Chip Shortage: Consumer Reports Says American Brands like GM, Stellantis Removed Convenience Features, Not Toyota
Unfortunately, the semiconductor problems have persisted for automakers. Some brands have had more issues than others. Consumer Reports says that American brands like GM and Stellantis are losing some convenience features. Many of the automakers noted issues with modern features since these require many semiconductor chips. See what the brands told Consumer Reports below.
Consumer Reports called out GM and Stellantis, but these automakers aren’t alone
The global semiconductor chip shortage is just one of the many issues plaguing the automotive industry. But Consumer Reports says GM and Stellantis have been hit pretty hard. Certain features are being removed from cars, trucks, and SUVs to continue making vehicles. Most of the features are more high-tech options, which is why there are so many chips needed.
GM said it would suspend offering heated and ventilated seats in some models. Heated and cooled seats are a popular feature in many trucks and SUVs in the lineup. The company hopes to be able to retrofit these features later on. Cadillac is one of GM’s luxury brands and planned to remove the Super Cruise driver assistance system from the Escalade, Consumer Reports said. That feature was temporarily removed but has been re-added at this time.
The Super Cruise driver assistance feature is similar to an autopilot feature. It allows the driver to take hands off the wheel on highways and other well-marked roads. Super Cruise technology is possible due to “an array of other outward-facing sensors that are controlled by microchip processors.”
Besides GM and Stellantis brands, what are other automakers doing?
Before pulling back on producing the vehicle altogether, Chevrolet said that Super Cruise would be removed from the Chevy Bolt EV. Since that announcement, Chevy and GM have suspended production on the Bolt due to battery fires.
Jeep, Dodge, and Mercedes-Benz said that while some cars might not have all features available now, such components can be retrofitted later.
“We are in dialogue with the affected customers regarding individual mobility solutions. In some markets, this includes, for example, the possibility that customers can choose the originally agreed delivery date of their vehicle with the associated functional restrictions or adequate alternative mobility solutions. The functions will be retrofitted as soon as the corresponding components are available again.”Mercedes-Benz | Consumer Reports
Mitsubishi told Consumer Reports that it planned on changing options packages to address the issue with blind-spot monitoring and other screens. Some similar automakers have said the descriptions for some features would be vaguer as it wasn’t clear what, if any, elements would be removed. BMW gave Consumer Reports a vague response saying “some limitations on the availability of certain optional equipment.”
It hasn’t impacted some brands quite as much, like Toyota
On the other hand, brands like Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, and Nissan have said the chip shortage was impacting production, but limiting features was not on the agenda. Some companies had a large stockpile of semiconductor chips or a better relationship with chip suppliers, which has allowed for consistent production. That worked for a while, but Toyota felt the shortage in overall production.
While it makes sense that the automakers would not outright admit to issues, perhaps the worst is behind everyone. Consumer Reports suggests checking for important features that were promised when the vehicle gets delivered. If there was something specific or particular promised, buyers should confirm that was included in the vehicle.
December was supposed to be a better month for production, so hopefully, 2022 will bring more cars with more features.