Leaked: Nissan ‘Do Not Resew’ Policy

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on August 13th, 2013

Auto Upholstery - The Hog Ring - Nissan Do Not Resew Policy

Last year, we reported on the controversial “do not resew” tags that Nissan is attaching to seat covers in every one of its new cars. The automaker had implemented the restriction without giving an explanation as to why it had been put in place or what other repair options were available to independent auto trimmers.

After months of reaching out to Nissan, we received a partial answer. Paige Presley, a communications associate for the company, told us that due to safety concerns about vehicle airbags, only Nissan could make upholstery repairs.

Yesterday, Veronica Collins of Paymer and Phillips, an auto trim and restyling shop in Laurel, MD, forwarded us an internal memo sent from Nissan’s corporate office to its dealerships that shed more light on the issue.

With her permission, it’s posted in full below (bold/underlined text was in original email):

From: Redacted
Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 6:26 PM
To: Redacted
Subject: INFORMATION – NTB00-042c – Recommendation Against Making Changes to Front Seat Assembly Trim Materials
Importance: High

The attached bulletin was released several years ago but it has been updated.  NNA does not recommend making ANY changes (e.g. installing leather) to the front seat trim materials; changes could interfere with the proper operation of air bags and occupant sensors and jeopardizes warranty coverage.

———————————————

Nissan Parts & Service Division
Electronic Field Communication

INFORMATION

Date: July 24, 2013

To: Redacted

Subject: INFORMATION – NTB00-042c – Recommendation Against Making Changes to Front Seat Assembly Trim Materials

Changes or modifications to the front seat assembly trim materials may affect the proper operation of the Front Seat-Mounted Side-Impact Supplemental Air Bags and Passenger Occupant Classification Sensor and could result in serious personal injury or death.

Nissan STRONGLY RECOMMENDS AGAINST making any change to seat trim materials from the factory equipped condition. This specifically applies to replacing the seat trim with non-factory materials; adding leather/cloth seat covers, seat pads, or seat storage pouches, etc. around or over the seat back and the passenger seat cushion.

Detailed Information:

Attached for your convenience are the following items:

1.    NTB00-042c

RECOMMENDATION AGAINST MAKING CHANGES TO FRONT SEAT ASSEMBLY TRIM MATERIALS
APPLIED VEHICLES: ALL NISSAN VEHICLES

SERVICE INFORMATION

Changes or modifications to the front seat assembly trim materials may affect the proper operation of the Front Seat-Mounted Side-Impact Supplemental Air Bags and Passenger Occupant Classification Sensor and could result in serious personal injury or death.

Nissan STRONGLY RECOMMENDS AGAINST making any change to seat trim materials from the factory equipped condition. This specifically applies to replacing the seat trim with non-factory materials; adding leather/cloth seat covers, seat pads, or seat storage pouches, etc. around or over the seat back and the passenger seat cushion.

  • Damage or failure due to changes or modifications to the front seat assembly are not covered under the warranty.
  • Damage or failure due to changes or modifications to the front seat assembly are not subject to indemnification under the Nissan Dealer Sales and Service Agreement.
  • Dealers may be obligated under their Nissan Dealer Sales and Service Agreement to indemnify Nissan for any damages, injuries, or deaths caused by modification of the front seat assemblies.
  • NMAC will not provide retail advance for any changes to the front seat trim materials from factory equipped condition.
  • Vehicles with any changes to the front seat trim materials from factory equipped condition may not be eligible for the Signature PURCHASE Plan.

SEE Section 1 of the applicable Owner’s Manual for important Warnings about modifying or tampering with the front passenger seat.

This bulletin has been amended. The Applied Vehicles and Service Information have been updated. Discard all previous copies. 2013

* * *

To summarize: the memo states that only Nissan can repair or alter the upholstery on the front seats of any Nissan vehicle for fear of independent dealerships or auto upholstery shops affecting the operation of side-impact airbags and occupant-classification sensors.

Furthermore, Nissan’s warranty will not cover any repairs or customizations made by an independent dealership or auto upholstery shop. If those changes result in injury due to improper airbag deployment, Nissan is not liable to pay compensation. If Nissan is sued, it may pass on the financial costs t0 those who made the repairs.

Basically, independent dealerships and auto upholstery shops should refrain from altering the upholstery on any Nissan front seat. Making a repair or customization puts you at risk of being sued for any deaths or injuries caused by improper airbag deployment.

Nissan is not providing independent dealerships or auto upholstery shops with any alternative but to turn such jobs away. Using airbag thread, non-enforced seams or seat covers that claim to meet OEM standards will not shield you from liability.

To download the original Nissan memo as a PDF document, click here.




3 Responses

  1. aunc aunc says:

    Maybe that’s why Nissan seat covers cost $1900!! Just a thought. One that I have had for many years now. Kind of a supply and demand thing. They supply it and demand that you buy it from them. LAME!

  2. Geoff Geoff says:

    Many of the warnings on products come about because someone got sued over that situation. Like ‘don’t put your hand in a running lawnmower’. Perhaps this is a result of someone suing Nissan over airbags – one way or another (not deploying or deploying in error), and a shoddy trim job was really the problem. That would explain the forcefulness, and the paranoia over even properly restored seams.

  3. Stitch says:

    Doesn’t the Magnusson-Moss Act cover this? Nissan is saying you can’t even put on a set of non-Nissan seat covers, seat pad, or pocket organizer thing without voiding your warranty, if I’m reading this correctly.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *