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Tesla Ditches Lumbar Support From Model 3 & Y Passenger Seat, Musk Explains Why

Tesla has made a bit of a strange move by removing the adjustable lumbar support in the front passenger seat of recent Model 3/Y builds.

The change was first noticed by Reddit user u/Chrissugar21. The new Model Y owner (VIN 199XXX) posted a picture of his car’s front passenger seat showing it no longer has the physical button. Instead, it has been replaced by a simple plastic cover where it once was.

Tesla Lumbar Support

Tesla Ditches Lumbar Support From Model 3 & Y Passenger Seat, Musk Explains Why

Several other new Model Y on the social media forum confirmed their cars were also missing the feature.

Tesla’s website confirms the change as well. In the ‘Interior & Convenience’ section, it now says the front seats are simply “power-adjustable.” Previously this section said they were “12-way power-adjustable”, as seen in the screenshots below.

Elon Musk Comments on the Issue

Elon Musk explained that the seemingly tough decisions Tesla has made in recent months were to handle some of the supply constraints it has encountered. 

Musk said that removed the moving lumbar support feature only for the front passenger seat. Tesla took the decision because logs showed that customers barely used the feature. “Not worth cost/mass for everyone when almost never used,” Musk replied. 

Price Hikes for Model 3 and Model Y

The Tesla CEO also briefly gave a reason for the price increases in recent months. “Prices increasing due to major supply chain price pressure industry-wide. Raw materials especially,” he said. During the Q1 earnings call, Musk openly talked about supply chain challenges Tesla faced that made Model S Plaid production difficult. 

So Q1 was — had some of the most difficult supply chain challenges that we’ve ever experienced in the life of Tesla and same difficulties with supply chain, with parts — over the whole range of parts. Obviously, people have heard about the chip shortage.

Many people have focused on the chip shortage, but global supply chain issues for raw materials have affected many industries as well. According to The Wall Street Journal, the costs of raw materials, energy, and transportation have increased, forcing company executives to decide how to offset the increases. 

But Has It Affected Just Tesla?

According to a Drive Tesla reader in Los Angeles, BMW is also no longer including passenger seat lumbar support in recently built vehicles. The automaker is reportedly offering a discount of up to $250 for the missing feature. Hopefully, Tesla does the same or offers to retrofit vehicles with the controls when the parts do become available.

Our Opinion

Musk may say that this is because customers are not using the feature sufficiently. But the BMW incident tells us this is a parts shortage. Clearly, the pandemic situation has hit all industries. Let’s hope that Tesla offers some credit, or retrofits the parts later on when they become available.

Mihir Tasgaonkar
Mihir Tasgaonkar
A mechanical engineer who loves reading and writing about new technologies in the automobile industry.


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