GM’s heated seats feature on hold due to chip shortage

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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General Motors
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The American automaker, General Motors (GM) will temporarily halt offering heated seats, one of the most popular choices among vehicle buyers, due to global chip shortages.

In many of its crossovers and all but the top-end trims of its full-size pickups starting next week ​will not be built with ventilated seats or a heated steering wheel until chip supplies improve. However, GM claims it can restore three other features that were previously disabled to save chip supplies, including digital temperature screens in selected pickups.

GM notified dealers about affected vehicles which include, the Chevrolet Colorado, Blazer, and Equinox, as well as the GMC Canyon and Terrain. The features also will be eliminated on all Chevy Silverados and Traverses except High Country trims and all GMC Sierras and Acadias except Denalis. Heated steering wheels will be eliminated from many of the same vehicles, as well as Chevy and GMC full-size SUVs, starting from November 22.

The changes are expected to remain in place through the 2022 model year. Buyers will receive credits of $150 to $500 as compensation, GM said.

According to a survey, heated seats are consumers’ most desired automobile feature. Two-thirds of the 88,998 customers surveyed said they wanted heated seats on their next vehicle. Half of the respondents said they wanted ventilated seats, which was the ninth most popular feature.

Automakers have been forced to halt manufacturing lines and reduce vehicle features this year because of the chip shortage. GM previously removed climate control digital temperature displays, side blind zone alert, and Super Cruise driver-assist technology on certain 2022 nameplates, but those features are now available in response to “a better flow of semiconductors in our supply chain,” GM said.

Most of GM’s North American assembly factories have resumed regular production schedules. As parts become available, the carmaker said it is looking into retrofitting vehicles with heated and ventilated seats and heated steering wheels.

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