Saturn Sky Forum banner

1 - 20 of 1105 Posts

Super Moderator
11,238 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
12/31/2019 Update:
Completed the new survey of NHTSA complaints registered since the recall was announced (January 2017) where someone had the recall performed and then the problem came back.

Honestly, there isn't much here. 14 records total and only 8 of follow on failures after the recall fix was performed. Of those 8, only 4 could be confirmed as having just the tape fix performed and then a total failure later. Of these 4, I can only confirm 1 of these have happened after the 1 year warranty on the recall fix was up. I know I've read more than 1 person having their mat fail a year after getting the tape fix but those people are not complaining, not mentioning the first fix was a tape fix, and/or not mentioning the failure happened more than a year after the tape fix.

This really isn't enough to file a petition to look into the "tape fix" part of the original recall. I will keep monitoring it but if you have not filed a complaint with NHTSA and have had your "tape fix" recall solution mat fail completely, you need to file a complaint. If you have and have already filed a complaint, do NOT file another. Data integrity cannot be compromised just to get "more" complaints.

12/13/2019 Update:
Round 2

It looks like we may need to go through this again though this time may not be nearly as difficult to research yet will probably be harder to get a result.

In the original paper I wrote for this, I documented how this failure could occur and expressed our recall should be like the Cadillac recall and all PPS mats should be replaced. As you know, this was not the case. An active PPS fault needed to be occurring for a full replacement. If there was no fault, GM would put the reinforcing tape on the existing mat and call it good.

The problem we are seeing is that many of these "tape only fixes" are failing at or just past the 1 year warranty period of the recall repair. It is my hypothesis that these mats were already "damaged" when the tape was applied. By damaged I mean the mat 3D matrix of sensors had already started to tear but that the tear was not big enough to break the printed circuit that causes the fault. Once the mat is damaged in this way though, use of the seat WILL allow the tear to lengthen until it does eventually result in a PPS mat failure. The "tape fix", I believe, would not prevent this, only lengthen the time it takes to happen.

GM cannot tell if a mat is damaged unless the fault is active OR to tear apart the mat and inspect the 3D matrix within it. Of course doing the latter would render the mat unusable so only the active PPS mat fault method was used. It is my belief that ANY car that got only the "tape fix" should be recalled again and have a new mat installed and that, moving forward, the recall solution repair should only be replacing the existing mat, whether or not the PPS error is active or not, with a new mat.

So please, ANYONE who has taken their car in without the airbag light being on to have the PPS mat recall performed but who then later had the airbag light come on again only to find out their PPS mat has now failed, please go to the NHTSA complaint site (link below) and register a complaint. I will start going through that database next week to collect complaint counts. Thank you.

--- END UPDATE ---


NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V061000

Manufacturer General Motors LLC

Components AIR BAGS

Potential Number of Units Affected 91,007


General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and 2007-2010 Saturn Sky vehicles. The Passenger Air Bag Suppression System (PPS) sensor may become bent or damaged within the front passenger seat, possibly disabling the front passenger air bag.
3/1/2018 Update:

Can't believe it's been over a year since we got the news the recall was issued. Now, the final remedy for this recall has been announced and folks are getting their letters to come in and have it applied.

The final remedy is to add tape to the mat just like on the CTS. If your mat is NOT damaged, and more on this word in a minute, then the dealership will apply the new reinforced tape to your existing mat. If your mat IS damaged, they will replace the mat with a new mat that has the tape in place.

Now for the explanation of what "damage" means. From what we can tell, you may have a working mat (no Service Air Bag message or Air Bag warning light) and it could still be considered "damaged". Now whether this means the section of mat that fails is slightly torn or if it is torn to the point where it is into the printed circuit yet has not broke the circuit completely we don't know. Talk to your service department or GM for further information on this.

