Child Safety Seats

Guidelines for Seating Children

You must restrain infants and small children using a child safety seat appropriate for the child’s age, weight, and size. In market regions where seating a child on the front passenger seat is legally permitted, you must never seat a child on the front passenger seat when the associated airbag is enabled (see Airbags), even if the child is seated in a child safety seat or a booster seat. DEATH or SERIOUS INJURY to the child can occur.

Refer to the following label fitted to the sun visors.

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Note
The image shown below is representative only and may not be identical to the label in your vehicle.
Airbag warning label located on the sun visor with 1) a child seat depicted in front seat with a red circle-backslash 2) a deployed airbag with a rear-facing child seat and child 3) a hand pointing to an open book with an "I"

The status of the passenger front airbag displays in the top corner of the touchscreen:

Icon of passenger with airbag and text: Passenger airbag off
When driving with a child seat on the front passenger seat (if permitted in your market region), always double-check the status of the passenger front airbag to confirm that it is OFF.
Icon of child in child seat with circle backslash and text: Passenger airbag ON
To protect an adult subsequently occupying the front passenger seat, check to verify that the passenger front airbag is ON.

For details on how the passenger front airbag is controlled, see Airbags.

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Warning
Do not use Easy Entry (as described in Driver Profiles) to automatically move the driver's seat to the full rearward position if a child safety seat is installed on a rear seat behind the driver's seat. With reduced clearance, the movement of the seat may impact a child's legs, cause injury, or dislodge the seat.

Choosing a Child Safety Seat

Refer to the following tables for guidelines on the type of seat belt installed and ISOFIX/i-Size installed child restraint you should use based on the weight of the child.

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Warning
It is the driver’s responsibility to comply with all current regulations in regions where Model S is driven. Some regions prohibit seating an infant or child in the front passenger seat.

Seat Belt Installed Child Restraints

Mass Group Front Passenger Rear Outboard Rear CenterC
Group 0 up to 10 kg X U U
Group 0+ up to 13 kg LA U U
Group I 9 - 18 kg UFB U, UF U, UF
Group II 15 - 25 kg UFB U, UF U, UF
Group III 22 - 36 kg UFB U, UF U, UF

U: Universal rear facing child restraint.

UF: Universal forward facing child restraint.

L: Suitable for these particular child restraints - Maxi-Cosi Cabrio/Cabriofix E4 04443517 or Takata Mini E4 04443717.

X: Seating position is not suitable for children in this mass group.

ASeat must be placed in rearmost lowest position.

BSeat must be placed in rearmost highest position.

CIf Model S is equipped with the optional executive rear seats, a rear center seating position is not available.

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Note
Attach booster seats using seat belts only (do not use ISOFIX/i-Size).

ISOFIX Installed Child Restraints

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Note
ISOFIX/i-Size are international standards for attachment points for child safety seats in passenger vehicles.
Mass Group Size Class Fixture Rear Outboard ISOFIX Position
Group 0 up to 10 kg E R1
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Note
Attach booster seats using seat belts only (do not use ISOFIX).
IL
Group 0+ up to 13 kg E R1 ILA, C
D R2 ILA, C
C R3 ILA, C
Group I 9 - 18 kg D R2 ILB
C R3 ILB
B F2 IUF, ILB, D
B1 F2X IUF, ILB, D
A F3 IUF, ILB, D

IL: Suitable for any semi-universal child restraint (any rear or forward facing restraint with support leg).

IUF: Suitable for any universal child restraint (forward facing with tether).

ARecommendation: Takata Mini E4 04443717.

BRecommendation: Takata Midi E4 04444204.

CRecommendation: Maxi-cosi Cabriofix/Easyfix E4 04443517.

DRecommendation: Maxi-cosi Pearl/Familyfix E4 043908.

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Warning
Do not use ISOFIX/i-Size anchors with child restraint system or booster seats that have an integral safety belt where the combined weight of the child plus the child restraint system exceeds 33 kg.

Seating Larger Children

If a child is too large to fit into a child restraint system, but too small to be safely secured using the vehicle's seat belts, use a booster seat appropriate for the child’s age and size. When using and installing a booster seat, carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Two Installation Methods

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Note
Always install child restraint systems by following the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the child restraint system.

Among many other variants, there are two general types of child restraint systems based on how they are secured in the seat:

Some child restraint systems can be installed using either method. Refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the child restraint system to determine which installation method to use and for detailed installation instructions.

In Model S, belt-based child restraints can be installed in any passenger seat and ISOFIX/i-Size systems can be installed in either of the rear outboard seats. Specific details about the type of child restraint system that can be used in each seat is provided next.

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Note
ISOFIX and i-Size are international standards for integrated anchors used in passenger vehicles to attach child safety seats.
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Warning
Do not use ISOFIX/i-Size anchors with child restraint system or booster seats that have an integral safety belt where the combined weight of the child plus the child restraint system exceeds 33 kg.

Installing Seat Belt Retained Child Seats

First, make sure that the child safety seat is appropriate for the weight, height, and age of the child.

Avoid dressing the child in bulky clothing and do not place any objects between the child and the restraint system.

Adjust harnesses for every child, every trip.

Always follow the detailed instructions provided by the child safety seat manufacturer. General guidelines are provided below.

