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Discussion Starter #1
Round 2
It looks like we may need to go through this again though this time may not be nearly as difficult to research yet will probably be harder to get a result.

In the original paper I wrote for this, I documented how this failure could occur and expressed our recall should be like the Cadillac recall and all PPS mats should be replaced. As you know, this was not the case. An active PPS fault needed to be occurring for a full replacement. If there was no fault, GM would put the reinforcing tape on the existing mat and call it good.

The problem we are seeing is that many of these "tape only fixes" are failing at or just past the 1 year warranty period of the recall repair. It is my hypothesis that these mats were already "damaged" when the tape was applied. By damaged I mean the mat 3D matrix of sensors had already started to tear but that the tear was not big enough to break the printed circuit that causes the fault. Once the mat is damaged in this way though, use of the seat WILL allow the tear to lengthen until it does eventually result in a PPS mat failure. The "tape fix", I believe, would not prevent this, only lengthen the time it takes to happen.

GM cannot tell if a mat is damaged unless the fault is active OR to tear apart the mat and inspect the 3D matrix within it. Of course doing the latter would render the mat unusable so only the active PPS mat fault method was used. It is my belief that ANY car that got only the "tape fix" should be recalled again and have a new mat installed and that, moving forward, the recall solution repair should only be replacing the existing mat, whether or not the PPS error is active or not, with a new mat.

So please, ANYONE who has taken their car in without the airbag light being on to have the PPS mat recall performed but who then later had the airbag light come on again only to find out their PPS mat has now failed, please go to the NHTSA complaint site (link below) and register a complaint. I will start going through that database next week to collect complaint counts. Thank you.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

If you are unfamiliar with the history of this recall and how these forums and the Sky Roadster forum played a critical role in how it happened, follow this link...

 

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Here we go again . . . let me know if I can be of assistance, but I doubt you need anything additional after what I had for you last time. I'll help if I can.

Dave
 

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I'm so glad I waited until mine failed before I went in for the recall. My car was only in the low 20K's miles when it failed, and most of my trips in it were without a passenger.

I'm not too hopeful that the replacement mat (even with the tape) will last :(
 

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Its strange how varied their reliability has been. My 2.4 has 105k miles on it, probably a third of that with a passenger, and the sensor is still working fine.
 

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Only good news was that with only the tape fix you got a one year warranty on the whole system. I got the tape fix and a few months later the PPS failed. My dealer then replaced the whole seat bottom free. So far so good.
 

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Robo - can't thank you enough for staying on top of this. Everything you are saying aligns with my "suspicions". It is a design flaw and the tape "fix" doesn't resolve the design flaw.
 

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thanks Robo !
 

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Awesome Robo....Thanks!!! We're all here to support you if you need any data/help with it.
 

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well after the scratches&dents to my car and greese allover the leather & rear window from the dealer this summer....I think Ill have to go with out if it craps out......... or possibly if cat-alack is still around I can take it to them. the local Pontiac/olds/jeep/GMC dealer is now nissan....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here we go again . . . let me know if I can be of assistance, but I doubt you need anything additional after what I had for you last time. I'll help if I can.

Dave
Yea the only additional data I'll need for this one will be from the NHTSA. All your very valuable data is still relevant. Thanks for the offer.

I'm so glad I waited until mine failed before I went in for the recall. My car was only in the low 20K's miles when it failed, and most of my trips in it were without a passenger.

I'm not too hopeful that the replacement mat (even with the tape) will last :(
Nothing lasts forever but I do feel the lifespan of the mat with the tape is greatly improved than the mat without the tape...assuming, of course, the 3D matrix isn't damaged before the tape is applied.

Its strange how varied their reliability has been. My 2.4 has 105k miles on it, probably a third of that with a passenger, and the sensor is still working fine.
It truly is a crap shoot. All that has to happen is have that matrix fold once and have someone sitting on it when it does to really work that crease into the matrix and it will eventually fail. If it never folds over, then no crease and thus no fail. So it comes down to whatever the odds are of the mat getting folded over when someone sits in it, how heavy that passenger is, and how long they sit on it in that state as to how likely it would be to fail.

Mine was working fine too but who knows if it was damaged or not. I put in a set of seats skersfan had while my seats were getting recovered and it had a broken mat. I took that in and had it replaced under the recall and then put that cushion in my seats when they reassembled them after recovering them. Who knows how long the sensor mat in my original seat would have lasted otherwise.

Robo - can't thank you enough for staying on top of this. Everything you are saying aligns with my "suspicions". It is a design flaw and the tape "fix" doesn't resolve the design flaw.
Thank you chickenwire.

