Pontiac Solstice And Saturn Sky Seat Sensors House Product-Wide Defect Affecting Airbag Deployment32
General Motors may have cleaned up its act surrounding safety and recalls in the present, and laid strong foundations for the future, but sometimes the past can, and will, creep back. In this case, it involves “Old GM” and a product failure, which could have dire consequences for drivers.
We’ve been anonymously tipped, and provided supplemental reading materials, surrounding the seat sensors in the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, which were manufactured on the Kappa platform between 2006 and 2010. As the research shows, both the Solstice and Sky were equipped with standard airbag detection system, which are housed in seat sensors in the passenger front seats. Over time, the sensors may bend, crack and ultimately fail, leading to non-deployment of the airbag in the event of a collision.
The system was developed to suppress the airbag should a child, infant or car seat be sitting in the front passenger seat. If the sensor detects an adult, the airbag will deploy. GM made the system standard in every vehicle by the 2006 model year, beginning with the 2006 Cadillac CTS.
Interestingly enough, GM recalled the 2007 model year CTS in 2010 for an identical problem with the seat sensors, an up to $800 fix that has led to reoccurring issues. The NHTSA and other auto manufactures have also issued recalls for the same technology in the past.
Giving warrant to the concern, data analyzation proves the seat sensor does wear out with overall usage and mileage, with 710 complaints logged with the NHTSA for the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky combined. Of the 710, 438 were surrounding the airbag system. GM previously recalled the 2007 model year CTS with only 154 complaints over the airbag system.
We present this information to inform, and persuade, hopefully providing momentum to ensure loss of life does not occur due to a faulty airbag sensor. The evidence is clear, as it has been documented carefully over 67 pages by Troy Lyman, that GM holds a responsibility to its customers over this safety issue. We invite you to read the document and educate yourself further on the matter here.
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There are recalls for airbags sensors, replacement for the sensors and replacement seat sensors.
That is true, but all of them excluded Kappa platform cars.
This white paper seems to prove that Kappa platform cars should not have been excluded from the wave of PSS recalls in the late 2000’s.
It’s an excellent read and shows how other auto makers handled (literally) the same problem.
If they recalled on the ones for the CTS, why not recall the sigma platforms as well?
While I haven’t researched the subject, the STS and SRX appear to have larger seats with more cushioning, that may not have caused the issue to resonate. Even if they had the same sensor – if the seats compensated for the defect, that may have been sufficient protection.
Kappa platform cars appear (on a percentage basis) to suffer from this problem the worst, because people working on the cars often need to rest their knee on the center of the seat. This is most apparent when working on the back trim or other areas.
It’s very difficult to reach in parts of a Kappa without being very tempted to (unintentionally) put your knee right on the PSS module.
The Pontiac Solstice makes me think it would be possible to build a 2-door coupe using a shortened Alpha platform.
They have, and a replacement for it.
I have this situation in my car right now, but the high cost of fixing the issue has prevented me from having a working airbag system. Hope this latest media push gets an official recall pushed through.
kappa chassis cars have had airbags recalls, I’m looking at now. People on there kappa chassis website’s talk about how they replace these sensor’s in the seats.
Just to be clear, the PSS component that has failed here – has not been recalled in any Kappa platform car (Solstice, Sky, Opel GT, or G2X). The guides online are showing how to replace the same exact part. GM has not (as far as we know) revised the part, either.
The CTS, and several other IEE-manufactured PSS systems have been recalled, and appear to have suffered the same design fault.
Many people that have had that part replaced, have had it fail a second time. Additionally, it may require calibration by a GM dealership to reset the error code.
The white paper goes into great detail on these subjects.
There is also a similiar problem with the Cobalts passenger restraint failing (open ciricuit) due to a latent defect in design/installation. The effect of this is the airbag system is inoperative. Mine failed around the 3,000 mile mark with minimal usage of the passenger seat. The defect has been documented on the websites devoted to the Cobalt.
Cost to fix is upward of $500 at a dealership. GM has issued a Technical Bulletin but has chosen to not do a recall! Guess Ms. Bara hasn’t got the General in order afterall.
Gm is not these only manufacture that has a long list of technical bullentins, instead of doing a recalls.
Guessing you’re a bot… because honestly, your replies make no sense.
GM has issued no TSB for Solstice or Sky regarding the PSS. Nor have they issued a recall. Nor have they issued a special coverage program.
They have done none of what you say they have done, in regards to the cars in this article.
What is the website to add a complaint about the sensor. Mine has been broken for at least 4 years.
Go to the NHTSA website, you will find it there.
I’ve read the 67 pages, but did not found any source in the PDF, that states that the passenger airbag oder the hole airbag system in a kappa platform based car is inoperative with a failed PPS. Doe’s anybody found a GM / NHTSA etc. based fact or source in the long document?
