Location of Airbags
Airbags are located in the approximate areas shown below. Airbag warning information is printed on the sun visors.
Model 3 is equipped with an airbag and lap/shoulder belt at both front seating positions. The airbag is a supplemental restraint at those seating positions. All occupants, including the driver, should always wear their seat belts whether or not an airbag is also provided at their seating position to minimize the risk of severe injury or death in the event of a crash.
- Front airbags
- Seat-mounted side airbags
- Curtain airbags
How Airbags Work
Airbags inflate when sensors detect an impact that exceeds deployment thresholds. These thresholds are designed to predict the severity of a crash in time for the airbags to help protect the vehicle's occupants. Airbags inflate instantly with considerable force accompanied by a loud noise. The inflated bag, together with the seat belts, limits movement of occupants to reduce the risk of injury.
Front airbags are not ordinarily designed to inflate in rear collisions, rollovers, side collisions and when braking heavily or driving over bumps and potholes. Likewise, front airbags may not inflate in all frontal collisions, such as minor front collisions, underride collisions, or minor impacts with narrow objects (such as posts or poles). Significant superficial damage can occur to the vehicle without the airbags inflating and, conversely, a relatively small amount of structural damage can cause airbags to inflate. Therefore, the external appearance of the vehicle after a collision does not represent whether or not the front airbags should have inflated.
Types of Airbags
Model 3 has the following types of airbags:
- Front airbags: The front airbags are designed to reduce injuries if larger children or adults are riding in the front seats. Follow all warnings and instructions related to seating a child on the front passenger seat (if permitted in your market region). See Child Safety Seats.
- Seat-mounted side airbags: A seat-mounted side airbag in the front seats helps protect the pelvis and the thorax region of the torso. The seat-mounted side airbags on both the impacted and non-impacted side of the vehicle will inflate in the event of severe side impact or severe offset frontal impact.
- Curtain airbags: Curtain airbags help protect the head. Curtain airbags on both the impacted and non-impacted side of the vehicle will inflate only if a severe side impact occurs, or if the vehicle rolls over.
Passenger Front Airbag Status
The status of the passenger front airbag displays in the top corner of the touchscreen:
Before driving with a child seat on the front passenger seat (if legally permitted in your market region), always double-check the status of the passenger front airbag to confirm that it is OFF. When the passenger front airbag is OFF, it will not inflate when a collision occurs. This indicator also displays when the seat is unoccupied.
To protect an adult occupying the front passenger seat, ensure the passenger front airbag is ON. When the passenger front airbag is ON, it may inflate when a collision occurs.
Controlling the Passenger Front Airbag
When a child is seated in the front passenger seat (even when the child is seated in a child safety seat or booster seat), you must disable the passenger front airbag to prevent it from injuring the child if a collision occurs. Touch Passenger Front Airbag Status)., and before driving, ensure the passenger airbag status on the top of the touchscreen indicates that the airbag is off (see
After inflation, the airbags deflate to provide a gradual cushioning effect for the occupants and to ensure the driver’s forward vision is not obscured.
If airbags have inflated, or if your vehicle has been in a collision, your vehicle requires servicing before it will power up. In addition, your airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners and any associated components must be checked, and if necessary, replaced. Contact Tesla Service immediately.
In a collision, in addition to the airbags inflating:
- Emergency Call automatically contacts emergency responders, provided the cellular signal is adequate and services are available in your region (see Emergency Call).
- Doors unlock.
- Hazard warning lights turn on.
- Interior lights turn on.
- High voltage is disabled.