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Aftermarket leather seats

I am looking at buying a new truck that currently has cloth seats. The dealer said he would send it to a factory shop and have leather installed for me. Another dealer said not to do this because the process of changing from cloth to leather seating will mess with the airbag sensors in the seats and could impair the functionality of the airbags. Is there any validity to this statement, or is he full of it?

I would not want to rely on the side airbags (the ones that deploy from the seatbacks) after anything was installed over the original upholstery. The sensors are likely to be less of a problem than the airbags themselves, but in any event, I do think that this aftermarket work is likely to impair the functionality of the side airbags.

I agree with VDC, if the seat has airbags in it I would do nothing to alter it. And your first dealer is blowing smoke, he’s not going to send it to a ‘factory’ shop, it’s an upholstery shop.

I’d buy a new truck with the appointments I wanted installed at the factory. Surely there must be one with leather seats near you, unless you live in a low population area. Why would you consider buying this truck if it doesn’t have leather seats?

I highly doubt that they are putting leather over the cloth seats. Are you sure they aren’t just taking a set of factory leather seats and swapping them for the cloth seats. If it is a seat made for the same vehicle, with the same options, from the factory I see no problem.

Both Infiniti (a few years ago, before they all had leather) and Honda dealers here have the seats redone.

I had this concern myself as well. I spoke with the leather installer we use at the dealership and brought up the issue. He tells me the “skins” which are installed have the special thread stitching required in the area of the air bag module to allow the bag to inflate properly.

This put my mind at ease and opens my options vis-a-vis the Escape Hybrid I’m considering.

I would not rely on the word of the person selling you something that it would be compatible with the very complex airbag in a seat. I would NEVER do anything involving seats that have airbags in them.

As others have said, if this vehicle has side air bags, this is a bad idea. Find a vehicle that comes with leather seats.

The first salesman is just trying (desperately) to make a sale.

It’s unanimous. The side airbags make this a bad idea.

What if it doesn’t have the side airbags in it?

Then there is no reason not to go for it, that is if the change-over is really free of charge.

I had a Toyota salesman say he’d charge me $1600 for them to put leather and heated seats in a Rav4 if I wanted to get a lower end model. Said the stuff for the heated seats is already wired, just need to pop off the caps for them and put the heaters in.