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Old 07-16-2013, 11:46 AM   #1
ambientweather
 
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Drives: 2011 Convertible 2SS
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Important Safety Issue with Air Bag

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

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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Old 07-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #2
ssmike
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I have had this problem since day 1 and my dealership refused to do anything about it. They said GM has calibrated the seat and that it can't be re-calibrated. My wife is 110 lbs and the airbag only works once in a while. Now I'm starting to get an intermittent "Service Airbag" alert on my DIC. My Camaro is now out of warranty so I'm afraid of what this might all lead to!
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:31 PM   #3
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Yes, I don't want to be cynical, but I wonder if they might be trying to run out the clock until my warranty is up. I do plan on purchasing an extended warranty since the 2011 verts develop holes in the top.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:39 PM   #4
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Happy to say Chevy read this post and they are working behind the scenes to resolve.
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