It is a design flaw of that kind of PPS system and that flaw is why you no longer see this kind of system in use in current cars. Keep in mind that MY2006 was the FIRST model year where this kind of system was required by law and that the 2005 Cadillac CTS was the first car GM put this kind of system in. At the time, it was all still very new. So I don't fault GM for this issue...I mean BMW, Kia/Hyundai, Suzuki...and more used the same sensors and wound up with the same headache. I DO blame GM for taking so long to own up to the problem and do something about it and the "half-azzed" tape only fix. In my original paper I specifically expressed a concern of a tape only fix due to the fact that a 3D mat could be damaged yet still operational but that it would eventually fail due to the nature of the damage and the way the mat was designed to be used.
 

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Hello,

I had the PPS "tape fix" in March 2018. It failed on the way to NASSAM 2019 (just outside of the warranty period).

At one time the sensor mats were being bought from Europe cheaper than from GM. Is there still a source of sensor mats?
 

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I'm taking my newly acquired '07 Monday for an airbag light, and open recalls. I assume it'll be getting a new sensor mat. Passenger seat will be removed for the roll cage build soon, and not going back in. That is, I'll have a fresh sensor mat available soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
12/31/2019 Update:

Completed the new survey of NHTSA complaints registered since the recall was announced (January 2017) where someone had the recall performed and then the problem came back.

Honestly, there isn't much here. 14 records total and only 8 of follow on failures after the recall fix was performed. Of those 8, only 4 could be confirmed as having just the tape fix performed and then a total failure later. Of these 4, I can only confirm 1 of these have happened after the 1 year warranty on the recall fix was up. I know I've read more than 1 person having their mat fail a year after getting the tape fix but those people are not complaining, not mentioning the first fix was a tape fix, and/or not mentioning the failure happened more than a year after the tape fix.

This really isn't enough to file a petition to look into the "tape fix" part of the original recall. I will keep monitoring it but if you have not filed a complaint with NHTSA and have had your "tape fix" recall solution mat fail completely, you need to file a complaint. If you have and have already filed a complaint, do NOT file another. Data integrity cannot be compromised just to get "more" complaints.
 

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Sorry I did not see this sooner. My sensor had not failed when it was replaced under the recall just over two years ago. It failed again a few months ago. I was told that the two year warranty on the first replacement had just expired and I was charged $800 or so. Can I be sure that I had only the tape fix? I don't know if I should complain if the first was a complete replacement. I believe the new replacement pad has a longer warranty.
 

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If your sensor had not failed it is extremely unlikely that it was actually replaced, so you were most likely only given the tape. Two years is also incredibly soon for a new sensor to fall unless you are excessively abusive to the seat.

As far as I know, the standard warranty for all repairs or replacements is 12 months or 12,000 miles.
 

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My understanding is that if your PPS was working when you did the recall, you got only the tape fix. When the tape fix was done you had a one year guarantee on entire seat sensor. That is exactly what happened to me. They did the tape fix, some months later the PPS failed again and they replaced the whole thing under warrantee.
 

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Thanks. I will go ahead and file the complaint. The reason I said I wished I had seen this sooner is that I would have asked for the bad part to be returned to me. It could have come in handy if this goes any further.
 

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Thanks. I will go ahead and file the complaint. The reason I said I wished I had seen this sooner is that I would have asked for the bad part to be returned to me. It could have come in handy if this goes any further.
I asked for the part back too. they would not give it to me. I have repaired many of these ribbon type conductors in aircraft applications and believe I could do these too. There is nothing special about these in our sols where the break occurs. That particular spot is just a conductor.
 

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Thanks. I will go ahead and file the complaint. The reason I said I wished I had seen this sooner is that I would have asked for the bad part to be returned to me. It could have come in handy if this goes any further.
It probably wouldn't help. The new sensor is the old sensor with the reinforcing tape, so whether they reinforced your old one or installed a new one the failed part would look the same.

I asked for the part back too. they would not give it to me. I have repaired many of these ribbon type conductors in aircraft applications and believe I could do these too. There is nothing special about these in our sols where the break occurs. That particular spot is just a conductor.
Repairs have been tried, here and by a couple of European owners, without success. It is an ultra-thin circuit trace on a very thin substrate, with a relatively thick coating. I may end up with a failed sensor. If I do, are you interested in having it?
 

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It probably wouldn't help. The new sensor is the old sensor with the reinforcing tape, so whether they reinforced your old one or installed a new one the failed part would look the same.



Repairs have been tried, here and by a couple of European owners, without success. It is an ultra-thin circuit trace on a very thin substrate, with a relatively thick coating. I may end up with a failed sensor. If I do, are you interested in having it?
Very much so! I would like to give it a try. If yours goes south I would love to have a go at it.
 
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