2/9/2017 Update:

NHTSA officially issues the recall.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V061000

From the recall documentation:

You are required to provide an estimated date including month, day, and year, when you will send notifications to owners, dealers, and distributors as soon as it becomes available. Please be reminded that it is required that owners be notified of a safety defect in their vehicles within 60 days of a manufacturer's notification to NHTSA of a safety defect in those vehicles.
This means we all should receive a letter on the recall by April 9th. It is hoped that there will be a remedy listed by that time.

2/1/2017 Update:
Looks like Transport Canada has beat the NHTSA to the recall punch.
Transport Canada issues safety recall of 7,143 Pontiac and Saturn vehicles

The Transport Canada recall number is 2017044. Here is a link to the Transport Canada recall page for our cars:
Recall Details

1/27/2017 Update:
The recall has been issued by GM. #172080280 Issued January 26, 2017

NHTSA has not assigned a recall number yet.

There is no Remedy Plan yet.

Enter your VIN and you can read the details.


Now, per the GM employee who shared this on Facebook (and per the recall info on that site when you input your VIN), GM is working on a redesign of the part and there is no official Remedy yet. I don't know how long redesign and production of this new part will take (I'm thinking at minimum 6 months and that's being highly optimistic) so don't go down to your dealership and ask for the recall to be done on your car just yet.

What this news means is that GM has decided to issue a recall and move forward with making a fix. NHTSA will eventually issue a recall number too when GM has sorted out what the remedy for this will be.

As more news becomes available, I will post updates to this thread up here.

Below is the original post and the updates as they were posted...but most of this is moot now that GM has released an official recall.

Passenger Sensing System Sensor Mat Failures in the GM Kappa Platform - A Call for a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Investigation

Abstract: Based on a survey of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from their Vehicle Safety Consumer Complaint System and data supplied by manufactures who experienced and issued recalls on Passenger Sensing System (PSS) sensor mats, there is a failure pattern of the IEE supplied PSS sensor mat in the GM Kappa platform vehicles, the MY 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and MY 2007-2010 Saturn Sky, which would require further investigation and action to ensure passenger safety.

1/17/2017 Update:
Not so much an update as a follow up notice. I talked to the person handling our petition and asked them about the status of it. All I got was "We're working on it and we haven't forgotten about it." I don't know if the length of time this is taking is a good or bad thing but at least they know we haven't forgotten about it either. I will keep checking their site (which is easier to do now at least...) and will follow up with them again in May if nothing has changed. That will mark one year since the petition was opened by them.

10/19/2016 Update:
GM response posted. Included in the response are databases that list every Kappa produced, every complaint GM has received on this issue, and every repair GM has done for this issue. We're talking a LOT of data here folks. 90,000+ records in the production database, 300+ records in the complaint database, and 2,700+ records in the repair database. I plan on going over these databases like I did the CTS databases in my first report. May take a month or so to put everything together but I'll update you here.

7/21/2016 Update:
What a difference a day makes. Today there are four new documents on the NHTSA Site. These are the response from IEE. Some very interesting information about our sensors.
Click the link below to go directly to the post in this thread about these important documents:

7/20/2016 Update:
No update yet to the NHTSA site on the petition. I called around June 21st to see if IEE had responded and, while I was told they had and that no request for confidentiality had been submitted with the response, it should be on their website "soon". I know Takata is taking a lot of their time and the staffing is short but it has been over a month since IEE's response deadline (June 15th) and almost three weeks since GM's response deadline (June 30th) with no update to the site. I do check every weekday. So today I wrote an email to the contacts I had been put in touch with over at the NHTSA requesting some update on the petition. If I receive no response by July 31st, I'll be calling the office on August 1st to see what the holdup is.

5/31/2016 Update:
I did an interview with WSMV, NBC Nashville for a follow up report on their 2013 story regarding this issue.

Drivers continue push for recall over vehicle's known issue - WSMV Channel 4

In the email the reporter sent me to share this link, he sent correspondence from GM stating that GM has began an internal investigation into this issue.

