A new EV forum = The inevitable Bolt EV seat complaint thread!

Discussion in 'Bolt EV' started by God, Oct 12, 2017.

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  1. God

    God Member

    "Another fresh idea: front seats that are asymmetrical. The distance from the center line of the seat to the armrest is shorter than the distance from the center to the door.

    The seat’s wide outer bolstering was needed to accommodate an airbag but doesn’t provide much in the way of actual body support. Thus, designers could do without the bolstering on the other side of the seat. The seats look off-balance but allow for a wider armrest.

    “How do we make this seat as narrow as we possibly can without making the occupant uncomfortable? Well, we make the design asymmetrical,” Norris said."


    Was a "wider armrest" the right move?
    Some data points...
    Problem, you feel a "pinch" from the frame...
    Others report to avoid the pinch they sit awkwardly then get a more tolerable back pain...
    Not exclusive to cloth or leather...
    Reports that one can sit in two different brand new Bolts on the lot and feel a pinch in one Bolt and no pinch on the other...
    Reports of the seat feeling fine for the first thousands miles then it starts to pinch permanently...
    If you look at various Bolt forums/sub-forums, a seat complaint thread is often the longest thread on the forum with multiple thread...
    If you look at various Bolt forums/sub-forums, there is photo evidence...
    Motor Trend suggested a different the seat...
    There is a change.org petition...
    Reported fixes? Find a way for both you and your shotgun rider to obtain 30" waists, buy seat cushions or pay an upholsterer to increase the padding...On that last one it shouldn't be a long or expensive fix, but like anything, you're at the mercy of business...Will you receive a fair quote, a fair timeline and a quality job?
    Domenick likes this.
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  3. Tim Miser

    Tim Miser New Member

    I would be great if there were aftermarket seats available. Just change out the whole seat!
  4. gaulfinger

    gaulfinger New Member

    The seats are easy to modify, both bottom and back. Add a layer of foam underneath the factory foam by peeling back the upholstery. Going below preserves the shape and avoids burying heater elements. I'm much happier since doing so...
  5. Tim Miser

    Tim Miser New Member

    How do you peel back the upholstery? Do you have to cut it?
  6. gaulfinger

    gaulfinger New Member

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  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    That was my suggestion, the first time this subject came up for discussion on InsideEVs.

    Unfortunately, as noted in the parent post, the seats have built-in airbags. Replacing the seats would make the car less safe, making it a non-starter for many or most.
  9. That's a great idea (and video)! Thanks for sharing.

    I haven't seen clips like that before. I rented a Sonic with leather seats this past summer, and noticed they had zippers. Looked pretty cheap, but would probably make this sort of alteration easier.
  10. Jack

    Jack Administrator

    Great tip! Seems simple enough. So simple it makes you wonder why chevy doesn't do it :D:rolleyes:
  11. tongsli

    tongsli New Member

    I went to a local EV meetup in Baltimore this weekend and was able to sit in the seat. My car has sport seats and that's how the BOLT seats felt to me. They didn't bother me initially. Not sure how I'd feel on a long trip. The cushioning did feel lacking but the asymmetrical design didn't bother me at all.

    If the 2018's try to improve the seats it would probably be a good thing.
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  13. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    I find the premier seats in my Bolt to be fine on our recent road trip. Not the best seats I have ever had. Not the worst.

    Certainly improved seats wouldn't be a bad thing!
  14. tongsli

    tongsli New Member

    thanks for sharing
  15. Rex B

    Rex B New Member

    From the Edmunds review:

    "The seatback frames have lost their padding. Most of the bolstering around your ribs and shoulders is simply leather-wrapped metal, so turning to look over your shoulder when backing up smarts. I guess they really want you to use the backup camera. Oh, and GM needs a new seat supplier."
    Domenick likes this.
  16. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I was both astonished and shocked to read that GM has no plans to change the front seats in the new model year. To me this is very clear evidence that GM doesn't care if the car sells well or not. To be cynical, I guess from GM's viewpoint it doesn't matter so long as they only make ~30,000 per year, since they will almost certainly sell all they can make, even with problematic front seats.

    I had hoped that GM would increase production and improve the car to make it more appealing, but it seems pretty clear GM has no interest in doing that, at least not for the coming year. :(
  17. God

    God Member

    Has it been confirmed that the seats have not changed? Bro1999 is a Bolt EV mod and said a comment that a higher up GM person he spoke with said there will be a change to the seat but he didn't know if it was just a tweak vs a brand new seat...Maybe a tweak has already been greenlighted for 2018...Whatever their solution is, I hope it's enough vs adding slightly thicker foam...

