Tesla adds larger rear seats and emergency door handle to new Model Y batches
Tesla has apparently added a new emergency door release handle to Model Y batches made in September, as well as enlarged the rear cushions of the version made in its Gigafactory in Shanghai. The seat cushions saw a slight width increase with over an inch, while many fresh owners are finding the hidden space of the new mechanical door handle, which can be used if the electrical system and/or its battery, die out.
Tesla keeps fragmenting its vehicles by factories, with the Giga Shanghai batches usually getting the new stuff first. Back in August, the made-in-China Model Y got one new airbag meant for extra protection of the front occupants in the event of a side collision by enveloping the driver together with the airbag on the left side of their seat, the curtain airbag, and the front airbag located in the wheel.
The Model Y that recently earned the Euro NCAP crash test safety award with "a truly outstanding, record-breaking rating" was equipped with precisely such a far-side airbag, for example, while the US-made vehicles didn't have it but had extra knee airbags instead. Another fragmentation example are BYD's safer blade batteries that have reportedly been shipped for installation in Model Y batches made in Tesla's new Gigafactory near Berlin. Moreover, several new multilayer colors would be exclusive to the Model Ys from Giga Berlin as well.
It is not yet clear if all new Tesla Model Y units will be getting the larger rear seat cushions or these will be exclusive to China models for some reason, but if history is any indication, eventually every Model Y will start shipping with the new emergency door release handle and plushier cushions, regardless of its factory origin.
Chris Zheng (Twitter)