Q: In late 2008, I purchased a new 2009 Pontiac GT Vibe. The car is wonderful but does have a problem, which is known to the dealer and to the Pontiac division. The problem is that the driver seat must be cranked up each time you get into the car after a few hours or overnight. The last I heard, Pontiac intends to do nothing about this problem. That being said, I will tell you that the dealer has been very good. He even replaced the front seat to see if that would solve the problem, but told me most likely it would not — and it did not.
Since I am the only driver of this car, it is not being adjusted by anyone else, and each morning I must adjust the seat by cranking it up one or two notches. The seat doesn’t go down as you are driving, so it is not a safety issue, but it is a great inconvenience. Pontiac should be responsible for correcting this problem, either by recall or by issuing some type of repair kit to the dealers. The dealer told me they have at least two more customers with the same problem. Do you have any information or ideas as to how this problem can be corrected? This seat is not electric, nor is it hydraulic.
Thanks for your great letter. As you know, Pontiac has been officially out of business since 2010. I am sure you know this vehicle is the sister to the Toyota Matrix, and most parts are interchangeable. The vehicle was a joint venture between GM and Toyota. It was manufactured in Fremont, Calif., by New United Motor Manufacturing (Nummi Motors).
I did a lot of research on your problem because I fear the seat may fall out of adjustment while you’re driving, which may lead to a crash, even though you say this has not happened yet. Besides my search through the ALLDATA tech service bulletin database, I also talked to a few of the larger GM dealers that still work on Pontiacs. And honestly, no one has heard of your problem, nor is it a problem listed on the International Automotive Technicians Network. The service managers at the dealerships were scratching their heads and conferring with other service managers about your problem. Two things: No one has ever heard of this problem on a non-power seat, and they can’t see how it could happen.
I suggest you call the GM consumer hotline at 800-222-1020 and keep pressing 0 until you get to speak to a person concerning this issue. You also may want to call the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236. I take this problem very seriously, and you should, too.
Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.