen the seat minus the seat cover and padding on Tesla seats sold on eBay so I can see what is under my seat's padding. Apparently, my butt bones are directly over the end of the metal platform so that when seated part of my butt is over the wire and cords and my bones are directly over the end of the metal platform.

My Tesla SC has replaced my seat but the new seat is exactly the same with same pain. I have owned many new vehicles and dozens of other vehicles and have never had this problem. The SC says they can not put more padding under the seat cover due to the construction of the seat cover, as well as sensors.Why does Tesla have this problem (for me) when I have never had a problem with car seats in a new Mercedes, new Corvette, new PT Cruiser, etc., etc. The problem is not one of SEAT ADJUSTMENT.

My only solution seems to be putting a piece of solid foam on top of my seat cushion. This seems crazy given the cost of the car - $80,000+.

You are not allone - I do experience a similar issue. My MS was in production 05/2018 and equipped with premium Interieur so I guess I have the latest seat type. I have the car since one week now and I felt uncomfortable after a short period from the very beginning. Before I had a loaner for a weekend but I did not notice the issue. I identify the problem for me as follows:

The platform in my case is plastic and covers a round metalic bar/tube of about one 3/4" diamater. The location of this bar is about in the middle of the seat. The foam material in the cushion has a reduced thickness in the "bar" section. You can clearly indentify the location of this traverse when you press the cushion by hand from above. What happens in my case is that my butt sinks in behind this platform where only cushion/wire cord is available. As a result my thigh muscle is pressed by this bar which causes a very uncomfortable feeling.

I wondering what is the purpose of this traverse, until I do not understand the reason why it has been designed like this I would consider this a design fault.

I had an Audi A5 before and maybe a little spoiled by the seat quality of it - no issues at all for me. Eating more burgers is not an option for me, I'm 6 feet 1" and 85kg) so probably not one of the heaviest drivers.

Using an addtiona pad solves the issue for me but hey 90kUSD and then driving with pillows....

From touching the situation under the seat I belive it should be possible to add an addtional foam in the section with wires and cords but I wonder whether this would affect electronic switches. Does any body has pictures from a disassembled seat which could be shared?

Apart from this, I love the car, the idea of electric cars in general and I support companies like Tesla going straight forward in development of this technology by buying their products, despite the built quality is still lower than comparable cars from traditional car manufacturers in Europe.

Regards from Switzerland
 
Please do notify me. Good luck.
I made some progress today by inserting ply wood sheets (21cm x 4cm x 0.3 cm) above each of the wire springs. Now I'm I sinking less than before into the seat with my butt which as a result gives less pressure on my thighs from that "platform". All electronics still work fine. I let you know the result with some pictures/sketches after driving for a couple of days.
 
I have never seen this issue in a forum. I can't believe that I am the only Model S owner (2017) that experiences pain in the butt when driving over 1 hour. This pain is extreme and not just inconvenient. The seat frame under the vegan leather and padding consists of a metal platform from the front of the seat cushion to about 1/2 way back where it becomes wire and cord to the rear of the seat. I have seen the seat minus the seat cover and padding on Tesla seats sold on eBay so I can see what is under my seat's padding. Apparently, my butt bones are directly over the end of the metal platform so that when seated part of my butt is over the wire and cords and my bones are directly over the end of the metal platform.

My Tesla SC has replaced my seat but the new seat is exactly the same with same pain. I have owned many new vehicles and dozens of other vehicles and have never had this problem. The SC says they can not put more padding under the seat cover due to the construction of the seat cover, as well as sensors.Why does Tesla have this problem (for me) when I have never had a problem with car seats in a new Mercedes, new Corvette, new PT Cruiser, etc., etc. The problem is not one of SEAT ADJUSTMENT.

My only solution seems to be putting a piece of solid foam on top of my seat cushion. This seems crazy given the cost of the car - $80,000+.
Hi and thanks for posting. I have a Model 3 and experiencing similar "unable to drive it" pain, due to the seat. I sat in a friends 2017 prius, just the stock seats, and the problems subsided immediately. I too have no idea what to do. Wondering if you've gotten any further than me. My only solution seems to be to by a seat from a differnt manufacturer and have it installed, though it will possibly not work with the car, and will definitely void my warranty on the car. Help. Let me know if you found any other avenues to address the problem.
 

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