5/27/2016 Update:
NHTSA has granted a two week extension to IEE for them to submit their information. New deadline for IEE is June 16th.

5/26/2016 Update:
IEE responded to NHTSA requesting a conference call between the NHTSA, IEE and IEE's attorney to discuss an extension to their June 1st deadline to respond with the information NHTSA requested on May 16th.

5/20/2016 Update:
NHTSA INVESTIGATION Subject : Passenger Sensing System Sensor Mat

Date Investigation Opened: MAY 16, 2016
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: DP16001
Component(s): AIR BAGS

The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received a petition requesting a defect investigation into an alleged defect of the air bag system on 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and 2007-2010 Saturn Sky vehicles. The petition letter is attached for review.

4/20/2016 Update: Defect Petition has been written and reviewed by the NHTSA representative I got in contact with yesterday. He told me to proceed and this should go out in the mail along with a CD of 8 attachments mentioned in the Petition. See page 4 in this thread for a link to the letter (a almost final draft version).

4/19/2016 Update: While I can't go into details at this time, I have been informed that the NHTSA has gotten wind of this report and would be open to starting an investigation into the problem. I first must draft a Defect Petition in accordance with 49 CFR 552.4 in order to get the ball rolling. I am currently researching what is needed in that Defect Petition letter and starting my first draft. I have a contact at NHTSA who is willing to help with this process so I look forward to having more news for you folks in the coming days.

2/9/2016 Update: I have gone through the whole document for a third (or fourth, or fifth...I've lost count) time and have incorporated suggestions from those who have read it over and messaged me as well as my own revisions that I caught while reading through it. I THINK I got everything. I will start working on a Social Media story now.

2/4/2016 Update: 10 more pages added comparing NHTSA reported complaints of the PSS sensor mat failure in the Vehicle Safety Consumer Complaint database versus production numbers of the two Kappa vehicles and four other GM products.


I ask that folks who wish to read the above PDF and, if you find any typos or mistakes, please let me know so I can fix them. It's not a short read.

Also, thank you to Tomato Soup and DaveOC for their help with this project. I referenced TS's great work and photo documentation on the PSS sensor mat he took apart and DaveOC helped with research information on production and sales numbers for the Kappa platform. Thank you both and thank you to all those who supported my efforts in putting this together.

Okay folks, for those that didn't follow along in the other thread and need to catch up, here is the backstory to this:

The whole purpose of this survey of information is to get the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open an investigation into the problem. Until they do that, GM isn't going to do anything I don't believe.

This document reviews the problem in the following manner.

First we go over why we have these sensors in the car and how the system works.

Then it moves on to the Cadillac 2005-2007 CTS recall. This recall was for the same issue we seem to have, the mat flexes and eventually breaks causing the Service Air Bag message to display. This recall is used for a baseline since GM is in charge of the Cadillac, Pontiac, and Saturn brands. There is a review of the problem, how GM determined there was a problem, the role NHTSA played in that discovery, the changes made during production to fix the problem, the timeline of the recall, and GM and NHTSA data documenting the problem and decision making process.

Then it moves on to the Kappas. There is a brief background of the Kappa development with emphasis on GM using as many parts from other cars in production as possible to speed up development time to go from show car to production, an overview of our problem, and complaint data from the NHTSA complaint system then comparing that with data trends in the CTS recall.

From there it moves on to the BMW recall of 2008, its expansion in 2013, and the inclusion of the MINI vehicles in 2015. Manufacturer data is used to compare the discovery process with Cadillac, how BMW resorted to alternative analysis data and the symptoms of the problem with both Cadillac and Kappa. Also the solutions of BMW to the problem and how BMW categorized the issue is compared to how GM solved the CTS problem.

Next up is Kia and it's 2013 Kia Rio recall for the same issue. It covers the discovery timeline of Kia, how Kia Motors America (KMA) and Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) twice conducted internal investigations into the problem without discovering the issue and finally, under pressure from the NHTSA, used alternative analysis data techniques to finally uncover the problem and issue a recall.