  1. Place the child safety seat in Model S, and fully extend the seat belt. Route and buckle the seat belt in accordance with the child safety seat manufacturer’s instructions.
    A child safety seat buckled into a passenger seat using the vehicle's seat belt.
  2. Allow the seat belt to retract, and remove all slack in the seat belt while firmly pushing the child safety seat into the Model S seat.
  3. Attach the upper tether strap(s), as required by the manufacturer of the child restraint system (see Attaching Upper Tether Straps).

Installing ISOFIX Child Seats

Lower ISOFIX/i-Size anchors are provided in the rear outboard seats. The anchors are located between the seat's back rest and rear cushion. The exact location of each anchor is identified by a child safety seat identification button, illustrated below. The button is located on the seat back, directly above its associated anchor.

The ISOFIX icon and arrows showing the location of ISOFIX latches.

In the rear, install ISOFIX/i-Size child safety seats in the outboard seating positions only. Use only a seat belt retained seat in the center position.

Two green check marks on outboard second row seats and a red X on the center seat

To install a ISOFIX/i-Size child safety seat, carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the child restraint system. These instructions describe how to slide the child restraint system onto the seat's anchor bars until you hear it "click" into place. You may need to push the child restraint system firmly against the seat back to ensure it fits snugly.

Correct child safety seat positioning onto ISOFIX anchor bars
A child seat sliding into place with a speech bubble with an exclamation point in it, pointing to the anchor bar

Adjust until the child restraint system is fitted firmly against the seat back. Ensure the child restraint system fits snugly.

Child seat with hand pulling on seat belt

Before seating a child, ensure that the child restraint system is securely installed. Grasp the front of the child restraint system with one hand on each side, and attempt to:

  • Twist the child restraint system from side to side.
  • Pull the child restraint system away from the seat.

If the child restraint system moves away from the seat, both latches are not fully engaged onto the seat's anchor bars. You must reinstall it and try again. It is critical that both latches on the child restraint system are fully engaged.

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Warning
Do not use ISOFIX/i-Size anchors with child restraint system or booster seats that have an integral safety belt where the combined weight of the child plus the child restraint system exceeds 33 kg.

Attaching Upper Tether Straps

If an upper tether strap is provided, attach its hook to the anchor point located on the back of the rear seats.

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Note
The location of anchor points may not be readily visible but can be found by identifying a slice in the seat's material.
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Warning
Tighten upper tether straps according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the child safety seat.
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Warning
USE ONLY SEAT BELT RETAINED CHILD SAFETY SEATS IN THE CENTER SEATING POSITION.

For dual-strap tethers, position a strap on each side of the head support.

Three head supports with straps positioned on either side of the head support with an arrow pointing to the anchor hook on the back of the seats
Always position single-strap tethers to run over the top of the head support.
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Note
To prevent the single-strap tether from moving side to side, the top of the head support deforms.
Three head supports with straps running up and over head support with arrows pointing to the anchor points on the back of the seats

Testing a Child Safety Seat

Before seating a child, always make sure the child safety seat is not loose:

  1. Hold the child safety seat by the belt path and try to slide the safety seat from side to side and front to back.
  2. If the seat moves more than 2.5 cm, it is too loose. Tighten the belt or reconnect the ISOFIX/i-Size retained child safety seat.
  3. If you are unable to reduce slack, try a different seat location or try another child safety seat.

Child Safety Seat Warnings

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Warning
Never seat a child in a child safety seat or a booster seat on the front passenger seat when the airbag is activated. Doing so can cause serious injury or death.
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Warning
Never use a rearward facing child restraint on a seat protected by an active airbag. Doing so can cause serious injury or death. Refer to the warning label located on the sun visor.
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Warning
Child restraint systems are designed to be secured in vehicle seats by lap belts or the lap belt portion of a lap-shoulder belt. Children could be endangered in a crash if their child restraints are not properly secured in the vehicle.
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Warning
According to collision statistics, children are safer when properly restrained in the rear seating positions than in the front seating positions.
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Warning
Do not use a forward facing child safety seat until your child weighs over 9 kg and can sit independently. Up to the age of two, a child's spine and neck are not sufficiently developed to avoid injury in a frontal impact.
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Warning
Do not allow a baby or infant to be held on a lap. All children should be restrained in an appropriate child safety seat at all times.
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Warning
To ensure children are safely seated, follow all instructions provided in this document and by the manufacturer of the child safety seat.
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Warning
Children should ride in a rear facing child safety seat using the seat’s integrated 5-point harness for as long as possible.
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Warning
Do not use seat belt extenders on a seat belt that is being used to install a child safety seat or booster seat.
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Warning
When seating larger children, make sure the child's head is supported and the child’s seat belt is properly adjusted and fastened. The shoulder portion of the belt must be away from the face and neck, and the lap portion must not be over the stomach.
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Warning
Never attach two child safety seats to one anchor point. In a collision, one anchor point may be incapable of securing both seats.
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Warning
Child restraint anchors are designed to withstand only those loads imposed by correctly fitted child restraints. Under no circumstances are they to be used for adult seat belts, harnesses, or for attaching other items or equipment to the vehicle.
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Warning
Always check harnesses and tether straps for damage and wear.
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Warning
Never leave a child unattended, even if the child is secured in a child safety seat.
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Warning
Never use a child safety seat that has been involved in a collision. Have the seat inspected or replaced as described in the child safety seat manufacturer’s instructions.