Airbags

Location of Airbags

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

Model Y 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. Seat-mounted side airbags
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    Note
    Vehicles manufactured at Gigafactory Berlin are equipped with an airbag on both sides of the driver's seat.
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    Note
    Vehicles manufactured at Gigafactory Shanghai beginning approximately June 27, 2022 are equipped with an airbag on both sides of the driver's seat.
  3. 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.

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Warning
Before modifying your vehicle to accommodate a person with disabilities in a way that may affect the airbag system, contact Tesla.

Types of Airbags

Model Y 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 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:

passenger airbag option icon
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.
passenger airbag option icon

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.

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Warning
If seating a child in the front passenger seat is legally permissible 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 safety seat or booster seat. DEATH or SERIOUS INJURY to the child can occur.

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 Controls > Safety > Passenger Front Airbag, and before driving, ensure the passenger airbag status on the top of the touchscreen indicates that the airbag is off (see Passenger Front Airbag Status).

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Note
Model Y has a capacitive touchscreen and may not respond to your touch if you are wearing standard gloves. If the touchscreen is not responding, remove gloves or wear gloves with conductive fingertips for use with capacitive touchscreens.
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Warning
If seating a child in the front passenger seat is legally permissible in your market region, never seat a child in a child safety seat or a booster seat on the front passenger seat when the airbag is active. Doing so can cause serious injury or death.
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Warning
If the passenger front airbag does not appear to be functioning (for example, if the airbag is on, even if you have turned it off, or vice versa), do not seat a passenger in the front seat. Contact Tesla immediately.

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, 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.
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Note
In some collisions, even if airbags did not inflate, high voltage may be disabled and you will be unable to power up and drive. Contact Tesla Service immediately.

Airbag Warning Indicator

profile view of a person with an open airbag
The airbag indicator on the touchscreen remains lit if the airbag system is malfunctioning. The only time this indicator should light up is briefly when Model Y first powers up, in which case it turns off within a few seconds. If it remains lit, contact Tesla immediately and do not drive.

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 Y. Doing so could restrict deployment of the seat-mounted side air bags 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
Children should not be seated on the front passenger seat unless permitted by regulations in your market region. Follow all regulations in your region for the appropriate way to seat a child based on the child's weight, size, and age. The safest place to seat infants and young children is in a rear seating position. Seating an infant or child in a rear-facing child restraint system on a seat equipped with an operational airbag can cause serious injury or death.
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Warning
Do not use a rear-facing child safety seat 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 Y.
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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. 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.