The last recall it covers is the Suzuki recall. The discovery process and timeline are reviewed and conclusions drawn about the length of time the problem requires to be discovered on average as well as how the company handled the recall process after pressure from Canada's version of the NHTSA (can't remember it now...Canada something).

This is followed by a comparison of these four recalls to the Kappa problem and the conclusions I drew from the data that was presented.

Finally, the survey of information proposes an action plan to move forward with the initiation of an investigation based on the evidence presented in the survey.

I call this a survey because it could take me six months to thoroughly go over the data I can find, writing manufacturers for more information, and querying hard copy records all over the world to get more information on these recalls, supply chains, and production processes. In the end, the only way we will see more data to be able to really determine how bad the problem is will be when GM has to respond to the NHTSA investigation I hope this generates and needs to provided hard data as to why or why not they decide to issue a recall or not.

I originally said a week but the PDF at the top of the page is the product of over a month worth of research, data entry, analysis, and writing. It's the first time I've wrote something of this size. 54 pages of writing, 1 cover page, 3 works cited pages. Almost all primary sources. Found all of it through extensive Internet searches.

And this is just the beginning...

I'm going to make an empty reply to this thread below this initial post to save a spot for the next part of this process. I'll take the information I put together in this survey and put together a more "Pathos" argument that relies more on a Emotional argument for the investigation for posting to social media. This one shouldn't take as long...I don't have to use citations or formal writing styles plus it needs to be a paragraph or two at most. Maybe three.

One more thing, this was all done for the Kappa community. If something comes of it, its for all of us. Give me a week before you share this on other sites so I have a chance to do second and third proofread passes on it. I've already done one healthy pass but I would like to do a couple more and have others get their eyes on it so they can catch things I miss. Next week though, we can post away. For the social media message I'm making for the next replay, that can go out at the same time as you will want to link back to the main document posted above.

Super Moderator
11,238 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Social Media Short Article

Another Air bag System Defect being missed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

According to GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a vehicle that sees a failure to its passenger air bag system at a rate of one failure for every 255 vehicles built doesn’t have a problem but when the same problem occurs in another, more prestigious, vehicle at a ratio of one failure for every 2,208 vehicles built, GM issues a recall. GM and the NHTSA are ignoring complaints and failures of the Air Bag System’s Passenger Presence System in the 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and the 2007-2010 Saturn Sky; a failure of which will turn off the passenger side air bag and put the passenger at risk in the event of an accident. These two vehicles, sharing a common design platform, are seeing complaints in the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Consumer Complaint system at a ratio of 4:1 over the 2005-2007 Cadillac CTS which was issued a recall for the same problem and which saw twice the number of cars produced as the Pontiac and Saturn vehicles combined. Not only has the CTS been recalled for this problem, hundreds of thousands of BMWs, MINIs, Kias and Suzukis have had the same problem with similar mats; most if not all of these produced by the same company. This problem may not even be limited to these vehicles. If you've ever had a Service Air Bag message come on in your gauge cluster while a passenger was seated in your car and you noticed the passenger air bag indicator was displaying the passenger air bag was off, you may have a similar problem with your vehicle and it's being overlooked!

It is time for the NHTSA to stop ignoring these complaints and start an investigation into this problem. Click the link to read the full report!

Super Moderator
11,238 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. I need to get the short pathos version done by this weekend and then figure out how to get this in the right hands in Washington. Have a couple connections so I'll see what my options are.

