Airbags

Location of Airbags

Airbags are located in the approximate areas shown below. Airbag warning information is printed on the sun visors.

Model X 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.

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Note
On RHD (Right Hand Drive) vehicles, the locations of the passenger and driver airbags are reversed.
vehicle with callouts for each airbag
  1. Front airbags
  2. Curtain airbags
  3. Seat-mounted side airbags
  4. Door-mounted 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.

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Warning
Before modifying Model X to accommodate a person with disabilities in a way that may affect the airbag system, use the mobile app to schedule service.

Types of Airbags

Model X 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).
  • Seat-mounted airbags: A seat-mounted side airbag in the front seats helps protect the pelvis and the thorax region of the torso. The seat-mounted airbag on the inside portion of the driver's seat helps protect the head and torso. Seat-mounted airbags on both the impacted and non-impacted side of the vehicle inflate in the event of a severe side impact or a severe offset frontal impact.
  • Curtain airbags: A curtain airbag on each side of Model X in the front roof-rail help protect the head. Curtain airbags on both the impacted and non-impacted side of the vehicle will inflate if a severe side impact occurs, a severe offset frontal impact occurs, or if the vehicle rolls over.
  • Door-mounted airbags: There is an airbag on each side of Model X mounted in the trim on the falcon wing doors. These are the same as the curtain airbags in that they help protect the head and typically inflate in the event of a severe side impact, a severe offset frontal impact, or if the vehicle rolls over. The door-mounted airbags on both the impacted and non-impacted side of the vehicle will inflate.

Airbag Status Indicator

The status of the passenger front airbag displays on the touchscreen:

Airbag and passenger symbols with text: Passenger airbag off
The Passenger Airbag Off indicator displays on the touchscreen when the passenger front airbag is OFF. When the passenger front airbag is OFF, it does not inflate when a collision occurs. This indicator also displays when the seat is unoccupied. 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.
A child safety seat icon with a circle-backslash symbol and text: Passenger airbag on
To protect an adult occupying the front passenger seat, ensure the passenger front airbag is ON. When the passenger airbag is ON, it may inflate when a collision occurs.
A red circle depicting an airbag and an icon of a passenger with a seat belt on

The airbag indicator on the instrument cluster remains lit if the airbag system is malfunctioning. The only time this indicator should illuminate is briefly when Model X first powers up, in which case it turns off within a few seconds. If it remains illuminated, use the mobile app to schedule a service appointment immediately and do not drive.

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Warning
If seating a child in the front passenger seat is legally permitted in your market region, it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that the passenger front airbag is OFF. Never seat a child in the front passenger seat with an active airbag, even if using a child restraint system or booster seat. DEATH or SERIOUS INJURY to the child can occur.

Front Passenger Occupant Detection

Model X has an occupancy classification system (OCS) that controls the status of the passenger front airbag.

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Note
The occupancy classification system (OCS) automatically detects when inflating the passenger front airbag would be unnecessary or potentially harmful.
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Warning
Seating an infant in a rear-facing child restraint system on a seat equipped with an operational airbag can cause serious injury or death.
Object Classification OCS Passenger Airbag Status* Indicator status Notes
Empty OFF PASSENGER AIRBAG OFF
Object OFF or ON PASSENGER AIRBAG OFF or PASSENGER AIRBAG ON Depends on material/contents
Rear facing child restraint system designed for children up to a year old OFF PASSENGER AIRBAG OFF 9 kg or less
Forward facing child restraint system OFF PASSENGER AIRBAG OFF 16 kg or less
Child in a booster seat OFF or ON PASSENGER AIRBAG OFF or PASSENGER AIRBAG ON 9-45 kg*
Large child OFF or ON PASSENGER AIRBAG OFF or PASSENGER AIRBAG ON
5th percentile female or larger (by weight) ON PASSENGER AIRBAG ON Over approximately 45 kg
*If the passenger airbag status indicator does not match the situation, do not use the seat. The passenger must ride in a different seat. Use the mobile app to schedule a service appointment.
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Note
It takes approximately six seconds after you power on Model X for the occupant classification system (OCS) to report accurate status of the front passenger airbag. As a result, when you first power on Model X, even in situations when it should be OFF because the seat is occupied by a weight of 9 kg or less, it will take the touchscreen approximately six seconds to display the status, PASS AIRBAG OFF. If it fails to do so, use the mobile app to schedule a service appointment and do not seat a child in the front passenger seating position.

To make sure the sensing system can correctly detect occupancy status, eliminate the following:

  • Objects lodged under the seat.
  • Heavy objects sitting on the seat (briefcase, large purse).
  • Objects wedged between the seat back and seat cushion.
  • Cargo interfering with the seat.
  • Aftermarket items attached to, or sitting on or between, the seat and occupant including but not limited to covers, mats, blankets, etc.

These conditions can interfere with the occupancy sensor. If you have eliminated the above possibilities, and the airbag status is still incorrect, ask passengers to ride in the rear seats and use the mobile app to schedule a service appointment to have the airbag system checked.

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Note
The front passenger occupancy sensor affects the operation of the passenger front airbags only. The side airbags are not affected.
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Warning
If the front passenger airbag is not turning on or off as expected based on the weight thresholds previously described, use the mobile app to schedule a service appointment immediately.
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Warning
Never seat a child in the front passenger seat. DEATH or SERIOUS INJURY to the child can occur..
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Warning
To ensure accuracy of the occupant detection system, do not make any modifications to the front passenger seat.
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Warning
Do not use seat covers on Model X. Doing so could restrict deployment of the seat-mounted side airbags if a collision occurs. It can also reduce the accuracy of the occupant detection system and the noise-canceling microphones, if equipped.

