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Actually Yogi, in the request from the NHTSA to GM, most of the documentation it was requesting pertained to GM's warranty service database which, as we know, is flawed when it comes to the way the Kappas are driven. (low annual mileage means we were out of warranty before this became a big problem).

However, one thing the NHTSA IS looking for is customer complaints received by GM in regards to this issue. This is why I'm now telling people to complaint to GM AND the NHTSA. GM has to report these complaints to the NHTSA now so people should do both.
Thanks for the clarification, Robo!

Yogi
 

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Discussion Starter #122
No worries. I still don't know how much good it will do since GM has already been notified they need to get the data together so any complaints beyond May 16th may not get rolled up in their response. We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #124
For the part I've played, the work hasn't been all that hard. The hardest part is the waiting. I'm on NHTSA's site every weekday morning and afternoon looking for any update to the petition. Nothing from GM yet but I'm expecting them to ask for an extension to their June 30 deadline like IEE did to their June 1st deadline. I expect IEE to respond to their new deadline sometime either late this week or early next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #125 (Edited)
No updates yet though I expect something from IEE in the next few days. GM still has until the 30th to respond. However, I did run across this article today:

http://www.autonews.com/article/20160517/OEM11/160519882/nhtsa-extends-oversight-of-gm-safety-efforts

Basically NHTSA has required GM to report any safety complaints it receives and any internal investigations going on within GM. This agreement was supposed to end but NHTSA extended it for another year.

This is one reason why I mentioned it is a good idea to complain to the NHTSA AND GM since GM is required to report these complaints to the NHTSA under this agreement and specifically under the petition request for information from the NHTSA to GM.

Also, this article is interesting too:
http://electrek.co/2016/06/13/tesla-fale-complaints-suspension-nhtsa-keef-wivaneff/

Understand that while I was researching the NHSTA complaint system for our problem I saw a good number of complaints that would fall into a similar category as mentioned in this article on Tesla. I tried to weed out as many of the obviously duplicate or false reports as I could. If you look at the numbers in my report for reported airbag failures and number of instances, understand this is after I threw out duplicate complaints.
 

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Discussion Starter #126
The deadline for IEE to respond to the NHTSA was on June 15th and as of today, June 22nd, there has been no update to the petition for investigation DP16001. I sent an email off to the NHTSA today to see if this means IEE has not replied or if the NHTSA is just backlogged and hasn't posted the reply to their website system yet.

GM's deadline to respond is next week, June 30th, but I'm expecting a request for more time from them as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #127
I just got off the phone with the NHTSA Representative in D.C. that I've been sending information to inquiring if they had received a response from IEE since as of 10:00 a.m. PST today (June 28/2016) there has been no update to the NHTSA investigation information on the NHTSA website.

I was told that IEE has responded and that there was no request for confidentiality so the response should be posted soon. No word on GM...but then again I didn't ask. They still have a couple days to respond.
 

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Discussion Starter #128
No update yet to the NHTSA site on the petition. I called around June 21st (now, replying here I see I called on June 28th...duh...should have looked here before sending my email today...) 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.
 

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Discussion Starter #129 (Edited)
Well hell, that was quick. After my email last night there are 4 new documents on the NHTSA site this morning. These all have to do with the IEE response to the Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) at NHTSA. I'm going over the documents now and trying to make heads or tails of them.

What I've determined is that the four documents are:

1. Response letter from IEE
2. Attachment to that letter that includes tables showing make/model/years of all cars with IEE productions as OEM equipment.
3. Additional letter from IEE informing ODI of corrections and addional information to the attached tables of document 2.
4. Attachment to second response letter that is an updated version of document 2.

Document one is the most informative. @TomatoSoup, you'd like this one.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM534134/INRL-DP16001-64471P.pdf

It describes the two types of systems IEE produced. One is the OCS and the other is BodySense. They both work very differently. The OCS product is what was used in our cars. OCS was an entire system of the sensor mat, cable, interconnector, Hot-melt (no idea what this is), Electronics, and Software including algorithm and calibration). However, the OC Sensor Mat was also sold separately as a component, not a system.

