Tesla CEO Elon Musk said this week that the automaker has abandoned the lumbar support on the passenger seat of the Model 3 and Model Y because vehicle logs showed it was barely used.
“Logs showed almost no usage,” Musk tweeted in response to a follower who complained about Tesla’s recent price hikes, adding, “Cost / bulk not worth everyone when it’s almost never used.”
But even the briefest online search reveals numerous comments suggesting that the function that is supposed to improve comfort through subtle seat adjustments was rarely used because few knew about it.
For example, the person behind the Drive Tesla account on Twitter admitted last year that it took a while to realize what the button on the side of the seat was for.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I only discovered this week that this is the lumbar support. Which function did you only discover weeks or months after your #Tesla? pic.twitter.com/pA0aZKiW8g
– Drive Tesla 🇨🇦 (@DriveTeslaca) February 27, 2020
On a Tesla forum, another driver wrote, “LOL, I’ve had my TM3 for almost 5 months and until I found this thread I didn’t know I had lumbar adjustments.”
On a separate Tesla-themed website, one owner simply said, “We have loin buttons?!?”
Some posts about the feature suggest that users may stop using it after realizing that it has barely improved the convenience. Other drivers meanwhile complained that it was difficult to operate. One poster said they found the controls “tricky” and added that they “don’t always seem to work.”
One commenter on a YouTube video about the feature removal succinctly summed up the situation, writing, “Amazing how many people lose their shit because of something they have to go to their car to see if they even have it or not!”
In response to Musk’s tweet about the removal of the lumbar support from the Model 3 and Model Y, some Tesla owners had an alternative suggestion as to why it’s barely used, stating that once you set it up to your liking, there is rarely a need to adapt it – although it is worth noting that the driver’s seat retains the function.
Of course, functions on the passenger seat are always used less than on the driver’s side, as the seat is occupied less often, although it is not clear whether Tesla has taken this into account. Whatever the truth of why passengers skipped the lumbar support, Tesla decided to remove it anyway, so drivers can use the normal seat buttons to adjust the seat to their liking.