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ambientweather 07-16-2013 11:16 AM

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.

ambientweather 07-17-2013 03:39 PM

Happy to say Chevy read this post and they are working behind the scenes to help.

95birdible 07-17-2013 04:14 PM

Did you happen to use the advice I sent you?

Chevrolet Customer Svc 07-17-2013 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambientweather (Post 6789480)
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.

William R.
Chevrolet Customer Care

hworth18 07-18-2013 06:00 AM

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..

JR 1 07-18-2013 10:04 AM

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.

ambientweather 07-18-2013 02:02 PM

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.

Chevrolet Customer Svc 07-18-2013 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambientweather (Post 6793460)
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,

William R.
Chevrolet Customer Care

JR 1 07-19-2013 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambientweather (Post 6793460)
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.

ambientweather 07-21-2013 08:23 PM

I did, thanks! Things are in motion.

RolltideSS 07-21-2013 08:30 PM

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.

ambientweather 07-23-2013 02:40 PM

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.

Verbolten 07-23-2013 03:43 PM

Company's that work like this usually go bankrupt. Oh wait a minute..

Chevrolet Customer Svc 07-23-2013 04:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ambientweather (Post 6811440)
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!

William R.
Chevrolet Customer Care


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