Elon Musk recently announced on Twitter that Tesla would introduce automatic functions to the Model 3’s air vents to prevent the car’s front seats from getting too hot when the vehicle is left out in the sun.
The request for the Model 3’s automatic A/C vents feature was initially posted on the r/TeslaMotors subreddit on Monday by u/jason68030, a Tesla owner from Florida. According to the electric car owner, sunlight entering through the windshield causes the bottom cushions of the Model 3 to be incredibly hot, resulting in discomfort or even pain to front passengers. The Tesla enthusiast noted that he eventually found a workaround to the hot seat issue, by simply directing the Model 3’s air vents down and center for three minutes before he sits inside his car.
The feature request from the Model 3 owner in FL was eventually shared on Twitter, and early this Tuesday, Musk responded with a brief “Ok.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 10, 2018
Tesla’s electric cars are known for their expansive, panoramic glass roofs. The sunroofs provide an airy and futuristic feel to the cabin of Tesla’s vehicles, but in hot areas such as Florida, the glass roofs do not provide much protection from harsh, sunny weather. Tesla sells panoramic roof sunshades made of mesh fabric and a collapsible grid frame, but the accessory is nonetheless an optional purchase. With the upcoming automatic air vents feature in place, even owners without sunshades could enter a vehicle that is cool and comfortable despite being left under the sun for a period of time.
The Model 3’s upcoming automatic air vents go hand-in-hand with Tesla’s recent rollout of new safety features for the compact electric car. Just recently, Tesla debuted Cabin Overheat Protection — a feature standard in the Model S & X — on the Model 3 with firmware v8.1(2018.24.1). Tesla recently updated the Model 3 Owner’s Manual with the release of the feature, stating that owners can select if Cabin Overheat Protection would utilize the electric car’s air conditioning systems, or limit the system only to the vehicle’s fans.
The climate control system can reduce the temperature of the cabin in extremely hot ambient conditions for a period of up to twelve hours after you exit Model 3. Touch Controls > Safety and Security > Cabin Overheat Protection and choose either:
– ON: The air conditioning operates when the cabin temperature exceeds 105° F (40° C).
– Fan Only: Only the fan operates when the cabin temperature exceeds 105° F (40° C). This option conserves energy but the cabin temperature may exceed 105° F (40° C).
Note: Cabin Overheat Protection does not operate, or stops operating, when the energy remaining in the Battery is 20% or less.
Tesla prides itself as a maker of some of the safest vehicles on the road. Since the debut of the Model S sedan, the company has garnered a reputation for adding safety features to its vehicles through over-the-air updates, making its cars safer over time. The Model 3’s Cabin Overheat Protection that came with v8.1(2018.24.1), as well as the upcoming automatic A/C vents to prevent hot seats, are examples of these. Cabin Overheat Protection, for one, is designed to prevent instances of in-car heatstrokes, especially among children and pets who are accidentally left inside the car. Hot car fatalities are a driver of in-car tragedies in the United States, after all, with the country seeing 31 deaths back in July 2017.