New Car Features You Won’t Get Because of the Chip Shortage (Updated)

November 14, 2021

Updated April 2022

Automakers are in a pickle: delay production of cars because of a lack of chips, or produce cars, trucks, and SUVs missing some features customers have come to expect? It’s fascinating to see how different automakers are handling this once in a lifetime supply chain conundrum!

Ford, for example, just announced that they will ship and sell vehicles without chips controlling non-safety critical features. Yes, you read that right. It’s 2022, and Ford is getting even more desperate for semiconductors. It’s doubtful that there are any optimists left with regards to the auto industry supply shortage.

Ford isn’t the only manufacturer that is struggling to produce vehicles with all of their standard equipment. Let’s break down who is doing what, and which features consumers should and shouldn’t expect in their new car.

Ford to deliver thousands of vehicles without non-safety critical features

Ford Bronco chip shortage

In March 2022, Ford told dealers that the chip shortage is getting worse, and that they’re going to need dealer’s help to sort things out. Automotive News reports that Ford executives told dealers that the automaker will have to enact a worst-case scenario plan that was floated last summer. Ford’s plan is to ship new vehicles to dealers without many of the semiconductor chips that are essential for features like auto stop-start, heated seats, and certain infotainment functions.

Ford spokesman Said Deep told Automotive News Ford would build Explorers without rear seat heat controls that could be added later. Ford already offers customers the option to order F-150s without the auto stop-start feature. Deep told Automotive News that in the case of the Explorers, buyers will receive a price reduction for the change, and Ford will restore rear seat passenger control of heating and air conditioning for free at a later date.

On the hunt for the elusive Ford Bronco? Thousands were recently seen waiting for parts outside of a production plant in Michigan. Patience and compromise will go a long way for car shoppers in 2022.

GM removes many features

General Motors has seemingly been hit the hardest by the ongoing chip shortage. While the company tries to move forward, many core features and functionalities have been removed from their lineup.

GM removed heated and ventilated seats and heated steering wheels

General Motors made headlines late on Friday, November 12th when they announced that beginning on Monday, November 15th they would stop production of most of their vehicles with heated and ventilated seats, as well as heated steering wheels.

The effected vehicles include:

  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Chevrolet Blazer
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • GMC Canyon
  • GMC Terrain
  • All Chevy Silverados and Traverses except High Country trims
  • All GMC Sierras and Acadias except Denalis

General Motors has not signaled when the vehicles would be produced with their previously expected equipment. GM has said that effected customers will be eligible for a $150 to $500 credit.

Earlier this year, GM removed climate control digital temperature displays, side blind zone alert and Super Cruise driver-assist technology on certain 2022 vehicles. Fortunately, now those features are available.

Update 11/22/21

On Friday November 19th, in a memo to their dealers, GM announced that they will reduce the credit given to customers who do not receive vehicles with heated seats. Instead of a credit up to $500, GM will credit customers up to $50. Correct, $50 for losing heated seats in their car. That’s crazy.

GM also instructed dealers that they think they will be able to retrofit vehicles with heated and ventilated seats by mid-2022. GM told dealers that heated steering wheels cannot be retrofitted, so vehicles missing that feature will still be discounted by $150.

inventory levels broken down by state

Chevrolet and GMC lose HD Radio and wireless charging

Earlier in 2021, GM said it would eliminate the HD radio option because of a lack of semiconductors. Both 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500s and GMC Sierra 1500s, as well as 2022 model year 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups were impacted. All trim levels were affected, and GM is offering buyers of a $50 credit.

Also earlier this year, GM announced that wireless charging pads would not make it into many of its vehicles. The 2021 Chevy Tahoe, Suburban, and GMC Yukon SUVs as well as the 2022 Buick Enclave, Chevy Traverse, and Cadillac XT5 and XT6 were all impacted by this decision.

Vehicles for sale without the charging pad will get a $75 credit.

GM removes auto stop-start and V-8 cylinder deactivation

Two core features that help make GM trucks more fuel efficient have gone missing: auto stop-start, and cylinder deactivation. In June, GM said the 2021 Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra 1500 would not come with stop-start technology. Customers who miss out on this feature are entitled to another $50 credit.