Have the same issue with my passenger air bag. Started last couple of weeks every so often, now passenger air bag off all the time and idiot light on dash on plus service air bag message. 2007 model, 22,00 miles
Please file a NHTSA comment in the open investigation. Your input now, could make the difference as to if there is a recall or not. Let me know if you need assistance.
FYI – I filed a NHTSA complaint, including a copy of the Chevy TSB, regarding the airbag/seatbelt retractor issue on a 2010 Cobalt SS. That was a year ago, but have not heard anything.
is there anybody who can help me.
I am driving in Germany a Pontiac Solstice
2006, having this issue with the airbag sensor. Officially the parts which need to be exchanged a re not available currently.
To be able to be allowed to drive the car here, I need the frequent inspection by the German TÜV. To pass this check, I need to have the airbag sensor issue solved.
Does anybody here has a suggestion what I could do, or who could help.
I know here in the states the parts aren’t available yet ( at least for me ), but the dealer here disabled it somehow and the light is currently off – but the airbag won’t deploy in an accident.
hope this helps.
GM and Opel should offer the same recall once a part has been developed. In all past situations like this GM will reimburse you for any current repairs, and then replace the part later.
If I were you, I would print the recall notice and talk to your Opel dealership. It is a bit frustrating that GM has not extended the recall to Europe yet. I am not sure why.
Thanks for your answer Christopher.
The dealer I am talking to is an official Opel / GM dealer.
He told me that he has information about the recall, so I assume it is extended to Europe.
But he also told me that the parts are not available yet. This information was already communicated to me 6 months ago and was repeated again this week.
I am thinking about to get this part out of a crashed car. Therefore I like to ask can you point me to an internet-link which offer searches for second hand parts in the US.
There is no recall for the airbag sensormat in Europe.
There are no informations available by Opel or the dealership.
All other statements or Informations are wrong.
For Germany all recalls are listed n the KBA database, but there is none for that part.
The sensor was ways cheaper in Europe over the past years. The hole seat cushion, including the sensormat was aprox. USD 100, compared to USD 400 and up to USD 500 in the US.
Due to this pricing, used sensors are more expensive in the US, than new parts in Europe. But bying a used part for the airbag system is no good idea at all.
You’ll find all informations belonging to this problem in german forums too, search for Sitzerkennungsmatte /:Sitzbelegungsmatte:
The sparepart for the TÜV in Germany is:
Seat cushion with sensormat:
Opel Nr. 4810419
GM Nr. 19124219
Prices raised the last month, was 87 Euro, now 210 Euro:
Eventually you have to visit an Opel dealer for a relearn procedure of the sensor mat, you’ll find all informations in the forum statet above.
So my PSS FAILED over a month ago. Covered by the Recall, but I am still waiting for word from GM. Part not is stock, No ETA. (No liability for loss of use in the States), so good luck getting your car repaired and made safe. Don’t even bother trying to get an answer or escalate – their whole Customer Service system is designed to shut you down.
“(No liability for loss of use in the States)”
That’s not true. During the ignition switch recall, GM was forced to offer free loaner vehicles.
You should ask your dealer to request a loaner or rental from the GM regional manager. The dealership is supposed to make the request to the region manager that they work with.
If you are denied, you can then rent a car as needed, and sue for the bills in small claims court. Since only the passenger seat is impacted, you also may want to bring that person as a witness in court that you genuinely needed two working seats in the vehicle.
Christopher, thank you for the reply. the District Manager has already rejected my request, “The car is 10 years old”. The part is available from other sources, including other dealers and GM Parts Direct. They will not reimburse me for the purchase, perhaps just because they don’t want to pay retail, (dealer parts have a high markup). I am thinking that I may have the car repaired and sue for the repair in small claims.
Christopher, thank you for the reply. the District Manager has already rejected my request for a loaner, “The car is 10 years old”. The part is available from other sources, including other dealers and GM Parts Direct. They will not reimburse me for the purchase, perhaps just because they don’t want to pay retail, (dealer parts have a high markup). I am thinking that I may have the car repaired and sue for the repair in small claims.
Your duty is to limit liability as much as possible. If you can show the repair costs to do it yourself, would exceed the number of rental car days that you need a passenger seat in use, that is an option.
I would draft a formal demand letter and outline this to the district manager. Cite that he/she stated “the car is 10 years old” and then politely explain how the age of the car has no factor in detrimental reliance common law.
Takes 10 minutes to write, shows you mean business and genuinely will follow through with a small claims action.
I had my Sky Redline PSS replaced at a local Chevrolet dealer. Took a week to get the parts and a day to install. Cost me $0. I’d go to a different dealer.
Tried a different Dealer, National Backorder. No ETA, Neither Dealer or GM case manager can provide any ETA, or update, (like is the part on order from supplier, held up for redesign, etc.).
This is totally horrible service. 80 days with an unsafe, recall vehicle with no passenger airbag and GM won’t do a thing. I will never buy another GM vehicle in my life. This is not just about customer service – its about Safety and how they handle a recall.