Passenger Seat Sensor Recall - beware if you have any seat mods! - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Passenger Seat Sensor Recall - beware if you have any seat mods!

I'm currently in the dealership having my seat sensor recall done, and am getting a little bit of grief from the service dept.

As many of us do, I have a number of mods in the seat area: 1) seat heaters; 2) inflatable lumber cushion; 3) spacers on the studs under the front of the seats (to raise the seat a little).

Now I'd told the service guy about the seat heaters (I forgot about the spacers and lumbar) and he originally said "don't worry, our techs are professionals, they'll deal with it". Well that didn't quite happen... I'm waiting for the car to be done and I get a visit from the service guy saying the tech found the seat heater and that they'd have to contact GM to see if the recall cost would be covered in light of the mod. So I (understandably) pushed back at this saying the mat was just sandwiched there and could be pulled out, and to cut long-short the service manager got pulled in and told me the tech had found all the mods listed above and that the recall service notice (which he showed me) said that any mods between the seat cover and the seat could 'invalidate the repair'. We argued a while (politely) and on reading the service note carefully, I pointed out that the heater and lumber cushion in the seat back had nothing to do with the recall so those could be ignored. I said that they could just pull out (and leave out) the seat heater mat, and it was a 5 second job to pull the spacers off the studs. So he said he'd go talk to the tech and get back to me. A little later he came back and said that they'd leave the seat back alone, and pull out the heater mat in the base, and remove the spacers and continue the recall without contacting GM. BUT that they'd charge me $125 for the technicians time spent 'looking it up'. Well, I agreed to that - better than having the hassle of arguing with GM.

SO, bottom line, if you have any seat mods and are going to take you car in for the recall, make sure to reverse/remove all the mods first before having to go through the time, effort and cost that I did.

Afternote: about 30mins after all this, the service guy comes back and tells me they did the recall, but that there were still issues being reported from the controller. So they would have to replace that module too (this is the airbag controller box on the transmission hump), but they didn't have that in stock. They said they'd called and found one at another dealership but would take a few hours to be delivered, so now I have to leave my car there and pick it up again later. Oh well, at least it's getting done.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 11:40 AM
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I can under stand the issue with the seat bottom heater, and will be taking mine out before I take them in, but what could the risers have to do with anything?

What is going to be the cost of the controller?

John
Lexington, KY
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 12:24 PM
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Considering additional things like seat heater mats can interfere with the PPS mat that condition doesn't surprise me at all. There was an earlier recall on another vehicle where vehicles that cam equipped with OEM cloth seats were having these cloth seat covers removed and replaced with Dealer installed leather covers, the passenger presence sensor wouldn't work because of the difference in how the leather seat covers changed what the sensor mats would read and throw the system out of calibration. Can't remember the GM vehicle but it was one of the recalls I ran across while working on this one. (wasn't the Kappa)

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnWR View Post
I can under stand the issue with the seat bottom heater, and will be taking mine out before I take them in, but what could the risers have to do with anything?

What is going to be the cost of the controller?
I forgot to expand on that, apparently they replace the lock nuts on the seat rails and the tech had said there weren't enough threads on the ends of the studs for the new nuts to fit. Not sure if I believe that statement really, but I can understand that it could be a liability thing.

The controller cost is covered under the recall I believe (hope). Will find out for sure when I get to pick the car up - hopefully later today.

Owner of "Campbelle", a Brazen 2008 GXP ... with mods piling up...
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
Considering additional things like seat heater mats can interfere with the PPS mat that condition doesn't surprise me at all. There was an earlier recall on another vehicle where vehicles that cam equipped with OEM cloth seats were having these cloth seat covers removed and replaced with Dealer installed leather covers, the passenger presence sensor wouldn't work because of the difference in how the leather seat covers changed what the sensor mats would read and throw the system out of calibration. Can't remember the GM vehicle but it was one of the recalls I ran across while working on this one. (wasn't the Kappa)
Yes, agreed, but the calibration after the sensor swap, with the heater mat installed, should take care of that (I would've thought).

I did wrestle with whether I should pre-remove the base heater mat before I took it in, but hoped that they would keep it in place just so the calibration would be zeroed with the mat in place. At most I thought they might just not be willing to re-install it. I didn't realize it would blow up into a "recall may not be covered" discussion.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 01:39 PM
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I believe that I recall correctly that the owner's manual explicitly states that accessories like seat heaters should not be installed to seats with passenger presence sensors. I have also seen that the retailers do not list a heater as applicable to a Solstice/Sky passenger seat, probably for that reason. I actually think that the heater adds a layer of protection, but ......

