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GM Recalls 221 Vehicles Over Improperly Welded Seat Cushion Frame

Back in December 2021, a General Motors engineer submitted a report to Speak Up for Safety after he received a worrying notice from the final seat assembly supplier. More specifically, a loose driver-side seat cushion somehow fell loose during assembly. Fisher Dynamics examined the suspect seat, promptly discovering a broken weld in the cushion frame’s power tilt-adjustment mechanism at the cross-tube/tilt-bracket interface.
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The supplier determined that slag from the welding process had intermittently accumulated in the welding fixture during a suspect period. On rare occasions, this condition may lead to the improper positioning of the cross tube with respect to the tilt bracket. GM says the supplied had failed to follow the standard process for inspecting and containing poor welds.

Fisher Dynamics told the biggest of the Big Three in Detroit that improper welding doesn’t pose a risk to the seat’s crash performance. But out of an abundance of caution, the automaker did open a formal investigation in January 2022. Given the deaths attributed to the ignition switch issue from a few years ago, you could say this is a case of once bitten, twice shy.

The computer simulations performed by General Motors indicated that a suspect driver’s seat would conform to the applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. On the other hand, improper welding might have degraded performance for 5th-percentile (a.k.a. 150 cm. in height) female drivers.

Thankfully for everyone, no claims or complaints have been identified thus far. Based on production records from Fisher Dynamics, the safety boffins at General Motors identified 221 vehicles that need replacement seats.

The list begins with 34 units of the Chevrolet Malibu for the 2021 model year. The rest consists of compact and mid-size crossovers, starting with 101 examples of the 2022 Chevrolet Equinox. Finally, 84 units of the 2022 Chevrolet Blazer and 2 units of the 2022 Cadillac XT4 are called back.

Owner notifications will be mailed on July 5th. The attached safety recall report further states that “improved inspection and detection measures were fully implemented by the seat frame supplier by January 31st, 2022.”

 Download: GM seat cushion frame recall (PDF)


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