The microchip shortage is affecting all automakers, but it's doing so unevenly across the industry. General Motors (GM) is one of those particularly hard hit, which is why this week the company told its dealers that Chevrolet and GMC are temporarily dropping heated seat and steering wheel features from most of their 2022 models.
According to Automotive News, GM has sent a letter to dealers explaining the situation. The information reported by the site does not include a complete list of affected vehicles. However, we do know that more than a dozen models won’t offer these options. The Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox are on the list, as are the GMC Canyon and Terrain, as well as the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, with the exception of higher-end versions like GMC’s Denali.
It's not known at this time which Buick or Cadillac models will be affected, but those brands won’t be spared. A GM spokesperson confirmed to Motor1 that the chip shortage will cause some Buick and Cadillac models to lose the heated seats and heated steering wheel features.
And don't think they'll be installed afterwards. The heated steering wheel and seat units simply won't be installed in the 2022 models affected by the measure. Where it is normally included as standard, buyers will get a credit.
In practical terms, the company is managing the number of chips it is receiving from suppliers and allocating them where the priorities are. The chip responsible for the operation of a heated steering wheel will be removed before the one that manages a safety feature, for instance.
The fact that GM is announcing that this will be for the full production of certain 2022 models gives us an idea of how long it will take to restore the supply chain in the industry. Several analysts have already predicted that it will take until 2023 for shortages to disappear, and that's indeed what seems to be happening across the industry, even if it’s expected that things will improve in the coming months.