Both the whole system and the OC mat were sold to Lear. GM, Hyundai and Kia all received the complete OCS system. Continental received just the OC mat and then used it in their own complete OCS system which they then supplied to BMW, Nissan and Suzuki.

The great thing about this response is there are illustrations and break downs of what made each sensor mat different in each car and what groups they belong to. If you have ever wondered about what makes our mat unique, check out this document! As suspected, while our mats are different than the CTS, the basic principles are the same. From this document:

The OCS development is an interactive process. The overall seat design, geometry and vehicle environment affect the pressure that an occupant or child seat places on different parts of the seat. As a result, each OCS must be designed for the unique seating environment within each vehicle model, requiring the occupant classification system manufacturer to utilize different sensor mats, calibrations, and algorithms to properly classify occupants. The placement of the sensors, and the amount of pressure each sensor will recognize for an occupant, will vary among the different seat designs and car design.
They use three mats as examples, the Cadillac CTS mat, the Buick Regal mat, and the Kappa Mat. The Cadillac mat had 3D mesh and taped side-wing sensors. The Regal mat had no 3D Mesh but the Kappa mat does have a 3D mesh. Both the Regal and Kappa mats have no taped side-wing sensors. However, there is no mention that the overall construction process and general operation of the sensors and their matrix is vastly different from one car to the next, only the layout of the sensors and the calibration and algorithms for each application. No general difference between the designed operation of the mat is noted.

This piece of the document though is VERY interesting:

The IEE OCS incorporated into MY 2007-2010 Saturn Sky and 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice vehicles, were designed and developed for these vehicles' unique seating design, geometry, vehicle environment, car design and program specifications. IEE developed the OCS in partnership with General Motors and Lear Corp. ("Lear"), General Motors' seating supplier for the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky vehicles, to meet the distinctive requirements and specifications for that vehicle platform as defined by General Motors. The testing for the final integration, including durability testing, of the system into the seat and airbag system in the vehicle was the responsibility of General Motors, as the vehicle manufacturer, and the responsibility of the seat manufacturer. [Emphasis by the editor]
IEE clearly places the blame of any durability issues of the mat squarely on GM and Lear.

The document then goes on to explain this second document:

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM534136/INRD-DP16001-64472P.PDF

What this table shows is each manufacturer, the models, the IEE Project number, IEE Part Numbers, Model year and Manufacturer part number of something IEE made. If anyone here wants to help out, I need to know what these GM part numbers are. They are all for the Kappa platform:

25828680
22855978
10345300
25817110

I'm assuming these go from newest number to oldest since 25828680 is listed for the convertibles and then again for the coupe. I am also assuming that these are the individual part numbers for the mats themselves. The part number I have been using is for the finished seat assembly from Lear and this part number has never changed. Looking at one of the pictures from my document (I believe this was TomatoSoup's mat) I do see part number 25855978 on the mat controller. This would confirm that this was a GM part number for the Sensor Mat itself but since that part was never sold separately from the finished lower seat foam assembly, GM never had it in their database of OEM parts. So this progression of mat part numbers shows that there were SOME changes to the mat over the course of production but what those changes were is still unknown.

This document though includes BMW, Kia, Suzuki, Nissan, Hyundai, GM, Lear, Mobis, and Autoliv-Korea. It looks to be a list of everyone who got IEE parts, the models and model year the parts were meant for. However, it appears that in some instances the data is incomplete (and noted as such) or the model years are perhaps when the production started as there is only one model year listed for certain manufacturers/models. Look at the document in the link above and you'll see what I mean.

There are a couple of things we can take away from these documents though:

First is that IEE is the maker of the sensor mats in our cars. While we knew that going into this, there was never any official documentation or reference linking IEE to Lear to the Kappa. We knew IEE sold to Lear for the CTS, we knew Lear made the assemblies for the Kappa, but never an official link between the two. This document is that official link.

