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General Motors

General Motors to retrofit heated seat feature on newly sold vehicles

General Motors said on Friday that vehicles sold lacking heated and ventilated seats because of the ongoing global semiconductor shortage will be eligible, likely starting in the middle of the next year, for a retrofit that activates those features.

The automaker said it will cover the cost to retrofit new automobiles built without the chips required for the heated and ventilated seats. It expects the chips to be available for the retrofits late in the second quarter of the next year, but the timeline could improve if chip supplies improve.

The chip shortage, which has hit automakers worldwide, emerges from a confluence of factors as automakers, which closed plants for two months during the coronavirus pandemic last year, rival against the sprawling consumer electronics industry for chip supplies. A factory fire suffered by Japanese chipmaker Renesas this year is also cited as a reason behind the chip shortage.

The action Friday came a week after the automaker had told U.S. dealers it was temporarily removing the heated and ventilated seat features on certain models as the chip shortage continue.

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