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Tesla is one of the most popular electric vehicle manufacturers around right now, but the company doesn’t always get it right. Recently, there have been reports that Tesla has added some sort of “seat abuse” code that prevents people from moving seats too much in the Tesla Model Y SUV and the Model 3. Why was this necessary and is seat abuse in the Model Y really that much of a problem?

The new “seat abuse code” in the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 EVs

The Tesla Model Y seats
The Tesla Model Y seats on display at the factory | Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Tesla frequently updates its software over the air to change and improve the driving experience. Some users on Twitter, namely @greentheonly, noticed a new piece of code with some odd wording. Specifically for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y SUVs for now, this code places a limit on the frequency that people can adjust the chairs.

“Excessive use of seat track motor detected. Wait 5 minutes to adjust seat track position again.”

On the one hand, this makes sense if there is an issue with the motors. But why wouldn’t Tesla fix the motor in? It seems like a roundabout way to fix a problem without actually fixing it. What’s going on with the Tesla Model Y seats? It sounds like there is an issue with the motor that Tesla is trying to avoid recalling and fixing, putting the onus on drivers who adjust the seats frequently.

Don’t go adjusting your Tesla Model Y seats too much – or else

To pivot away from the semiconductor chip problems and other shortages, Tesla started removing random pieces from the car. One that made the news was the lumbar support on the passenger seat. Now it seems that to prevent the motor in the seats from failing prematurely, Tesla will stop people from adjusting the seats too much.

A warning will pop up telling the driver not to adjust the seat further in the next five minutes. So if you happen to adjust your Tesla Model Y seat and realize it is uncomfortable, you can’t change it again? What if someone else switches to drive and wants to adjust the seat? Tesla made news last year that Hertz and Uber would be buying 100,000 Tesla Model 3 EVs to rent out for people. How is this going to work in that case?

It sounds like if this code pops up on the dashboard of your Tesla, the seat will be immobilized for five minutes until it has cooled down. Are the motors in the Tesla Model Y seats so sensitive that drivers cannot make adjustments multiple times in five minutes?

There has been no confirmation or comment from the automaker on the issue

At this point in time, it isn’t clear when this next update will occur. For now, some people just found the new wording within the code. Since the automaker can track the changes and data for each car, something obviously triggered this update. That was the reason for the lumbar removal; Tesla said the data indicated passengers didn’t need or use the lumbar support.

Until Tesla comments on the issue, people will continue to speculate about it and move the seats around as needed. The Tesla Model Y and Model 3 are both reasonably popular vehicles, and this probably won’t change anything. However, it’s just another odd move from Elon Musk and his company that raises eyebrows.