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My 2014 minivan has developed a problem with the plastic panels on the outside of the driver and front passenger seat cushions becoming loose. It seems as though an attachment fitting may have broken. The seats are still usable, and the switches for the power seats operate fine.

Is this a common problem? Does anyone have advice on a fix?

Thanks,

Bill
 

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+1 for me & my '14... I just assumed it's because my size means I put a lot of weight on the panel when I get out... Never bothered fixing it, since it's still attached on the back, and everything still works on it. I'm also curious to see if others have seen this, or fixed it...
 

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I bought a 2013 two months ago and the passenger seat outboard trim was partially detached at the front (and the seat controls had also come loose and were recessed). I was able to reattach the seat controls (using a small block of wood to brace against the back of the switch housing while I pushed on the trim from the outside). I then reattached the seat trim and haven't had it pop loose since. I'm not sure what the previous owners did to knock it loose but I'm guessing their pant leg snagged on the leading edge of that trim and pulled it off as they swung their legs out to exit the vehicle.
 

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My 2014 minivan has developed a problem with the plastic panels on the outside of the driver and front passenger seat cushions becoming loose. It seems as though an attachment fitting may have broken. The seats are still usable, and the switches for the power seats operate fine.

Is this a common problem? Does anyone have advice on a fix?

Thanks,

Bill
Just today I spent the entire afternoon replacing a broken plastic side seat cover. I have been living with it for about the last two or three years, as it was still held on mostly by the seat belt and the wiring for the seat controls. I bought the replacement from Rock Auto. It was $40 before shipping. I should have also bought the small separate section for the seat belt, but I managed to get it off the rest of the old cover without breaking it.

After about four hours, I finally got the old one off and the new one on. I would like to meet the engineer who designed that particular piece and the bean counter who approved it! Despite my age and arthritis, (and a rare form of cancer), it would be difficult to pry my hands off of their throats!

It's a terrible design and the mounting brackets and location are ridiculous! Three separate attachments on the cover were broken! Don't know when it happened, but I just noticed it one day. It's obvious it's not meant to ever be removed without destroying it in the process. Getting the seat movement and tilt controls off of the cover was particularly tricky without breaking the tiny little plastic tabs. The front switch needs to be removed before the wire plug can be removed from the switch housing, and it's held on by four very, very tiny 'tabs' and they are quite fragile!

I wish someone would explain why the tiny screw that holds the back of the cover against the seat frame has to be a T-15 screw instead of just a Phillips-head or a simple six sided hex screw! Fortunately I had one in my tool box. One does not really need to remove the large bolt that anchors the seat belt to the seat frame, but it makes it easier if you do. And why in **** does that have to be a large Torx head instead of just a plain six-sided hex head so you can get a regular wrench or socket on it!

It's amazing to me that that cover hasn't broken on every fifth gen van out there!

I could have designed a much better cover, still made of plastic, that wouldn't break so easily and would be easy to remove, and I'm not a mechanical engineer. (My degree was in chemical engineering.)

I'm amazed that in the entire life of the 5'th gen vans they didn't, or couldn't come up with a better design!!!!
 

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Just today I spent the entire afternoon replacing a broken plastic side seat cover. I have been living with it for about the last two or three years, as it was still held on mostly by the seat belt and the wiring for the seat controls. I bought the replacement from Rock Auto. It was $40 before shipping. I should have also bought the small separate section for the seat belt, but I managed to get it off the rest of the old cover without breaking it.

After about four hours, I finally got the old one off and the new one on. I would like to meet the engineer who designed that particular piece and the bean counter who approved it! Despite my age and arthritis, (and a rare form of cancer), it would be difficult to pry my hands off of their throats!

It's a terrible design and the mounting brackets and location are ridiculous! Three separate attachments on the cover were broken! Don't know when it happened, but I just noticed it one day. It's obvious it's not meant to ever be removed without destroying it in the process. Getting the seat movement and tilt controls off of the cover was particularly tricky without breaking the tiny little plastic tabs. The front switch needs to be removed before the wire plug can be removed from the switch housing, and it's held on by four very, very tiny 'tabs' and they are quite fragile!

