Received a great question from a Louisiana Vehicle Rescue Instructor. He asked;
"A question arose the other night regarding what would happen after impact with a high end vehicle such as Cadillac or Lincoln that have seats which return to a preset position once the ignition is turned off. Could you give some advice as to whether a person with legs trapped by the dash or firewall might be further harmed if the ignition is turned off and if the seats will return to a normal preset position?
Here is a great reply from one of the fire service's friends inside the GM organization regarding their power seats and the "Memory" function...
There are basically four functions to the memory portion of the memory seats on GM vehicles;
1) Manual operation of all the seat functionality, regardless of the programmed position.
2) Preprogrammed position 1. Where driver A can program the seat (and in some models the power tilt / telescoping steering column) to their desired seating position. i.e. Full down and 3/4 seat travel rearward. It will also set the seat back angle to a desired position.
3) Preprogrammed position 2. This provides the same seating options as preprogrammed position 1 for driver B. The differences between the two preprogrammed positions can be anywhere within the provided adjustment of the seats.
4) "Exit" This option will take the seat to full down and full rear as well as move the steering column to full forward and full up if the vehicle is equipped with a power steering column.
Now to get direct to your question. The programmable seats do not move to position with a key off cycle in GM vehicles. In some vehicles other than GM they may. It requires operator input to move the seats.
If the current driver of very tall and the preprogrammed position (that the seat is moving to on key off) was forward, this driver would be in a moving seat while trying to exit the vehicle, not a desirable situation.
There may be vehicles (non-GM) that automatically move to the exit position on a key off cycle. This would not add to the concern rescuers have. Post crash seat functionality is never a given on high speed crashes.
If the vehicle is a crash that is severe enough to cause leg injuries, the 12 volt battery should be disabled prior to or during patient care, thereby eliminating this concern.
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03-09-2011, 11:05 PM #1
Power Seat "Memory" During a CrashRon Moore, Forum Moderator
03-10-2011, 11:19 AM #2
I have these memory seats on my Jeep.
You can preset a "Driving position" for up to two drivers that are activated by buttons on the door, or tied to a specific key. The vehicle will not allow you to select a preset under certain conditions, such as door open, seatbelt engaged, vehicle in gear..etc). These presets change the seat as well as the pedal positions.
There are also "easy entry/exit" settings which will move the seat back when the key is removed from the ignition. How far the seat moves are present-dependent. I don't believe the pedals move in this case.
It wasn't clear from the manual how the above will work in the case of an accident. Whether the systems automatically disable when the airbags deploy..etc. From an emergency responder point of view I would not remove the key and take care not to hit the preset-buttons until the battery is secured for fear of moving the seat and pedals.So you call this your free country
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