I haven't seen anything in the recall documents that would suggest that anything other than the PPS would be covered. I hope that the controller is covered, of course, but don't expect it to be.

John
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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OK, got the car back. No charge other than the $125 'fee' - although they tried to tack on another $20 "Hazardous waste fee" which I argued and got them to take off. I mean, really?

But the controller thing is even more confused now. The Invoice (attached) shows TWO PPS modules, not one module and a controller. So now I don't know whether it's a typo having the same thing twice, or they misinformed me and the first PPS module was bad (but if that's the case, why put the bad one on the invoice too?).

Also, you'll see it says they replaced a "Power Steering Module" due to a B0081 fault (which is an airbag fault). WTF? Just boggles my mind.

Good luck for anyone else going through this!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 06:57 PM
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Wow. Confused service crew.

My guess is that a clerk translated PPS to Power Steering Module, and the first one had some sort of problem so they installed a second. Or not. Both would go on the invoice because that information would have to go back to GM for the dealership to get paid for both.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 09:32 PM
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And there are still some people out there mystified about why GM still struggles to compete. This isn't "New" GM, it's a GM that screwed it shareholders, creditors, and employees/retirees via bankruptcy and came out the other end exactly the same (minus the debt).
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 06:29 AM
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And there are still some people out there mystified about why GM still struggles to compete. This isn't "New" GM, it's a GM that screwed it shareholders, creditors, and employees/retirees via bankruptcy and came out the other end exactly the same (minus the debt).
This statement makes less sense to me than most of your anti-GM posts. But I am certain you feel better for having made it.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 07:02 AM
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Personal opinion - you're very lucky they did the recall for you with the seat mods. The dealers around me probably wouldn't have even considered it.

With that said, it's important to remember that each dealer is "independently owned and operated." I recently had to have a misfire diagnosed on a Subaru and the dealer charged $200 to change around spark plugs and coil packs between cylinders to find the issue. Having done that, they wanted another $600 to do the exact same thing, but install new plugs. Needless to say I drove to the next dealer over to buy the parts ($15/plug) so I could change them myself and they washed the car and replaced a light bulb for free ($30 at the first dealer) while I was picking up the plugs from them.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 05:39 PM
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I find it sadly, morbidly entertaining that @TomatoSoup, of all people, got crap from the dealer when getting this fixed.

(For the uninitated: https://www.autonews.com/article/201...ed-a-gm-recall)

There's no justice in the world. :/

I'm going to install a Sparco (driver only) in the next couple of weeks, once I get my misfire issue figured out. (If I don't figure it out, I'm buying a Corvette. Sorry, Rob. ) I'm wondering how the local dealer will justify not fixing the passenger-side sensor due to my replacing the driver's seat.

I have no doubt they will try. The same dealer once attempted to void a warranty claim - missing welds on the freaking frame - on my C5 due to my installation of SS brake lines and a power steering cooler. Another local dealer put over 100 miles on my car while replacing the AC compressor.

I'm a Chevy guy; have been since I was a kid. BUT, the freaking dealers... There's a reason I have my own Tech2 - so I don't have to let other people mess with my car and charge me for the privilege.

Om mani padme hum.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 06:29 PM
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I feel fortunate every day that I have a good local dealer. Maybe the fact that they are Cadillac and Volvo makes a difference, but whatever it is, I am grateful.

You know, its not just GM. One of my co-workers has been fighting with the VW dealer for several months, and another is having trouble with Toyota.

I have to take the seats apart to exchange the sensors anyway, so I will remove the seat heaters at the same time. That way I don't have to worry about them damaging the wiring, which makes the seat a pain to get in and out, and it will eliminate any potential for conflict. I don't think they would have a real problem if I didn't, but it isn't worth the chance.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 10:00 PM
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I'm surprised they touched your car at all Soup!!! And I'm even more surprised you 'left' it there!!??

When I had my 3 short month stint at the local Chrysler store, we had a 300 "test" car come in from a company that was doing lane departure and active braking stuff. It had an airbag light on, and it was full of senors and test equipment. Of course no where near where the issue was at or even in the system that the fault was on for that matter. Our tech wouldn't even touch it even though he knew that it was the seatbelt sensor. He told them he'd give them the part but that was all he was going to do for them....

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 10:23 AM
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@The_Ghost I can see the tech's point of view. If someone brought in a car with $50k-$100k (or more) in proprietary equipment attached, I'd be hesitant to go anywhere near it. I'm not sure the dealer's liability insurance would cover the replacement cost of a custom LiDAR system. :/

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