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Old 07-16-2013, 11:16 AM   #1
ambientweather
 
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Ongoing Safety Issue

Background and Video Documentation of Air Bag Sensor Problem:

I have had an ongoing air bag sensor issue since 2011. The car is still under warranty. I have documented the issue here:

http://youtu.be/AkGzsLf7Cts

** Edited Note: It has been brought to my attention that it can take up to one minute for the air bag indicator to indicate ON. This stayed off for the entire two hour trip from Phoenix to Sedona.

Problem:
The passenger side air bag indicator reports off most of the time with my wife seated in the car. This is regardless of positioning of the legs, seat back position and other settings, such as cell phone off (possible interference) and seat belt fastened.

Sometimes, the air bag indicates ON, but turns OFF during the trip.

Troubleshooting:
The vehicle is still under warranty. The problem has been reproduced at the dealer while connected to the OBCII computer. The problem has also been reproduced with one of the Chevy employees riding as a passenger. We could not repeat this issue in any other car, including other Camaros and loaner vehicles.

My wife is 5'4" and about 160 lbs. The computer at times indicates she is a small child.

An air bag specialist informed us that the issue may be due to lack of pressure on the leading edge of the seat. The sensor detects whether the occupant is an adult or car seat.

She was told to put her legs together, and hold them in the air when she gets into the car and remain in that position for up to one minute. This is evidenced in the video. The other requirement is the seat must be in the full upright position.

This is contrary to the manual which states legs must be together and on the ground. Either way, it works intermittently or not at all.

We have replaced the computer module and seat sensing pad twice. We went to BBB arbitration and lost on a technicality. In Arizona, you must allow the dealer/manufacturer to fix a problem a certain number of times, but we fell short because on the last visit, they reported "the seat is operating as designed" and attempted no repair. Thus, it did not constitute a repair visit.

As a side note, the last visit was because Chevy corporate stated I was not giving them the opportunity to fix the vehicle, which was in direct contrast to the seat operating as designed.

BBB Arbitration Results:
After the BBB arbitration, the Chevy representative stopped me in the hallway and handed me a letter from EB Anderson, Global Airbag Suppression Lead and copied AS Oppenheiser. A Spong and T Reyaert.

The letter is as follows:

Hello Paul,

As a follow up to our discussion, please see below what we would like to do:

- Full seat replacement: If the customer finds a seat of a vehicle in the dealer that fits better, we would like to replace it. We are waiting feedback on the heater pad calibrations, to understand if further steps are required for seat installation.

We would like the original seat for tear town analysis.

- Can you please inspect the seat in the vehicle, to make sure that after market equipment was not installed. - massagers, seat covers.
- We would like to collect data with the customer on the seat, to further understand this issue. We also would like to install a new sensor, foam and trim.

Follow up Technical Analysis:
The air bag specialist did evaluate my wife in the car and we were able to reproduce the problem. He recommended to minimize the problem, put the legs to together and in the air for one minute and make sure the seat is in the full upright position.

However, the problem has become worse and unworkable.

Request for Seat Replacement:
Two months ago, I requested Chevy replace the seat per the letter. The dealer keeps responding that they need management approval first. However, the service manager has stopped answering my polite requests for status update.

Conclusion:

I have been very patient and only want this safety feature to work. They cant have it both ways - the problem is documented and verified but the 'air bag is working as designed'.

I am hoping someone from Chevy corporate will cut through the red tape, and take some action for a problem that has been chronic for the past two years.

Sincerely,

Camaro Fan and Frustrated Owner.
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Last edited by ambientweather; 07-29-2013 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:39 PM   #2
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Happy to say Chevy read this post and they are working behind the scenes to help.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
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Did you happen to use the advice I sent you?
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambientweather View Post
Happy to say Chevy read this post and they are working behind the scenes to help.
Doing the best we can! It was my pleasure to assist you ambientweather. Contact us anytime.

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Old 07-18-2013, 06:00 AM   #5
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Why haven't they just replaced the seat? The run around makes no sense and I would have taken it to another dealer because some dealers just don't have a clue.
Glad to hear things are getting sorted out but I would definitely have them replace the seat. Having your wife sit in a certain position for an amount of time is ridiculous..
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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I can't believe that GM engineers recommended a seat replacement and the dealer still gave you the run around. That service manager should be fired. That is unexcusable any an issue, certainly a safety issue. I hope you get this taken care of soon.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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I do not blame the service manager. He is having issues with the district manager approving it, even if there is a letter from Chevy Corporate. Often times, the dealer's hands are tied and they do not want to upset Chevy corporate.

I am patient. It has been an ongoing multi-year ordeal but I am patient.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambientweather View Post
I do not blame the service manager. He is having issues with the district manager approving it, even if there is a letter from Chevy Corporate. Often times, the dealer's hands are tied and they do not want to upset Chevy corporate.