Even earlier this year, GM announced that some 2021 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra models would use more gas because they would not have their cylinder-deactivation systems. The impact? The trucks would increase their fuel usage by one mile per gallon.

BMW removes touchscreens from their cars

A brand new BMW X7 SUV has an MSRP of upwards of $100,000. At that price, you’d expect to get any feature or option you could possibly imagine. Buy a new car in 2021 and you’ll notice a piece of equipment nearly as ubiquitous as the seatbelt, however in your new $100,000 X7 you won’t have it; a touchscreen.

The effected vehicles include:

  • 3-series
  • 4-series coupe and convertible
  • 4-series Gran Coupe (excluding i4)
  • Z4
  • All variants of the X5, X6, and X7

BMWs that were also ordered with the Parking Assistant package will now lose BMW’s Backup Assistant technology.

Porsche removes adjustable seat and electric steering column adjustment

Earlier this Spring, Porsche told its U.S. dealers that their 18-way adjustable seat option (part of a $2,090 upgrade) would not be available. It appears that today the option is back for the Macan.

Another feature temporarily missing from some new Porsches is the electric steering column adjustment. Earlier this month, Porsche spokesperson Christian Weiss said that Porsche has been in communication with customers who have ordered cars with this feature, and said it will deliver vehicles with a manual steering column adjustment for the time being. Once available, the electric version will be retrofitted.

Tesla removes USB ports and passenger-seat lumbar support

Even thought hey have raised their MSRP by 20%+ in 2021, Tesla has not been immune from chip shortage challenges. Earlier this year in May, Tesla removed lumbar support from the front passenger seat in the Model 3 and Model Y EVs.

Recently, another feature was silently deleted, USB-C ports in the rear of the center console of the Model 3 and Model Y.

How will this affect used car prices?

Used car prices have ben skyrocketing for the past year. With new car production unable to keep up with demand, we have seen wholesale and retail used car prices set all-time highs. Frequently we are seeing used cars sell for more than their original MSRP.

Interestingly, with new vehicles being sold without all of their standard features, we wouldn’t be surprised if there is even more upward pressure on newer model year used vehicles. Would a consumer pay a premium for a used 2020 or 2021 that has all of the functionality they’ve come to expect, or wait for a factory order that may or may not have the features they expect? We think consumer demand for new user vehicles will continue to drive used car prices up.

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32 Comments

  1. Rich Kain

    If used cars keep increasing why am I offered so little for a Cadillac 2016 SRX Premium in excellent shape with 121,600 miles.

    Reply
    • Zach Shefska

      It could be because of the mileage. Definitely see what CarMax is offering!

      Reply
  2. Chottobaka

    I consider deletion of auto-start/stop as a plus. What an obnoxious nanny feature. Rumors were that the option of being able to override via a switch and/or software was being removed in the future. So, there’s something good in all of this.

    Reply
    • TexasLefty

      I agree completely. Cylinder deactivation is very damaging to motors in later years, it pulls in oil and creates a vacuum when the cylinder isn’t operating (makes it burn oil, fouls spark plugs, damages rings, etc). Kind of like how smoking probably won’t affect you as much in your 20’s, but when you’re in your 50’s, you may have some problems around the corner. The manufacturers don’t care that much since those issues come after the warranty expires, so they could care less if you blow your motor at 120,000 miles. If you want to get to 200,000 or even 300,000…..it’s becomes a problem.

      Reply
    • BobLHead

      Agree, I don’t know of anyone that likes this feature. And every car forum and subreddit has questions about how to disable it permanently.

      Reply
  3. Brent

    The only thing they should keep is heated seats… they are amazing.

    Reply
    • BobLhead

      I’d be ok with a promise to install later when the shortage is over for free.

      Reply
  4. Nik

    I ordered a factory ordered X7, with parking assistant features. Should I be worried, the car went into production in mid-October, wondering when the cut off line was made?

    Reply
    • Zach Shefska

      Nik, you very well may be impacted. I would contact your dealer and ask them … Let us know.

      Reply
      • Nik

        Just pinged the dealership, hoping a close to $100,000 doesn’t have features missing but then again these are crazy times.

        Reply
        • Nik

          Seems like my car order made it in time, dealership confirmed no missing features. Phew!! Good luck to the others out there.

