Wearing Seat Belts
Using seat belts and child safety seats is the most effective way to protect occupants if a collision occurs. Therefore, wearing a seat belt is required by law in most jurisdictions.
Both the driver and passenger seats are equipped with three-point inertia reel seat belts. Inertia reel belts are automatically tensioned to allow occupants to move comfortably during normal driving conditions. To securely hold child safety seats, all passenger seating positions are equipped with an automatic locking retractor (ALR) feature that, by fully extracting the seat belt (beyond the length needed for a typical adult occupant), locks the belt into place until the seat belt is unbuckled.
The seat belt reel automatically locks to prevent movement of occupants if Model 3 experiences a force associated with hard acceleration, braking, cornering, or an impact in a collision.
Seat Belt Reminders
You can temporarily mute a seat belt reminder associated with a rear seating position. This is useful in situations when you are carrying an object in a rear seat that triggers the seat belt reminder alert. To mute the reminder, touch the associated seat on the seat belt reminder card that displays on the touchscreen when a seat belt reminder alert is active. When a reminder is muted, the seat belt reminder icon is replaced by a seat icon. Touch the seat again to unmute the reminder. The reminder is disabled for the current drive only.
To Fasten a Belt
- Ensure correct positioning of the seat (see Correct Driving Position).
- Draw the belt out smoothly, ensuring the belt lays flat across the pelvis, chest and mid-point of your collar bone, between the neck and shoulder.
- Insert the latch plate into the buckle and press together until you hear a click indicating it is locked in place.
- Pull the belt to check that it is securely fastened.
- Pull the diagonal part of the belt toward the reel to remove excess slack.
To Adjust the Shoulder Anchor Height
Model 3 is equipped with an adjustable shoulder anchor for each front seat to ensure that the seat belt is positioned correctly. The seat belt should lay flat across the mid-point of your collar bone while in the correct driving position (see Correct Driving Position. Adjust the height of the shoulder anchor if the seat belt is not positioned correctly:
- Press and hold the button on the shoulder anchor to release the locking mechanism.
- While holding the button, move the shoulder anchor up or down as necessary so that the seat belt is positioned correctly.
- Release the button on the shoulder anchor so that it locks into position.
- Without pressing the button, pull on the seat belt webbing and attempt to move the shoulder anchor downwards to check that it is locked into position.
To Release a Belt
Hold the belt near the buckle to prevent the belt from retracting too quickly, then press the button on the buckle. The belt retracts automatically. Ensure there is no obstruction that prevents the belt from fully retracting. The belt should not hang loose. If a seat belt does not fully retract, contact Tesla.
Wearing Seat Belts When Pregnant
Do not put the lap or shoulder sections of the seat belt over the abdominal area. Wear the lap section of the belt as low as possible across the hips, not the waist. Position the shoulder portion of the belt between the breasts and to the side of the abdomen. Consult your doctor for specific guidance.
Seat Belt Pre-tensioners
The front seat belts are equipped with pre‑tensioners that work in conjunction with the airbags in a severe frontal collision. The pre‑tensioners automatically retract both the seat belt anchor and the seat belt webbing, reducing slack in both the lap and diagonal portions of the belts, resulting in reduced forward movement of the occupant.
The rear outboard seats are equipped with shoulder pre-tensioners to retract the seat belt webbing to reduce forward movement of the occupant.
If the pre-tensioners and airbags did not activate in an impact, this does not mean they malfunctioned. It usually means that the strength or type of force needed to activate them was not present.
Testing Seat Belts
To confirm that seat belts are operating correctly, perform these three simple checks on each seat belt.
- With the seat belt fastened, give the webbing nearest the buckle a quick pull. The buckle should remain securely locked.
- With the belt unfastened, unreel the webbing to its limit. Check that unreeling is free from snags, and visually check the webbing for wear. Allow the webbing to retract, checking that retraction is smooth and complete.
- With the webbing half unreeled, hold the tongue plate and pull forward quickly. The mechanism should lock automatically and prevent further unreeling.
If a seat belt fails any of these tests, contact Tesla immediately.
For information about cleaning seat belts, see Seat Belts.