Second, IEE included everyone who got these kinds of mats, whether it was only the mat itself or the whole OCS assembly. Kia, GM, BMW, Mini, and Suzuki are ALL on this list and ALL have had recalls for a failing mat. Even though IEE is adamant about each mat assembly being different, I feel this works in favor of a recall for the Kappa. Some of their designs, both complete OCS systems and OC mats alone, have failed and been recalled in other platforms. Because not EVERY platform these mats have been installed in has failed, it means failure rates will need to be evaluated from one make and model to another in order to determine whether or not THAT SPECIFIC application has a failure issue. We've seen that ours does, no question. So just because our mat is unique to our car doesn't mean that it can't suffer the same failures as other IEE mats have seen.

Third, since durability testing was not IEE's responsibility and falls on GM instead, if GM did not detect a problem with the mat design they would not have forwarded that information to IEE for correction. Ergo, if GM states that they did inform IEE of necessary updates to the mat, then GM would have had to had known that there was a problem with the mat's failing. If GM didn't inform IEE of a potential problem, then this falls back on GM's failure to properly detect and rectify the issue (coming from the standpoint that there IS an issue of course). Since in other recalls it has been noted that manufacturers have reported issues and worked with IEE to rectify similar issues, the precedence is set that if NHTSA or GM decide this is an issue, GM needs to work with IEE for a proper solution.

Well, one response received, now we wait to hear from GM.
 

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Robo,
Check your second number, it should read; 22855978 and not 25855978 i think.
I'm not sure your assusmption of oldes to newest is correct. My 2006 F1K Solstice is part #22855978 . My early 2008 Sky is 25828680. The Sky also has a sticker with a Symbol scanner code and the words"Mat Test S/N 24240754357" and a part #720412 . This sticker is about 1"x1.25" and is located just above the module on the trace. Symbol scan comes back no record on file.
Thanks for eveything you do for all of us!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #132
Thanks guys. Will keep on top of this until we get an answer.

Robo,
Check your second number, it should read; 22855978 and not 25855978 i think.
I'm not sure your assusmption of oldes to newest is correct. My 2006 F1K Solstice is part #22855978 . My early 2008 Sky is 25828680. The Sky also has a sticker with a Symbol scanner code and the words"Mat Test S/N 24240754357" and a part #720412 . This sticker is about 1"x1.25" and is located just above the module on the trace. Symbol scan comes back no record on file.
Thanks for eveything you do for all of us!!!!!!!!!!
You were right about the typo. Fixed it.

My assumption was the numbers were listed from Newest to Oldest, not Oldest to Newest. Your cars would verify this as 22855978 is on the 2006 and 25828680 is on the 2008.

That's interesting about the Sky mat. That part number doesn't look like a typical GM part number. Wonder what that is?
 

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Correct all GM numbers are 8 digit not 6 my guess is IEE or Lear but what caught my eye was that must mean one of them must have tested it and documented the test with a S/N and bar code symbol right?
 

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Discussion Starter #134
Maybe Lear but not IEE. IEE actually listed their part numbers in that second document I posted above and they are only 4 digit numbers.

I'm not sure what that decal means. I do know that each mat must be calibrated before use. That could be part of the calibration process or it could be a random quality check kind of test. We would need a larger sample size to draw any meaningful conclusion OR have someone that was involved with the assembly process at IEE, Lear, or GM who knew what that decal meant.
 

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Discussion Starter #135
Just got an email from the NHTSA and they have received a response from GM and are in the process of reviewing it now. They will upload the non-confidential parts, assuming there are any confidential parts, as soon as they have finished their review.
 

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That's awesome. Honestly, I'm going to get new seats b/c my sensor died since replacing it would cost over 3/4 as much as seats. Ain't right I tellya
 

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Just got an email from the NHTSA and they have received a response from GM and are in the process of reviewing it now. They will upload the non-confidential parts, assuming there are any confidential parts, as soon as they have finished their review.
Another step closer to a resolution, on way or another. I trust you'll post the GM response just about as soon as the NHTSA makes it available.

