The Chinese-made Tesla Model Y caused quite a stir when it launched earlier this year equipped with a large HEPA filter enabling a dedicated Bioweapon Defense Mode. 

That’s because those features were previously reserved for the Model S and Model X, and Elon Musk said at one point that the large HEPA filter could not be fitted to the Model 3 because it would take up most of the frunk. Since the compact electric sedan shares its platform with the Model Y, it was reasonable to assume that the crossover would not get the feature either. 

Understandably, when Shanghai-made Model Ys started rolling out with Bioweapon Defense Mode, US customers were not very happy, with many of them wondering why the Fremont-made Model Y did not get the function. 

Gallery: 2021 Tesla Model Y

Well, it looks like that their voices have been heard, as fresh images of a Model Y made at the Fremont Factory suggest that the feature is now available on US-made crossovers too. Shared on Twitter by The Kilowatts, one of the photos shows the Bioweapon Defense Mode symbol active on the infotainment screen of a Model Y Long Range Dual Motor built at the Fremont plant in July 2021. 

Hopefully, this means that California-built Model Ys delivered this quarter will include a dedicated Bioweapon Defense Mode function. In the Chinese-spec Model Y, the hospital-grade HEPA filter is installed just behind the frunk, making it easier to replace when needed. In the Model X, for example, some disassembly is required to replace the HEPA filter. 

There’s no image of the HEPA filter in the California-built Model Y yet, but it likely follows the same setup as the Shanghai-made model. 

Adding Bioweapon Defense Mode to the Model Y could make the electric crossover more attractive for US customers as having this premium feature in a vehicle priced closer to the entry-level Model 3 than the Model S and Model X is definitely a plus.


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