Tesla software hints at Model Y’s HEPA filter and Bioweapon Defense Mode

(Credit: YouTube/Chris Burns)

Tesla owner-hacker @greentheonly recently found clues in the electric car maker’s software suggesting that the company may be rolling out a HEPA filter with Bioweapon Defense Mode for the Model Y. If accurate, this would be a welcome update for the all-electric crossover, making it even more of a bang-for-your-buck electric car.

The idea of Tesla rolling out a HEPA filter and Bioweapon Defense Mode for the Model Y may be surprising news for electric car enthusiasts. When asked if Bioweapon Defense Mode is coming to the Model 3, Elon Musk has stated in the past that Tesla’s HEPA filter was too big for the all-electric sedan. Since the Model 3 and Model Y share similar components, a good number of Tesla enthusiasts assumed that the HEPA filter would not make it to the crossover. If the owner-hacker’s findings prove accurate, it would appear that Tesla has found a way to fit its hospital-grade HEPA filters into the Model Y.

Interestingly enough, the Tesla owner-hacker mentioned that the Model Y’s HEPA filter and Bioweapon Defense Mode do not seem to be planned for the Model 3, at least for now. “Model Y gets the 3rd row “flat fold”. It also got HEPA filter and corresponding biohazard mode – this apparently is not planned for Model 3 at this time,” tweeted @greentheonly.

Tesla released its hospital-grade HEPA filter and Bioweapon Defense Mode for the Model X in 2015. It was later rolled out to the Model S. The feature has proven useful in today’s changing climate, specifically during the wildfires in Australia and California. Some owners have even suggested that Tesla’s HEPA filter and Bioweapon Defense Mode have been useful during the COVID pandemic.

The Tesla owner-hacker’s recent findings do not only concern the Model Y’s HEPA filter. The all-electric crossover’s third-row seats were mentioned as well. According to @greentheonly, the Model Y will be receiving “flat fold” seats, suggesting that the third-row seats will likely not interfere with the vehicle’s capability to transport irregularly-sized items.

The all-electric car maker initially revealed the Model Y with front-facing third-row seats. While seven people were in the Model Y when it was unveiled, images of the third-row seats shared during the unveiling suggested that the space would be a little tight for most adult passengers. Considering that the legroom between the third row and the second was narrow, it appeared that the space was optimized to fit two children, not adults.

When Sandy Munro did his Model Y teardown, he observed that the vehicle could be fitted with rear-facing third-row seats instead. Veteran Tesla owners DAErik tested Munro’s suggestion in one of their videos by placing Model X seats in their Model Y. Interestingly, the two Tesla owners seemed comfortable enough–especially for two full-sized adults–with the seats facing the rear. They noted that the Model X seats sat a little further back in their Model Y and were bulkier than the third-row seats Tesla might offer for the crossover.

Watch the Tesla owners’ Model Y ‘third row’ seats experiment in the video below.

Tesla software hints at Model Y’s HEPA filter and Bioweapon Defense Mode
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