Fremont-made Tesla Model Y now equipped with HEPA filters and Bioweapon Defense Mode [Update]

In a change to the configuration of Model Y’s currently being built out of the Fremont factory in California, the electric SUV is now equipped with HEPA filters and Bioweapon Defense Mode.

The change was first noticed by The Kilowatts, who spotted the new feature in a Long Range Model Y built this month (July 2021) at Fremont.

In a review of Tesla’s website, the Design Studio has not yet been updated to reflect the change.

The addition of the dual-layer HEPA filters and Bioweapon Defense Mode to the Model Y comes almost six months to the day they first appeared in China.

Here’s how Tesla describes the filters and feature on their website.

Inspired by the air filtration systems used in hospitals, clean rooms, and the space industry, we developed a HEPA filtration system capable of stripping the outside air of pollen, bacteria, and pollution before they enter the cabin and systematically scrubbing the air inside the cabin to eliminate any trace of these particles.

The big question that current owners will be asking is can it be retrofitted. Until we get an answer from Tesla themselves, we won’t know for sure but it is unlikely. The new filters are massive (left), and a lot of existing equipment (right) would need to be moved around to make room for them.

UPDATE: Looks like Tesla can work their magic and an official retrofit will be coming. More details can be found here.


Prior to that their arrival in the Y earlier this year, the feature was exclusive to the flagship Model S and Model X vehicles. The massive filters that are required to clean the air coming into the cabin meant the smaller frunk of the Model 3 simply did not allow for them to fit.

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