A few days ago, we reported on General Motors (GM)’s announcement that several of its models would be delivered without heated steering wheel or heated seat functionality in 2022 due to the ongoing shortage of microchips.
Last Friday, GM either clarified its announcement or changed its tune – take your pick -, explaining that vehicles sold without the features will be able to receive an upgrade to activate the heated seat function, probably starting in mid-2022.
The U.S. giant said it would cover the cost of the upgrade for new vehicles built without the necessary chips for heated and ventilated seats. It expects the missing parts to be available for a retrofit by the end of the second quarter of 2022. Of course, if the chip shortage starts to resolve itself, that timeline could be moved up.
For dealers, this is great news, because convincing buyers to cough up $40,000 or $50,000 for a vehicle by explaining they would never take advantage of the heated seats is a tough pitch to make.
As for the heated steering wheel, nothing can be done about that, the company explains.
As a reminder, due to the global shortage of electronic chips, several manufacturers have been forced to reduce their model production or, in some cases, deliver units without certain features.
GM said other features that were temporarily removed from some vehicles due to the crisis but have since been reinstalled include the digital climate display, blind spot warning and Super Cruise driver assistance system.