No more aftermarket installs … Could this really happen?

Jun 7, 2011

Nissan sent out a Service Bulletin that “strongly recommends against making any change to seat trim materials from the factory equipped condition …  [that] specifically applies to replacing seat trim with non-factory materials; adding leather/cloth seat covers … around or over the seat back and the passenger seat cushion.”

The bulletin supposedly was prompted by an aftermarket installer adding additional cushioning, which, according to Nissan, led to the failure of an airbag seat sensor to communicate with the airbag that failed to deploy in an accident.

As such, the failure caused by one incident had Nissan recommending no installs of aftermarket seating.

Some Nissan dealers know about the service bulletin, others don’t.

Some have taken the carmaker’s recommendation and will not have aftermarket seating installed.

Some installers, too, could shy away from installing aftermarket seating products in certain Nissans.

Question: Could a single known incident such as the airbag sensor failure supposedly caused by an errant install cause any aftermarket product that could potentially affect vehicle safety (e.g., lift or lower kits, exhaust systems, wheels, sunroofs, and so on) potentially affect much of the aftermarket industry?