:thumbs:

.
 

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Discussion Starter #138
That's awesome. Honestly, I'm going to get new seats b/c my sensor died since replacing it would cost over 3/4 as much as seats. Ain't right I tellya
Then you won't have a passenger airbag since I don't believe there is a current way to turn the passenger airbag on constantly. Have some patience. If this goes to recall then you won't have to pay for it and you won't be in any different situation then if you were to replace your seats anyway.

Another step closer to a resolution, on way or another. I trust you'll post the GM response just about as soon as the NHTSA makes it available.

:thumbs:

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Of course. I actually saw they had posted the IEE response and wrote that summary before I got the email from the NHTSA. LOL I tell you, I check their site every weekday...once in the morning, once in the afternoon...just to see if there is an update.
 

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Discussion Starter #139
So, I did find something else while going through my original paper I wrote back in February. There is this statement from GM regarding the Cadillac CTS mat. This was in regards to the four build phases for the cushion assembly.

In the initial vehicle build period, the center portion of the IEE PSS mat prone to z-folding due to insufficient adhesion. On September 1, 2004 a design change was implemented that reduced the z-folding by adding 3 pieces of tape to the center of the seat; 2 pieces of tape between felt and 3D mesh and 1 piece of tape between 3D mesh and the seat foam.
Now, in this document:
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM534134/INRL-DP16001-64471P.pdf

On page three there is a graphic (horrible contrast due to the scanning process by NHTSA) that shows three different PSS mats, The Cadillac CTS, the Buick Regal, and the 2006-2010 Kappa. I don't know the years for the CTS or Regal as they do not provide them in the graphic but in the updated attachment they provided on 6/24:

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM534133/INRD-DP16001-64476P.PDF

...they talk about the 2005-2008 CTS and 2011-2012 Regal so I'm assuming we're talking about mats for these MY Vehicles.

Now, referring back to what I said yesterday:

They use three mats as examples, the Cadillac CTS mat, the Buick Regal mat, and the Kappa Mat. The Cadillac mat had 3D mesh and taped side-wing sensors. The Regal mat had no 3D Mesh but the Kappa mat does have a 3D mesh. Both the Regal and Kappa mats have no taped side-wing sensors. However, there is no mention that the overall construction process and general operation of the sensors and their matrix is vastly different from one car to the next, only the layout of the sensors and the calibration and algorithms for each application. No general difference between the designed operation of the mat is noted.
I got to wondering about how certain terms are defined. What is a 3D Mesh? What is the "Central Portion" of the IEE PSS sensor mat referenced by GM in their response for the CTS recall? What are "Taped Side Wing Sensors" referred to by IEE?

While some of this can seem to be self explanatory, taken as a whole with the above quotes leads one to the following questions...

If GM needed to add tape to the CTS Sensor, is this the tape referred to by IEE as the "Taped Side Wing Sensors"? If so, then why does GM refer to the "central portion" being an issue rather than the "side wing"? Why the difference in nomenclature?

Also, from GM's description, this sounds like the tape was internal to the overall OCS assembly AND the OCS to cushion assembly...not just one or the other but it isn't completely clear. Was there tape added internally to the sensor assembly or was this just between the sensor assembly and seat cushion?

Note that the examples given by IEE of the different mats have the Kappa and CTS mats both having this 3D mesh, something the GM tape solution above addressed in the Cadillac mats, but the Regal...built long after Kappa production ended and after the 2008 design change of the CTS...does not have this 3D mesh. While the picture doesn't give a clear indication of what the 3D mesh is, the fact this is something shared between the CTS mat and Kappa mat...one that was recalled and one that we believe should be...could be important.

It's my belief, after seeing this information, that the tape issue used to address the Cadillac issue may not have been implemented on the Kappa. It also sounds as though the failure of this "center section" may be a similar failure to the Kappa mats though I'd need to see a failed CTS mat to verify this...which I don't think is going to happen.
 
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