GM cutting heated seats from some models, trims due to chip shortage
The option will be pulled on nearly a dozen nameplates, including some trims of Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra
Drivers will have to find another way to heat their butts if they buy certain new vehicles from General Motors in the next few weeks.
The automaker announced mid-November it will temporarily suspend heated and ventilated seat options on specific vehicles and trims, likely through the entire 2022 model year.
Citing the ongoing global chip shortage, the automaker confirmed to Automotive News on November 12 that some Chevrolet and GMC trucks, cars, and SUVs would be affected. Also affected are various trims of models from its Cadillac and Buick brands. GM Canada confirmed buyers would instead be offered some sort of rebate, though it didn’t say for how much. In the U.S., customers will get between US$150 and US$500 back.
“Our teams are exploring ways to potentially retrofit vehicles with some of these features once parts become available. We will provide additional updates when available,” GM said in a statement. “Although the situation remains complex and very fluid, we remain confident in our team’s ability to continue finding creative solutions to minimize the impact of the semiconductor shortages that have been impacting the industry.”
In addition to heated seats being pulled – one of the most popular options ticked off by customers, News quotes a recent AutoPacific study – heated steering wheels are also expected to be discontinued in some models starting November 22.
The news is the latest in a series of cutbacks automakers are dealing with as a result of a global chip shortage.
At a time when the pandemic has impacted global supply chains, the semiconductor business has suffered particularly damaging results of late, affecting big auto brands such as BMW, Ford, and Volkswagen.
A recent report from AlixPartners, released last September, shows that the ongoing semiconductor shortage will cost the auto industry US$210 billion in lost revenues this year — almost double its estimate in May.