I wish someone would explain why the tiny screw that holds the back of the cover against the seat frame has to be a T-15 screw instead of just a Phillips-head or a simple six sided hex screw! Fortunately I had one in my tool box. One does not really need to remove the large bolt that anchors the seat belt to the seat frame, but it makes it easier if you do. And why in **** does that have to be a large Torx head instead of just a plain six-sided hex head so you can get a regular wrench or socket on it!

It's amazing to me that that cover hasn't broken on every fifth gen van out there!

I could have designed a much better cover, still made of plastic, that wouldn't break so easily and would be easy to remove, and I'm not a mechanical engineer. (My degree was in chemical engineering.)

I'm amazed that in the entire life of the 5'th gen vans they didn't, or couldn't come up with a better design!!!!
What sort of clips does this side panel have? Are they the plastic tabs with metal clip on top or just plastic tabs plastic welded into place? Do you have a photo? This might be handy to know for the future
 

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Unfortunately, I didn't think to take any pictures of it while changing it. The attached image shows the back side of it, and the brackets that broke are circled in red. The one on the far left is held on by a tiny screw. Don't lose it! You'll be looking at the parts store for one. It's got a T-15 screw head on it and of course it's metric threads. The parts circled in red were the brackets that broke off The one in the middle has a new metal clip on it from Dorman. Buy it off RockAuto. It's $40 there and I saw prices up to $180 other places and they are all the same Chinese made part.

The cut-out for the seat belt is a real pain to get off, but don't break that either, because I couldn't find one anywhere. I didn't check a dealer, but they will probably want a ton of money for it. You do have to get it off to get the rest of the cover off of the seat belt. I loosened the cover enough to lift it up and remove the seat belt bolt, which of course has an odd size star-head bolt on it. If you can get the small cover off the larger one, you won't need to loosen the seat belt.

They call it black, but it's not exactly the same shade as in the car, but you can paint it. It was close enough on mine that I didn't bother. You won't notice it unless you're really looking for it.
Annotation 2020-04-05 090825a.jpg
 

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Actually..., Now that I'm thinking about it, you will have to remove the bottom seat belt bolt or screw to get the new cover back on the car.
 

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I found a place on-line that has the seat belt 'shield', (that's what they call it), for the seat track cover. It's pretty cheap, only $6.91 for it, so you don't have to fiddle around with trying to get the one off of the broken seat track cover. That's actually what took most of the time when replacing mine.

They call the seat track cover the 'shield riser'. They have a nice exploded view of the whole seat assembly showing all the parts as well as the screws and fasteners. They are a little higher than the Rock Auto (Dorman), price, but not by much.

They have it in several colors, and for different versions of the seats depending on what options you have and what color seats you have.

It's here. Mopar parts

I wish I'd found this before changing mine. I also was in error about having to remove the seat belt bolt. You can install the seat track cover or shied riser or whatever, without removing the seat belt bolt, but it did make it easier to get at the one small screw on the side.
 

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Just today I spent the entire afternoon replacing a broken plastic side seat cover. I have been living with it for about the last two or three years, as it was still held on mostly by the seat belt and the wiring for the seat controls. I bought the replacement from Rock Auto. It was $40 before shipping. I should have also bought the small separate section for the seat belt, but I managed to get it off the rest of the old cover without breaking it.

After about four hours, I finally got the old one off and the new one on. I would like to meet the engineer who designed that particular piece and the bean counter who approved it! Despite my age and arthritis, (and a rare form of cancer), it would be difficult to pry my hands off of their throats!

It's a terrible design and the mounting brackets and location are ridiculous! Three separate attachments on the cover were broken!....I'm amazed that in the entire life of the 5'th gen vans they didn't, or couldn't come up with a better design!!!!
I don't really believe it is a terrible design, so far, as I can remember, only overweight people had that problem.

