GM Yanks Rear Seat Entertainment from Big SUVs


Chalk up another victim of the ongoing global supply chain headaches. GM announced to its dealers this morning, by way of its fleet order guide, that their large SUVs – 2022 Tahoe, Yukon, et al – will not be offered with a rear-seat entertainment system “for the model year.” This marks just one of many features which have vanished from vehicles in the wake of what’s been a tough couple of years for carmakers.

Proving the situation is fluid, some items are creeping back into rotation. For example, heated seats are once again part and parcel of the Chevy Traverse – just in time for summer.

It’s all part of a complicated and delicate dance facing the world’s automakers. With a limited supply of microchips on hand compounded by other supply chain problems, some manufacturers have been forced to yank features from their products to keep production lines humming and prevent dealer lots from turning into vast empty spaces. The latter has been of no small concern to the industry, with photos of barren dealerships cropping up quite regularly.

The latest? GM now says the Rear Seat Entertainment option, a package which includes dual 12.6-inch touchscreens mounted to the front seatbacks in addition to some other kit such as compatible wireless headphones, are off the table for its large SUV line. This family includes the Tahoe, Yukon, Escalade, and its variants. The feature was an option on some trims but standard equipment on high-zoot models.

Elsewhere, GM has seemingly sorted its supply chain frustrations for heated seats in the ’22 Traverse, with a note to dealers stating machines built on or after February 21 of this year will have that feature included from the factory. We mention those last three words with some specificity since 2022 Traverse models which arrived on dealer lots denuded of bun warmers will allegedly qualify for “later dealer retrofit to enable functionality” in addition to a small credit on the Monroney. For those wondering, hammering the heated seat button in an affected vehicle simply does nothing – the seat remains cold and the button’s lights do not illuminate.

This phenomenon is not unique to GM, with just about every major manufacturer affected in some form by supply chain problems. The approach of shipping vehicles without essential (but convenient) equipment does raise the question of how this will affect used car shopping several years from now. After all, it is the owner’s responsibility to have the items activated after initial delivery, and it should be noted that not all of the missing features can be retrofitted – start/stop and cylinder deactivation spring immediately to mind. Will future used vehicle buyers realize their new-to-them Yukon doesn’t actually have heated seats until they’ve signed the note? Will GM retrofit the chip to activate them three, four, five years down the road for the second owner? These are new questions yet to be answered.

Perusal of the build-and-price tool for the 2022 GMC Yukon AT4 equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 reveals numerous alterations to its spec sheet. It’s equipped with two-way instead of four-way front seat lumbar supports, for example, there’s no heated steering wheel, nor is there a steering column lock. A $125 credit appears to compensate for those three missing items. Also listed as absent are front and rear park assist and reverse automatic braking ($50 credit), and some V8-equipped 2022 Yukons built between October and mid-December 2021 do not have any start/stop functionality.

The car business has always been tough. These headaches certainly don’t make it any easier.

Image: [GM]

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