I have a 2018 Model 3. My daughter, ~110 pounds, realized that the passenger air bag indicator on the top right of the display was showing that the airbag was deactivated because a passenger was not detected. This happened multiple trips, each time she had to move to another seat because it clearly is a life safety issue.
I opened a service case with Tesla. A phone rep confirmed that something wasn’t right with the occupancy detection system because he saw weight in the seat, seat placement within limits, and a buckled seat belt. I took it in for service and they applied a fix detailed in SB-19-20-003 R2, the addition of a filter on an electrical connection.
As a PSA to others, keep an eye on that passenger air bag indicator if you have a passenger.
Tesla, when there’s indicators of a passenger (weight, seat belt), theres a potential critical life safety issue. The passenger air bag indicator is far too passive. I expect an active notification, like the notice I get for regen braking effectiveness when it’s cold, for critical life safety issues. This incident shook my confidence in the car’s safety features. It doesn’t have to be that way.