GM’s heated seats and steering wheels are the latest casualty of the chip shortage

November 16, 2021, 6:04 PM UTC

Winter’s chill is going to be felt a bit more strongly for buyers of upcoming General Motors vehicles.

The automaker has confirmed that it will temporarily stop offering the popular heated seat option in most 2022 vehicles, according to Automotive News. Heated steering wheels will also be unavailable.

The move comes as the automaker, like so many companies across industries, is trying to deal with the global semiconductor chip shortage. By doing away with the option, GM aims to conserve chips for more critical elements and maintain overall production levels.

Most SUVs and all but the top-end pickup lines in the 2022 lineup will no longer be equipped with heated or ventilated seats. Affected brands include the Chevrolet Colorado, Blazer, and Equinox and the GMC Canyon and Terrain. Heated seats will still be included in the Silverado and Traverse High Country and GMC Sierra and Acadia Denali.

It’s a move that could cause some consumer pushback. A recent survey by AutoPacific found heated seats were the most popular option among drivers in 2021 for the second year running. Some 66% of buyers said it was their most-wanted feature.

Heated seats might be an extremely popular option with buyers, but it’s not the first automotive feature to be halted because of the chip shortage. GM, earlier this year, delayed its hands-free Super Cruise technology on the 2022 Cadillac Escalades.

GM’s not alone, either. Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen have also taken extreme steps to protect themselves from production shortfalls in the coming months. Some manufacturers, like Toyota, though, have largely operated undisturbed, due to a long-time policy of stockpiling chips.

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