If you are not overweight, then you are probably doing something wrong.
 

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I don't really believe it is a terrible design, so far, as I can remember, only overweight people had that problem.

If you are not overweight, then you are probably doing something wrong.
Pardon me! I'm 5' 10" and I weigh about 175lbs. Just turning slightly and putting my foot on the ground is the only way I know how to get out from the drivers seat. Perhaps there is something in the manual that I missed, but they put that door on the side so that one can get in and out, so unless I missed something in the manual...., I wasn't doing anything wrong! Oh.., wait! That's what the window is for...., is that it?

Perhaps you can also mention this to the three posters who I was answering about this problem! I also have a neighbor, a woman who is about 5' 3" and cannot weigh more than 110 lbs. The side cover broke on her 2014 Limited the week she brought it home. It's broken again, after the dealer stopped replacing them after the fifth time, and she got tired of complaining about it to them.

Sheesh! Try to help someone and I get insulted. I guess I'll have to return my Mensa membership since I don't know how to get out of a car after driving for almost 60 years without this happening to a single car I've owned before this one!
 

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Pardon me! I'm 5' 10" and I weigh about 175lbs. Just turning slightly and putting my foot on the ground is the only way I know how to get out from the drivers seat. Perhaps there is something in the manual that I missed, but they put that door on the side so that one can get in and out, so unless I missed something in the manual...., I wasn't doing anything wrong! Oh.., wait! That's what the window is for...., is that it?

Perhaps you can also mention this to the three posters who I was answering about this problem!
Well, then I don't know why is not happening to my vehicles.

Second poster:

+1 for me & my '14... I just assumed it's because my size means I put a lot of weight on the panel when I get out...
Third poster:

I bought a 2013 two months ago and the passenger seat outboard trim was partially detached at the front (and the seat controls had also come loose and were recessed).
I don't believe being overweight is an insult, but many things break easier if you are overweight.
 

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Well, then I don't know why is not happening to my vehicles.

Second poster:



Third poster:



I don't believe being overweight is an insult, but many things break easier if you are overweight.
The design is truly awful if you look at the molded in brackets that are on the the back side of the cover. In my 44 working years as an engineer, I learned to very quickly spot things that are likely to fail in normal use. You have to do that! Engineers who design parts that fail too often...., are completely expendable in any industry. I've seen better designs on a Russian Lada!

An engineer is one of only three occupations where you can be sued for malpractice. Besides a professional engineer, only doctors and lawyers join them in their vulnerability to malpractice suits.

That part has absolutely no place on a $40 K vehicle! My 2007 Town & Country bracket was a much better design and the replacement cost is less.
 

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I don't really believe it is a terrible design, so far, as I can remember, only overweight people had that problem.

If you are not overweight, then you are probably doing something wrong.
I misunderstood that last sentence as an endorsement for being overweight. I thought Levy was being nice. I see that was the wrong understanding.

I think it is a bad design if it breaks due to being overweight. I do think mine broke partly because of weight and patrtly because of the way I get in or out due to my disability. I'm afraid the new one is going to break soon.
 

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I misunderstood that last sentence as an endorsement for being overweight. I thought Levy was being nice. I see that was the wrong understanding.

I think it is a bad design if it breaks due to being overweight. I do think mine broke partly because of weight and patrtly because of the way I get in or out due to my disability. I'm afraid the new one is going to break soon.
That part is likely to see a lot of stress due to it's location and the fact that the mini-vans are higher than a car. You don't move upward as you get out, you move your left leg out and DOWN to the ground, which is going to put that part under high stress. The design is probably perfectly fine for the inboard side of the seat, but on the outboard side, they woefully misjudged the strength needed to keep it from breaking.

The vans are great vehicles, but it's little mistakes like this, usually made more for cost considerations than for utility, that can give an entire brand a reputation which is not really deserved.
 
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