GM Announces Retrofit Solution for Heated Seat Shortage

gmc sierra 1500 at4x 2022 11 drivers seat interior steering wheel truck scaled jpg 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X | photo by Aaron Bragman

In mid-November, GM revealed the microchip shortage means some of its most popular vehicles won’t have heated seats, sending shivers down the spines of car shoppers (especially those in cold climates). Now, Automotive News reports a less chilling update: GM will have dealers retroactively add heated and ventilated seats to vehicles sold without the feature, possibly by mid-2022.

Related: Report: Chip Shortage to Swipe Heated Seats From Many New GM Vehicles

The microchip shortage hasn’t only impacted the supply of vehicles on dealer lots, it’s also forced automakers to build vehicles without some features that require chips. To keep its production lines moving, GM reportedly nixed an Active Fuel Management system from its full-size trucks in March. Some GM vehicles were also built without an automatic stop-start feature. Besides the minor hit to fuel economy, these omissions didn’t much impact the driving experience.

The latest endangered features (heated and ventilated seats, as well as heated steering wheels) have a more direct effect on occupants. Initially, buyers of vehicles like the Chevrolet Silverado and Traverse were told they would have to forgo these features permanently in exchange for a small discount on the vehicle, up to $500. That, too, is changing.

The Fix

Now, GM has a more optimistic update on the situation, giving shoppers hope that they won’t have to live with frozen backsides forever. The automaker says dealerships will be able to retroactively add heated and ventilated seats at no cost for the customer — but it likely won’t happen in time for winter.

GM reportedly estimates most vehicles will be able to be retrofitted with heated and ventilated seats in mid-2022. Initially, the automaker said shoppers who forgo the feature will get a discount of up to $500; however, following this development, the potential discount falls to just $50. Dealers won’t be able to add a heated steering wheel post-purchase, so the discount for vehicles without that feature will stay at $150.

chevrolet silverado high country 2022 01 angle blue exterior front jpg 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | photo by Steven Pham

Impacted Models

According to Automotive News, the following 2022 models are being built without heated seats:

  • Chevy: Blazer, Colorado, Equinox, Malibu, Trailblazer, Traverse, Silverado (except High Country)
  • GMC: Acadia, Canyon, Sierra (except Denali), Terrain
  • Buick: Enclave, Encore GX, Envision
  • Cadillac: XT4, XT5, XT6

The publication noted that per GM, only rear seats are affected on the Traverse High Country, Acadia Denali, Enclave Avenir, XT5 Sport and XT6 Sport.

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Former News Editor Jane Ulitskaya joined the team in 2021, and her areas of focus included researching and reporting on vehicle pricing, inventory and auto finance trends. Email Jane Ulitskaya

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