I am patient. It has been an ongoing multi-year ordeal but I am patient.
And we certainly appreciate your patience. I have also responded to your PM ambientweather.

Thanks for your contact,

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Old 07-19-2013, 08:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambientweather View Post
I do not blame the service manager. He is having issues with the district manager approving it, even if there is a letter from Chevy Corporate. Often times, the dealer's hands are tied and they do not want to upset Chevy corporate.
That is even more mind numbing. The district manager needs to approve a seat replacement? That is too much red tape. They have probably wasted more money in man hours talking about it then it would have cost to just replace the seat.

I'm glad you are patient.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:23 PM   #10
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I did, thanks! Things are in motion.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:30 PM   #11
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I'm glad things are getting fixed for you but I am surprised you have been so patient for a pretty serious safety issue. If you had been in a wreck and the airbag hadn't gone off things could get very serious. I'm surprised the dealership didn't just replace the seat as a CYA move. If anything happened in the amount of time they dragged this out I would have had lawyers talking to anyone and everyone that had delayed the fix. Like I said - I'm glad things are getting fixed for you but more so I'm glad nothing happened while Chevy wasted time with this.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:40 PM   #12
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Hi William R.,

I have heard no response yet on this and no appointment has been set. Do you know what the status is?

RollTideSS,

I have been on this for the 2+ years I have owned the car. I dont want to be cynical and hope it is just bureaucratic but sometimes I think they are just waiting me out until the warranty is over. I will purchase an extended warranty.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:43 PM   #13
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Company's that work like this usually go bankrupt. Oh wait a minute..
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambientweather View Post
Hi William R.,

I have heard no response yet on this and no appointment has been set. Do you know what the status is?

RollTideSS,

I have been on this for the 2+ years I have owned the car. I dont want to be cynical and hope it is just bureaucratic but sometimes I think they are just waiting me out until the warranty is over. I will purchase an extended warranty.
PM sent!

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Old 07-23-2013, 07:46 PM   #15
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Unbelievable... I just got off the phone with a customer service rep at Chevy, and after Chevy dragged this out for two months, she said that "we will not be participating in the seat replacement at this time" even though I received a letter promising they would replace the seat.

She also stated that even though the car is under warranty, I would be responsible for any repair costs associated with the airbag indicator because miles have been put on the car since the seat replacement was offered.

The problem still persists. The air bag indicator does not come on when my wife is properly seated in the car.

What is next?

Regards,

Ed
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:52 PM   #16
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Here is the letter Chevy is no longer honoring...
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:04 PM   #17
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Well they are in breach of implied warranty. Ball is in your court now. You have documentation that says they will replace it which they now are not. I would take them to small claims court and fight it out with them. Or go to the NTSB or BBB
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:12 PM   #18
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Curious why they offered the seat replacement a year ago and it's not completed yet?? Has the dealer been stalling?
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:57 AM   #19
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WTF? Really GM?
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:00 AM   #20
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You know what, send a separate registered letter & email to each of the guys in the letter. I bet after they fire some body's ass the seat get replaced!
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:49 AM   #21
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At this point in time, I am completely stumped by their reaction. Yes, the dealer is stalling. The only way to break the deadlock was to contact William R. on this forum and he opened a case.

I already took this to BBB and lost on a technicality. BBB Arizona requires four repair attempts. On the fourth visit to the dealer, they stated the 'air bag is operating as designed', even though the problem was repeatable when connected to a computer and with one of the employees in the car. I am sure they knew the BBB rules going into the fourth repair attempt.

After the BBB meeting (not during), I was offered up this letter. We did follow up one week later and tests were run by a specialist, however, no seat was ordered at that time. He did show us the 'legs up for one minute' method and it seemed to help.

The problem was intermittent but a year later is more consistent, so I decided to take Chevy up on their offer. I assumed there was no expiration date and the car is still under warranty. I took them at their word as any gentleman would.

However, the district rep. on the phone stated over and over again that I am responsible for my own repairs, even though it is still under warranty and there is clearly a problem.

By the way, the Chevy letter stated my wife is 5'2" and 160 lbs. She is actually 5'6" and 160 lbs, a very normal sized adult.

Their actions defy logic.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:19 AM   #22
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If it was stated to you that repairs were to be fixed by you on your time although it is a warranty issue, they are in violation of implied warranty. Call your states attorney general. They usually are very helpful and can steer you in the right direction. Mine did when I was going through my buyback of my 2012 Vert
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:52 AM   #23
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Yes I will. When she said they will not be participating in the seat replacement at this time and kept repeating it, I was upset. When she said I was responsible for my own repairs, I was furious.

She is calling back today. We still have the issue that the air bag consistently does not work.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:54 AM   #24
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The words 'not participating' and 'at this time' are carefully chosen. I wonder what they mean legally?
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:11 AM   #25
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Man this really sucks. I wish you the best.
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