Super Moderator
11,238 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Robo, are you planning on cross posting this on the other forums because I know it's an ongoing issue w/Solstices too.
I will in about a week. The reason I'm not doing it right now is because I want some of you folks to read it over to see if there are any mistakes I may have missed and if I think of anything I need to add... I did today. The link in the first post has been updated since I added about 10 more pages today regarding the information in the NHTSA database. In order to emphasize the fact that the NHTSA has been inactive in investigating this problem, I documented the number of complaints in the NHTSA database for the Kappa platform against four other GM vehicles and their production numbers. To give you an idea of what I added, if you take the production number of all six vehicles surveyed, the 2006-2011 Buick Lacrosse, the 2005-2007 Cadillac CTS, the 2005-2011 Chevrolet Equinox, the 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice, the 2006-2009 Pontiac Torrent and the 2007-2010 Saturn Sky, the Solstice and Sky...COMBINED...make up only 6% of the number of cars produced.

When you get to the total number of complaints filed on those six vehicles with the NHTSA, the numbers stay about the same but the Kappa twins bump up their share and make up about 15% of all complaints.

Move on to PSS airbag mat failures and the numbers shift incredibly. Now the Kappa vehicle account for 59% of all reported PSS sensor mat failures in the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Complaint Database out of the six cars analyzed!

Again, 6% of total cars produced make up 59% of all airbag PSS sensor mat failure complaints documented in the NHTSA database.

What's worse, the 2005-2007 Cadillac CTS was the car that was recalled for the PSS sensor mat failing. The CTS made up 13% of the total production numbers and also made up 13% of all reported sensor mat failures. I don't know what's more disturbing, the fact that the two numbers match indicating that this car experienced sensor mat complaints that seem to be in direct correlation to the number produced or that it was third on the list behind the Kappas in number of PSS sensor mat failure reports and got a recall for them but the Kappas were ignored.

This is why I don't want to extend this report to a wider distribution just yet. Please Please PLEASE download this 66 page document and give it a read to find any spelling/grammatical/punctuation errors before we start posting it in other places (and I hand it to a couple congressmen).

Also, I plan on writing up a shorter, more emotional, version of this same work that is meant for posting on social network pages and then links back to this work. As I mentioned in the argument I laid out in the other thread, the only way to get GM or the NHTSA to investigate this (which, I feel, when they do will lead to a recall) is to pressure them from both sides. See, I'm a tactician at heart and there's nothing better than a double envelopment. One pincher is the congressional track. I'm fortunate in that, through work, I have a more direct line to federal representation than most so this paper you see here is the culmination of my work to distribute on that channel. This pincher is designed to put pressure on GM and the NHTSA through federal representatives, from above so to speak.

The second pincher is to hit the problem from the opposing flank, from below if you will. The shorter, more emotional, work that I will begin working on tonight is designed to be shared through social media, go viral (god I hope), and pressure GM and the NHTSA via public opinion.

I said it in that thread and I'll say it again, I feel this is the only way you're going to get the giant that is GM to move on this and do something meaningful.

2,058 Posts
I haven't read it yet, Robo, but I'm sure that you did a very nice job. I'm having some health problems but I'll try to proof it tomorrow.

Thanks for all of your hard work! I owe you a six pack!


Premium Member
462 Posts
Thanks Robo!!

Premium Member
470 Posts
I sent you a bunch of PMs with suggested edits. Great job! I can't imagine how many hours/day you have in putting that together. Thank you from all of us for the efforts and I really think you'll get some traction after getting this into the right persons hand.

955 Posts
Here's keeping my fingers crossed that you'll be successful Robotech and that if you are, the remedy is available to those of us outside of the U.S.

Super Moderator
11,238 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I would hope that if GM issues a recall in the states for this issue that they would also release one for Canada. Now how this all works with Asian or European markets I have no idea but a US recall of the vehicle should certainly make it easier for recalls to be issued in other areas of the world where this car was sold...I'd hope!

Super Moderator
11,238 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Okay guys, after going over the suggestions other members sent me and reading through the sucker for the umpteenth time, I think I got all the mistakes and reworded sentences that were clunky. I think it's good so I'm calling what's posted up there a final document. I'll be writing a social media story for this now and when that's done (and posted) we can broadcast this everywhere.

Thanks for your help and support everyone.
1 - 20 of 1105 Posts