Ensuring Accurate Occupant Detection

To help ensure an occupant in the front passenger seat can be accurately classified, the passenger must:

  • Wear a seat belt.
  • Sit upright on the center of the seat cushion, with shoulders resting against the seat back and legs extended comfortably in front with feet on the floor. See Examples of Correct and Incorrect Seating Positions.See Examples of Correct and Incorrect Seating Positions..
  • Remain positioned on the seat cushion and not lift their weight off the seat (for example, by pushing their feet against the floor or pressing on the center console or armrest to lift up).
  • Never wear thick, wet, or bulky clothing (such as ski wear or padded clothing).

In addition to the items listed above, the following situations can interfere with the accuracy of the occupant classification system:

  • Placing a radio transmitter (for example, a hunting radio or walkie-talkie) on the front passenger seat.
  • Placing an AC/DC inverter, or a device that is being powered by the inverter (for example, a cell phone, tablet, or computer) on the front passenger seat cushion.
  • Placing liquid (such as a bottled drink) or food containers on a car seat when a child restraint system is present.
  • Incorrectly placing a child restraint system so that the entire lower section is not positioned against the seat cushion.
  • Objects lodged under the seat or wedged between the seat back and cushion.
  • Heavy objects sitting on the seat (briefcase, large purse).
  • Cargo interfering with the seat.
  • Aftermarket items attached to or placed between the seat and the occupant, such as covers, mats, blankets, etc.

These conditions can interfere with the occupancy sensor. If you have eliminated the above possibilities, and the airbag status is still incorrect, instruct passengers to ride in the rear seats and use the mobile app to schedule a service appointment to have the airbag system checked.

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Note
The front passenger occupancy sensor affects the operation of the passenger front airbags only. The side airbags are not affected.
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Warning
Failure to follow the above instructions can adversely affect the Occupant Classification System (OCS) which can cause serious injury or death.
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Warning
If the front passenger airbag is not turning on or off as expected, do not seat a passenger in the front passenger seat. Use the mobile app to schedule a service appointment.
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Warning
To ensure accuracy of the occupant detection system, do not make any modifications to the front passenger seat.
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Warning
Do not use seat covers on Model X. Doing so could restrict deployment of the seat-mounted side airbags if a collision occurs. It can also reduce the accuracy of the occupant classification system.

Examples of Correct and Incorrect Seating Positions

Correct seating position:

Person sitting in car seat correctly: shoulder and back against the seat, feet on the floor, seat belt on

Incorrect seating position - the passenger's feet must be on the floor:

Person sitting in car seat incorrectly with feet on the dash

Incorrect seating position - the passenger must not slide forward on the seat cushion:

Person sitting in car seat incorrectly with hips at the front of the seat cushion

Incorrect seating position - the passenger must not recline the backrest to a laying down position when the vehicle is moving:

Person sitting in a car seat incorrectly with the backrest in a laying down position

Examples of Correct and Incorrect Seating Positions

Correct seating position:

Person sitting in car seat correctly: shoulder and back against the seat, feet on the floor, seat belt on

Incorrect seating position - the passenger's feet must be on the floor:

Person sitting in car seat incorrectly with feet on the dash

Incorrect seating position - the passenger must not slide forward on the seat cushion:

Person sitting in car seat incorrectly with hips at the front of the seat cushion

Incorrect seating position - the passenger must not recline the backrest to a laying down position when the vehicle is moving:

Person sitting in a car seat incorrectly with the backrest in a laying down position

Inflation Effects

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Warning
When airbags inflate, a fine powder is released. This powder can irritate the skin and should be thoroughly flushed from the eyes and from any cuts or abrasions.

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, always have the airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners and any associated components checked and, if necessary, replaced by Tesla.

In a collision, in addition to the airbags inflating:

  • Doors and liftgate unlock.
  • Hazard warning lights turn on.
  • Interior lights turn on.
  • High voltage is disabled (you must use the mobile app to schedule a service appointment to restore high voltage power).
  • Windows go to the vent position.
  • Vehicle applies the brakes to come to a stop.
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Note
Depending on the nature of the impact and the forces involved, doors may not unlock in a collision and/or damage may prevent them from opening. In such cases, the door may need to be opened using the interior manual release, or other means of extrication (for example, exiting through another door, breaking the window, etc.).

Airbag Warnings

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Warning
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 collision.
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Warning
Front seat occupants should not place their arms over the airbag module, as an inflating airbag can cause fractures or other injuries.
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Warning
Do not use seat covers on Model X. Doing so could restrict deployment of the seat-mounted side airbags if a collision occurs. It can also reduce the accuracy of the occupant detection system, if equipped.
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Warning
Airbags inflate with considerable speed and force, which can cause injury. To limit injuries, ensure that occupants are wearing seat belts and are correctly seated, with the seat positioned as far back as possible.
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Warning
Do not use a rear-facing child restraint system on a seat with an operational airbag in front of it. Doing so can cause injury or death if the airbag inflates.
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Warning
To ensure correct inflation of the side airbags, maintain an unobstructed gap between an occupant’s torso and the side of Model X.
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Warning
Passengers shouldn't lean their heads against doors. Doing so can cause injury if a curtain airbag inflates.
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Warning
Do not allow passengers to obstruct the operation of an airbag by placing feet, knees or any other part of the body on or near an airbag.
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Warning
Do not attach or place objects on or near the front airbags, the side of the front seats, the headliner at the side of the vehicle, or any other airbag cover that could interfere with inflation of an airbag. These include but are not limited to: steering wheel covers, decals, seat cushions, pillows, etc. Objects can cause serious injury if the vehicle is in a collision severe enough to cause the airbag to inflate.
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Warning
Following inflation, some airbag components are hot. Do not touch until they have cooled.