Holden Captiva Seat failure

In 2013 My Holden Captiva driver’s seat came adrift from the seat rail and had to be towed to be fixed under warranty. Now 7 years on the same problem has reoccurred but this time they insisted that I pay as it was, of course, out of warranty. The initial quote was$1200 but they rang when the part arrived and wouldn’t do the job unless I agreed to pay $1780. reluctantly agreed but contacted Holden and requested that I be reimbursed under Australian Consumer Law as the seat was not fit for purpose. This was rejected by Holden. Is it worth pursuing the matter via The Department of Fair Trading?


Hi @jethro, welcome to the community.

Just a question, is there any indication of what caused the seat to fail (has the vehicle been in an accident for example)?.

If the vehicle has been in an accident, it could have been damaged as a result of the accident and possibly could be a claim against the insurer (for the same accident as a repair). Holden won’t be responsible if the vehicle has been in an accident…as the rail could have been weakened by the accident resulting in failure later on.

If it hasn’t been damaged in any way, then one has to think what a responsible person would believe the life of a seat should be. Being a reasonable person myself, one would expect a seat to outlast of the life of a vehicle, namely, being one of the last parts of a vehicle to fail. As a result, one could argue that the seat system in your Captiva was faulty and should be replaced under the ACL irrespective of its age.

It is also worth doing some internet searches to see if the fault is a regular problem…as this can assist with making a claim against Holden (GM) for the repairs.


Or it could just be like when Chrysler quit Australia and problems surfaced about seat problems in Valiants following their departure which they answered with their Caveat Emptor policy.


It would be advisable to discuss the failure with your state motoring organisations technical support if a member. Alternately the are registered automotive engineers and the local motor registry inspection staff.

The security of the seat attachment to the vehicle to the vehicle should be covered by the ADR’s (Australian Design Rules) and may be a safety defect. If it’s a safety defect and there is nothing the owner has done to cause the failure, would ACL demand it is repaired at no cost?


No accidents or misuse. In fact only one driver for the first 5 +years and 2 for the next 3.Basically, the seat has been in a similar position most of its life. They didn’t provide a reason for the first event under warranty, but this time stated that the bolts were worn. Can’t find any other incidents. Been driving since '67 and never had a problem


If they are the attachment bolts to the floorpan, they shouldn’t cost $1780 to replace. Seems like there may more replaced than just the bolts.


When you say ‘they’ upped the quote, are you talking about the Holden dealership? Did they give you an explanation of why the $580 increase? It is possible that they are replacing the seat frame. Is the seat electric or is it completely manual? Why are they replacing the frame if the bolts are worn instead of replacing just the bolts?

I could not find any mention of Captivas seats coming adrift as a systemic problem. None the less, it is worth writing a formal letter of complaint, rather than to the dealer, write to
Holden Customer Care
PO Box 1714,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3001 .
You can use the template Choice has prepared. Remember to write a polite letter just stating the facts, and mention that you have written to Choice as well.

It wouldn’t hurt to also write to your motoring organisation (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, etc), and the Department of Fair Trading.


The seat rail was replaced too and the seat had to be reattached and airbags secured.No reason has been given for the price increase and Holden customer care was unable to help as the original repair in 2013 has been “purged” from the computer system after 7 years.


You did not keep your own records? And if you did were they insufficient in Holden’s view?

Maintenance records are inherent parts of a vehicles worth when one goes to sell it. While I may not be representative, I keep receipts and service records for every last maintenance expense from acquisition to trade.It costs nothing, so why not regardless that it does not always reward me financially but does make the vehicle easier to on-sell, whether doing it myself or for a car yard/dealer.


Nothing was provided in the first instance when under warranty. and as I have said that has been Purged in June. In the recent case, all I got was a cost invoice stating the bolts holding the seat to the rail were worn . Recently my other Holden had a recall and I received no paperwork for that job either. But saw the paperwork that included before and after pics so I assume that the same was done with the seat job so I have requested a copy and await a reply. Thanks for your thoughts and advice


FWIW that is shonky by Holden. I have never had work done, warranty or otherwise, where I was not provided with a full line item receipt, both from dealers and independents. In future if you ever have work done, ask for a copy of the work order if they do not offer an invoice, whether zero cost to you or not.


I do and I did but the request was denied. I have asked again. No response as yet.



Amazing. I recently had a goodwill repair on my dryer at no cost and received a full statement of work done. Refusing to provide a document on work done is worth a formal complaint to the principal of the dealership as well as cc’ing Holden corporate and perhaps the ACCC. Even for warranty work one should have had to sign a work order, and thus an invoice of some kind would have gone into the system.

You may be well served by going formal, starting with the template linked by @meltam, a few posts prior. Anything less becomes what I call ‘idle chit chat’ in getting a resolution.

Good luck with it! Hopefully you will be able to report something good…


Same - regardless whether there was a cost, the record needs to be given to the customer. Makes you wonder whether they really did everything they claimed, any, all, part … we are talking car dealership here though, not surprising :wink:


Initial complaint to Fair trading and in the process, to customer care( not worth it!). Now headed to F T tribunal via NRMA ACCC if Holden Head Office fails to respond .


Let us know how you get on and if you have any questions through the process.


@jethro Welcome to the community .I spent some time in the industry with a major automobile manufacturer . We know that the seat first failed in 2013 whilst under warranty . That means it could be as old as 10 years if it failed in the last year of the warranty . Let us know what year the vehicle is .

The motor producers are experts at dealing with these complaints and weak consumer laws by Government bodies in Australia certainly does not help .

What the motor producer will probably throw at you is " planned obsolescence " They have all the figures . They will tell you or the Government body acting for you that the average Australian (wish someone could define that ) trades their vehicle in every 3 1/3 to 4 1/2 years . These figures include rental companies , company fleets being changed every 18 months or so for tax benefits and people like me who update every year .

They will tell you at , we will say , 7 years your vehicle has has reached the end of it’s designed serviceable life . We know that is rubbish but proving that to them will be difficult . Remember they have handled thousands upon thousand cases like yours . They have it down to a fine art how to dodge responsibility . As I quoted earlier our weak consumer laws will not stand up against their arguments .

I hope I am wrong . Incidentally Google up complaints about Captivas . They are not a favoured vehicle in the trade regarding a trade in . That tells me there is inherent faults with them . Do some digging . Hope all goes well for you .


Couldn’t agree more with your comments. The car is 2012. Holden dealers only keep their records for 7 years so I am told. but the Accc suggests 10 at least. Tow failure s on the same part in 8 years is unusual. Especially so when its the only part to fail so I will still give the tribunal a go.thank you for your comments and advice


well guess what holden will not reimburse me for the second repair for the same seat problem nor refund the extra $400 plus $ they charge for the part
They, Holden Dealer, cited the vehicle age years and km 140,000 caused general wear and tear. Yet, In the first instance, the vehicle was not even a year old.

During the hearing, the rep from the holden dealership stated that he could find no evidence that they had ever replaced one before.

So the first time it seems the bolts were merely tightened ( probably) with the aid of Loctite or similar, and the car returned to me. The time-lapse between that and the next seat failure can be explained by the fact that I was basically the sole driver and the seat was only adjusted during services and or rego checks.
I was informed, that despite these facts I was unlikely to get a verdict in my favour.

Complaint withdrawn.

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Hi @jethro, I have moved your post to the previous thread about your Captiva seat failure, so that any member of the forum (or general public) has all the information about your challenges in one place.