    Another interesting MY18 change is the omission of the seat map pocket on LT trim...Someone at GM had to have come up with that decision...I just hope GM never says "we listened to our customers and made a change to the seat"...lol
  18. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I make no claim to be an authority on the subject; I'm just repeating what a recent Green Car Reports article said:

    "2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV: minimal changes, same range and price"

    * * * * *

    As far as Bro1999 being a source for a rumor to the contrary: I don't want to get into mud-slinging and unprovoked personal pejoratives here on the Forum; I'd prefer to keep discussion here on a more thoughtful and civil level than all too frequently happens in comment threads to InsideEVs news articles. Let's just say that I think that person has a very firmly established reputation of almost never posting comments which are either factual or reasonable. Bias is one thing; we all have biases. But the vast majority of his posts go very, very far beyond mere bias. I think most reasonable people would agree with that assessment.

    BTW -- I have no idea what you mean when you say Bro1999 is "a Bolt EV mod". Certainly he is a strong Bolt EV fan and apologist, but if he's a "mod" as in "moderator", then I'm unaware that he's a moderator on any website related to InsideEVs!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  19. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    I have now seen from a few people online that the Bolt seats are changed for 2018. But that GM has not made announcements on this fact. Bro is not the only person I have read this from.

    The most specific claim from someone was on the chevybolt.org forum. He stated that he talked to Chevy employees/engineers who were testing their vehicles.

    The employees stated that the 2018s will have updated seats. But that GM will just play it off like nothing ever happened with no announcements. Considering this was a first year attempt at making a new kind of seat for Chevy, I would be surprised if there weren't tweaks for 2018 or 2019.


    "I know I'm just a random person on the internet, so you can choose to believe or not....

    But I live near a preferred route for Bolt engineers to road test the vehicles. I've had a couple chances to speak with them during charge stops.

    One of them told me, without any doubt, that the seats are redesigned for 2018. He stated it was already a done deal. I checked his Bolt and it was still a 2017, not a pre-production 2018. If I run across a pre-prod 2018 I will adttempt to get a picture of the new seats.

    This is great news for those who are interested in Bolt but could not get comfortable in the existing seats. GM will probably not make any announcement on this, for obvious reasons. We'll hear it first from reviewers and/or spy shots."

    Of course, we will not know if any of this is true until we can take a look at the 2018s. They should begin heading to dealers by the end of this month.
  20. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    I believe he means on one of the Bolt EV facebook group and maybe on one of the Bolt EV forums?

    To be fair to Bro, he is a Tesla-hater. ;) He lies about Tesla. Not much reason for him to lie about what someone told him about the Bolt. Although certainly his information could be wrong.
    Domenick likes this.
  21. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I certainly hope it's true! I find it rather frustrating that GM has a car which appears to be, overall, well-engineered; one which is truly compelling aside from a couple of rather obvious flaws... the lack of DCFC charging as standard equipment being the other. If they fix those seats, then hopefully that will go a long way towards making the car more appealing to people now driving gasmobiles!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
    WalksOnDirt and WadeTyhon like this.
  22. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Well maybe now I'm just showing my own bias, but it seems to me that he makes far more posts about Tesla -- almost entirely counter-factual and more than merely biased -- than he posts about everything else put together, including his support for GM and its cars. I do agree that there's no reason to think he's saying anything about the Bolt EV that he does not believe is true. It's just that when someone is that obviously unconcerned about the difference between truth and FUD -- FUD being a campaign of deliberate intentional disinformation, not merely misinformation -- I see no rational cause for thinking anything he posts has any factual basis.

    In the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", the villagers quit believing the lying little boy even when he was telling the truth. That's a lesson that, unfortunately, some adults still have not learned.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  23. God

    God Member

    That's some great news and really was the entire point of this tread...I'd take a Vegas bet no announcement and GM won't offer a free seat swaps for MY17s and think it's the right move...Yet if you are a MY17 and want the newer seat, leaving it to the dealership could be an expensive affair...Most dealers put around a 50% markup on parts and the seats probably $500-$1000 and an hour or so labor per seat...A fair solution is to have a campaign that advertises current MY17 owners can buy the new seats at cost...find a way to charge seat swap labor as a warranty work...However, you figure someone end up suing for "defective" seats...

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