Tesla Model 3 Lumbar Support (or the Lack Thereof)

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 03/01/22 •  5 min read

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.

If you do, don’t put her in the front seat of your brand-new Model 3 because Tesla is stripping all new models of this back support feature.

Hold on, let’s backtrack a bit. 

What back support feature? 

Don’t worry. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you are not alone. I mean, just look at all these users who are in the dark.

In fact, the topic of lumbar support only came to my attention after seeing this tweet by the Tesla big boss himself:

tesla model 3 lumbar support

According to Tech Times, even some Tesla employees had no idea that the cars had lumbar support. Which leaves me thinking, who messed up in the HR department?

Many Tesla owners would probably still be in the dark, had it not been for this Reddit user who spotted that the feature was missing in the new model that he purchased.

The bright light at the end of this “Wait, what?” tunnel is that owners of previous Model 3 vehicles have a secret built-in feature that they probably don’t know about. Now who doesn’t love a dose of hidden features, like when you discover a hidden compartment in your car? Jackpot.

OK, Cool, But What Is Lumbar Support?

Lumbar refers to your lower back. Does that clear things up a bit?

The lumbar support system in previous Tesla models was a nifty little airbag, pillow-like section within the car seat.

With a press of a button, this pillow will either inflate or deflate, depending on where on the button you press.

For those with backache (louder for the people in the back!), this is a nifty feature that I honestly wish restaurants and doctor’s offices would get too.

Why Is Tesla Getting Rid of the Lumbar Feature?

Basically, no one was using it.

So imagine Tesla fans’ shock when the car manufacturer increased the prices of their new models, only for potential buyers to hear that features like the lumbar feature will be removed.

If you’re taking my money, I at least want all the bells and whistles and back support, right?

From Elon Musk’s tweet, it appears that Model 3 and Y owners weren’t even using the feature in the first place.

Which also leaves me wondering, do car owners these days not read the user manual? No, just me? OK, moving on.

If features are being removed, then why the hike in vehicle prices?

Teslarati breaks it down nicely: supply chain challenges.

According to a statement by Musk, recent price increases have been due to “major supply chain price pressure industry-wide. Raw materials especially.”

Look, I’m no Musk, but I totally get it. Manufacturers across the board have been facing this issue ever since COVID put a big ol’ pause on life.

I won’t say how long I’ve been waiting for spare parts for my car due to these issues, but it’s been a grueling three months, 18 days, and 11 hours.

In his statement, Musk added that the supply chain challenges are like none Tesla has ever seen. And I’m betting those guys and gals have seen plenty.

How to Check If Your Model 3 Has Lumbar Support

If your passenger door looks like this, congratulations, you have lumbar support.

 Credit to @DriveTeslaca on Twitter.

However, if your Model 3’s passenger door looks like this, you’re out of luck.

tesla model 3 lumbar support
 Credit to Chrissugar21 on Reddit.

See what Tesla did there? The button that used to control the lumbar support has been replaced by, well, nothing.

I don’t get why they didn’t remove the circle altogether, but hey, what do I know?

Yay, Your Car Has Lumbar Support! Now Here’s How You Can Use It

 Here’s a video showing exactly how to use this cool feature:

Skip to 0:45 if, like me, you’re always in a rush to find out how things work.

Basically, pressing the button on the side of the seat on the front part will inflate the “airbag” within the seat, and pressing on the back part of the button will deflate it. Your passenger can simply adjust this until they’re comfortable.

But wait, there’s more!

You can also adjust only sections of the seat by pressing in the corners of this button. (Now there’s something I never thought I would need but really want now.)

Yours Doesn’t? Here Are Some Alternatives:

So your Tesla Model 3 has been snubbed from having lumbar support? Don’t fret.

Although not as nifty as a built-in lumbar support, there are some inexpensive alternatives that may help, from memory foam lumbar support pillows to orthopedic and portable cushions

No backs have to suffer because Tesla removed its lumbar feature. We will prevail!

What’s the Bottom Line?

If you’re purchasing a new Tesla Model 3, it won’t have lumbar support. But that’s OK, because the owners before you who had it didn’t even know about it.

If a lumbar feature is something you could benefit from, there are alternative options like buying an insertable one. Or going to yoga. Whichever you have time for.

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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