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Wait, so are rear-facing seats retrofittable or not?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by NewCow, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. NewCow

    NewCow Member

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    I've been trying to research this and keep finding conflicting and/or outdated info. Are you able to retrofit rear-facing seats to an S or not?

    I saw the threads from 2013 when it officially became a "factory install only" option, which it remains on the Tesla site. I also found this thread (So you *can* add rear-facing seats after delivery for VINs after P05428) about being able to retrofit them. But I also have a friend who received his S after this thread and Tesla told him it was factory only. What's the most recent updated info on this? I plan on calling my service center in the morning...
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    On the early Model S, something like VIN 6000 or under, you could retrofit them. Newer ones don't have the reinforcing so you can't directly add them. I recall there was a time when the reinforcing could be added (for a price), but I don't know if that's an option anymore.
     
  3. blablub

    blablub Member

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    I asked for a late 2015 model and it is possible to retrofit the rearfacing seats.
    The costs are little higher than "factory install".
     
  4. m2140

    m2140 Member

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    I have a 2015 with the rear facing seats. It is possible to take the seat out and install it on any model s. But the retrofit reinforcement is not possible.

    The whole rear end is reinforced so that's it's not a crumple zone to protect rear facing passengers.

    In my opinion I would not risk installing the rear seat without reinforcing the back of the car. There rear passengers would be part of the crumple zone and have no protection. It could be a very gory scene if you got into an accident.
     
  5. NewCow

    NewCow Member

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    Quick update, I just spoke with my local SC and at first they said it wasn't possible, but I kept pushing and mentioning that I've heard of people having it done, so he kept digging in their database. He then found a document that said it is possible, but must be escalated and approved on a case-by-case basis. They do all the reinforcement work, but might have to ship it back to the factory in CA to add the structural reinforcements.
     
  6. ken830

    ken830 Model S (Res#P12,447)

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    That sounds expensive... Did they give you pricing?

    I no longer have my first Model S, but that was VIN 005467 and was one of the first cars that "can not" be retrofitted. We weren't given a chance to modify our order... We picked-up the car on Feb 22, 2013 and the e-mail giving owners a chance to change their orders to add the seats was sent out on Feb 28...
     
  7. NewCow

    NewCow Member

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    He vaguely mentioned like $3400 or so, but wasn't really confident or able to confirm if that even included labor. Very unclear.
     
  8. davidc18

    davidc18 Member

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    This is very similar to what I was told earlier this year. We decided to skip the procedure.
     
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    As far as Tesla retrofits go, that's pretty inexpensive IMO.
     
  10. NewCow

    NewCow Member

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    Some more updates. I spoke with a CPO specialist in NJ and they said they do not do the retrofit for rear-facing seats, but the original SC that I talked to in Denver called me back and confirmed that they would do it and he got the approval for it. Final quote was $3500.

    So it seems that the inconsistent and conflicting info on whether or not this can be done is still inconsistent and conflicting, done on a case-by-case basis and varies by SC.
     
  11. Marcboy

    Marcboy Member

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    I am asking Seattle. For that price a little more than option price, i think I would want to do it.

    It will help me keep the car longer, I hope
     
  12. Marcboy

    Marcboy Member

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    Seattle came back. They got my request approved. They do everything in the SC, including reinforcements. Estimated cost is $3400 + taxes. Takes 3 weeks to get the pats.

    I think I am going to go for it, after another trip with the 3 kids "He is touching me !!!! Keep your feet on your side !!!!. etc...), I feel that I am ready.
     
  13. DougH

    DougH Active Member

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    Not sure $3400 is worth it. Adding the seats will only add $1500 or so to the value of the car. It might be better to sell your car and get one with the seats.

    And of course they approved it, the profit margin is most likely huge.
     
  14. AMPUP

    AMPUP Member

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    Sounds like a good deal to me and reasonably priced. I have them and they are well worth it.
     
  15. DougH

    DougH Active Member

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    Maybe ask Tesla if you can borrow a car that has RFS for a weekend and see if your kids like them before you spend the money.
     
  16. Mike K

    Mike K Member

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    For anyone looking to do this in the future, tell your service advisor to check service bulletin SB-13-13-001. This is the bulletin for the third row retrofit. The bulletin does mention that it's approved on a case by case basis and that the vice president of worldwide operations would need to approve it.

    The bulletin lists required parts, step by step install and what cars are/ aren't compatible. It also cites SB-13-10-003 which is the rear bumper reinforcement bulletin.

    Two things of note here:

    1. The bumper reinforcement bulletin mentions the crossbar as being an additional safety measure. In fact, the document specifically mentions that the car meets all federal safety requirements as it sits and that this retrofit is for improved safety. It also mentions the crossbar retrofit as being a non-safety related bulletin. This would indicate to me that the crossbar probably isn't absolutely necessary though for the sake of continuity, Tesla won't retrofit cars that don't have it and obviously, if they saw fit to retrofit it they must have seen an area of improvement. The install looks rather involved and involves cutting, bending, welding, grinding and I believe body adhesive. I can see why they don't want to do it.

    2. The third row seat retrofit bulletin specifically mentions VINs that are NOT able to be retrofitted. I don't mean a range of VINs either. They list specific VINs in the document that can not be retrofitted, about 20 of them.

    Lastly, any conclusions I'm drawing here are my opinion. Do not make decisions based on my opinion. Do your own research. Ask for SA to check out the two bulletins I listed if they say it can't be done. The last thing I want is to get slapped with a lawsuit because someone installed third row seats based on my speculation. :)
     
  17. Marcboy

    Marcboy Member

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    Actually the factory option is $3000. So while I have no doubt they make a nice markup, I think it is acceptable to see a low 10% increase in price for retrofitting.
    At the factory, the car probably goes to a different set of robots to add the reinforcement and seats. Probably adding less than an hour to the whole process.

    Retrofitting means ordering pieces, picking up and shipping pieces, receiving them, taking care of my car, a loaner, installing reinforcement, seat, etc... It seems that the factory option is a much better deal for them than retrofitting.

    I might be wrong, I am not an expert in that field, but it is automation VS manual work.


    Now at the end my car will not be worth $3400, I know that.


    I liked the idea of trying it out with a loaner first, I'll ask.
     
  18. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    keep in mind that if you add the rear hitch - it should provide more than enough enhanced protection to the bumper. I have installed three hitches and definitely provide additional protection to the back end of the Model S. Check out the install video and you see why.
     
  19. DougH

    DougH Active Member

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    Talk to Danny @ Seattle service, I am sure he can make it work for you :biggrin:
     
  20. AMPUP

    AMPUP Member

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    #20 AMPUP, Jan 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016

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