          Reply
    • Frank

      I ordered a Volvo XC60 back in June and it showed up early November without the foot wave sensor to open the power liftgate. No prior announcement I saw, just a sticker on the car. Frustrating, but at least everything else was included. All bets are off these days I fear

      Reply
      • Zach Shefska

        Thank you for sharing this experience, Frank.

        Reply
  5. Tom Ciavarella

    I want to buy my car at lease end and would like to know, should I pay cash or finance it.

    Reply
    • Zach Shefska

      Either! If you can pay cash, then more power to you. If not, financing is a totally viable option!

      Reply
    • Jack

      Why pay interest??.If you have the cash, pay the Damn thing off and be clear of it

      Reply
  6. kerry erber

    Carmax used to offer good years ago. Not anymore

    Reply
    • Frank

      Carmax was by far the best offer in the area (outside of private sale) for my 2019 Civic. Don’t discount them as a viable option.

      Reply
  7. Bill schade

    50 dollar credit for wireless phone charging delete??
    That was a 500 dollar option on my BMW X2. And the darn thing is inside the console armrest where you forget your phone if you put it on the charger
    Good riddance

    Reply
  8. RPAPTL6

    How long is the chip shortage expected to affect US auto makers, like Ford?

    Reply
  9. Lou

    I had the same experience as Frank. Bought an xc60 last month, and it was missing the kick sensor due to chip shortage. Not sure if that’s something they’d go back and fix when things come down. I saw similar stickers on other models in the lot.

    Reply
  10. Polly Moore

    A question: are Mini Coopers affected? I have a 2022 convertible ordered (ordered 3 months ago!!). I’m driving a 2008 with heated seats and I don’t want to lose them!

    Reply
    • Zach Shefska

      Polly, we haven’t heard anything from Mini (yet!)

      Reply
  11. Michael

    The credit / refund / reduction amount of insulting to consumers. of $150 to $500 when these features are part of option packages costing thousands of dollars. What the auto makers have told consumers is they have been over charging for years.

    Reply
    • Josh

      You’re absolutely right. It’s shocking how little the car companies are refunding for these omissions.

      Reply
  12. Josh

    If I ordered a car with a certain set of features, and what was delivered was missing some of those features, I would not accept delivery, and I would insist on my deposit being returned (I’d go to court about it if necessary). A contract is a contract. One party can not summarily change the terms of the contract.

    Reply
    • bob

      as long as the fine print does not say anything that they can’t be held liable for options not on said vehicle
      when it arrives. Read the fine, fine print of contract before signing. Because 100% of the time, the stuff they do not want you to see
      will be in fine print.

      Reply
  13. Ralph

    I love my heated seats in the winter! Looks like I’ll keep my 2013 Nissan 370Z a while longer if the new Nissan Z doesn’t have them.

    Reply
  14. AJ

    I ordered a 2022 GMC Yukon Denali two months ago…yesterday the GMC website finally would allow me to build a 2022 model year… the Yukon Denali’s are no longer being built with 4 way power lumbar installed. Instead the buyer is receiving $50 credit back for thousands of miles with no back support!!! this is INSANE for an $80k SUV. What is GM thinking??? I’m calling the dealership to cancel my order and refund my deposit. I’m going to hold onto my Range Rover Sport TD6 until this chip shortage is better handled and deal with the TD6 DPF issues.

    Reply
  15. Tom

    Well I should be able to get a fairly decent price for my 1997 Ford F-250 HD pickup that only has 9417 miles on it. I drove a truck for almost 28 years and hardly drove this pickup. It even has the power stroke Diesel engine in it.

    Reply
  16. Jason

    The Katzkin aftermarket heated and cooled, not just ventilated, seats is looking pretty good now. All it needs is a power connection and uses those not-so-fancy on/off toggle switches mounted on the side of the seat.

    Reply
  17. km

    Looking at new cars and decided to check out Cadillac SUV’s. A pop-up appeared that the heating/ventilating features for front/rear seats and steering wheel were temporarily on hold due to chip shortage. What’s the point of paying for a luxury vehicle when it doesn’t have the simplest of luxury features? Good thing that I don’t ‘need’ a new car now and can wait. But I’m worried I’ll be waiting a long time for this chip shortage to be resolved.

    Reply

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