Tesla has incorporated its newly released cars with a mechanism meant to prevent misuse of the seat adjustment buttons. According to The Verge, the redesigned car seats will monitor and gauge the number of changes owners make, and if “extreme” number of changess are detected, the controls will be disabled.
This “functionality” of the car seat became public knowledge when an unknown programmer and researcher known as “greentheonly” on social media was the first to notice it, which led Jalopnik to report Jalopnik into reporting about it. Tesla has manufactured these seats themselves, but they also bought them from different suppliers; Yang Feng and Jiaxing Fensheng Automotive Trim Co., Ltd.
ha, they are also introducing "seat abuse" metrics complete with disabling of seat moving for busers with helpful messages like "Excessive use of seat track motor detected""Seat track motor unavailable due to excessive use" and "Wait 5 minutes to adjust seat track position again"— green (@greentheonly) January 27, 2022
The disparity between the car seats produced by Brose and that of Tesla and Yang Feng is what the hacker “greentheonly” refers to as ‘seat abuse’ metrics. The car appears to be recording the number of times people adjust their car seats back and forth. If users make a lot of seat adjustments, this car will display a warning, and if the warnings are ignored, the seat controls will be disabled.
According to “greentheonly’s” tweet, The new function was discovered when analyzing Tesla’s recent software upgrades and speculated that this was implemented because:
- Tesla’s repair and maintenance reports indicate premature failures of the electric seats.
- The factory is now using inferior car components.
This ‘seat abuse’ functionality is being installed in all users’ cars. Owners’ consent should be sought before installing them in their cars.
The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, said that they want people to focus on driving and not be distracted by adjusting their seats too often. The company claims that this new feature is designed to encourage passengers to take turns sitting in the car’s front seat. However, it seems like this is just another way for Tesla to save some money by using inferior parts.
According to the Tesla driver’s profile guide, it states that “if you change the position of the steering wheel, driver’s seat or driver’s side mirror after you have saved or chosen a driver’s profile, the touch screen prompts you to save the new position.” It further states that “to stop automatic adjustments that are in process based on a driver’s profile, touch Stop on the driver’s profile dropdown menu. Automatic adjustments also stop if you manually adjust a seat, mirror, or the steering wheel”.
Tesla’s recent car seat adjustments have left its users bewildered. This is because it contradicts what the company forwarded to all users in the driver’s profile guide. Before any change can be effected, users should be notified beforehand.
Though this feature is not yet out of beta test phase, it will soon arrive via an over-the-air (OTA) update.
Tesla’s memo on this new “Feature”
With this upgrade, the company has released a memo on how owners should adjust their car seats:
- Move your car seat back or forth and adjust the height of your seat to your preferred angle. This should not he done excessively.
- Properly position the backrest of your car seat according to the new guidelines
- Properly position the lumbar support (This is a new feature incorporated into newly designed cars by the company).
Users are warned to check around their car seat for any objects that might be stuck in the seat mechanism before adjusting it and avoid using the seat adjustment while driving. Owners are warned to avoid reclining their car seats more than 30 degrees.
Owners will surely complain to Tesla’s customer support. No one likes being locked out from their car’s functionalities that they’ve paid for. Hopefully, owners will regain the full use of their seats, and all potential flaws from the poor quality of seat parts will be covered under warranty.