By on January 25, 2008

winterseat.jpgWhen I spied an ad for a Nocord heated seat cover in The Atlantic magazine, I remembered my wife's complaints about her bare bones Boxsters' chilling effect on her buns and signed up. The $60 seat cover arrived covered with K-Mart Hallowe'en costume-quality fabric, and, need I say, a cord. The device was [vaguely] held in place by shoddy straps; sitting on the rig was like trying to perch on a loose beach towel. Ergonomics aside, it worked. But I doubt for long, since it is truly dreadful made-in-China dreck. It's amusing that Nocord sells both full-price new products and "reconditioned" half-price versions of the exact same wares. Since nobody would bother to actually remanufacture any of this junk, they're obviously flogging the flood of returned-for-refund stuff that Nocord doubtless gets hourly. Chinese-made aftermarket parts. You have been warned.

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14 Comments on “Wilkinson on the Nocord Heated Seat Cover...”

  • avatar

    I have a corded heated seat cover from Canadian Tire that I got for $9, and it works great. Durable, warm, and quick to reach temperature.

  • avatar

    dammit, i ws gonna buy one of these… thanks for the heads up!

  • avatar

    Good call.
    The march of great ideas (made in the USA) implemented using poor quality cost-cutting means (for the sake of profit) is only going to increase.
    I think the Chinese are using the psychological warfare of frustrating us with (just enough) cheaply-made products (based on good ideas) to demoralize us before they finally call in the chips on all of our loans; lacking the ability to pay, they’ll seize all of the IP rights on designs that they can as a form of blackmail.
    And we walked into it willingly.

    Or, maybe not.

    You with me jurisb?

  • avatar

    Hey uhmm… maybe we should wait until it breaks first before firing off a warning shot?

    Then again I suppose pre-emptive strikes are all the rage for Americans these days.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Believe me, you can look at the thing and tell how long it’ll work. It has a 90-day warranty, which says something about that. The only reason I didn’t send it back is that we figure if we get one winter out of it, it’ll be better than spending $20 to ship it back. The box is huge, and I’m sure refunds require the original packaging, if only so they can resell it.

    My basic gripe about the whole thing is that nowhere–not in the magazine ad nor at the website–does it ever say “made in China.” What if you bought a putative “luxury upgrade” for your Porsche and when it arrived, the label said “made in Uganda” and that was the first you knew it?

  • avatar

    Stephan, do you think it would hold up better under an existing seat cover? I wouldn’t mind a $30 one with a cheapo $10 cover over it. I guess at that point I could use an electric blanket with a inverter if the amps weren’t too high.

  • avatar

    I’ve had a similar cheap heated seat cushion on my old truck for years. $12 or so on sale at CT. Works great under a seat cover, helps keep it in place.

    Like it so much I wired it in permanently to a dash switch, frees up my power point.

  • avatar

    $60 seems like a ginormous ripoff.
    when i bought my GTI, which was before the Package 0, Package 1, Package 2 nonsense, I was able to select the “cold weather package” for $150 MSRP. I got heated driver and passenger seats, heated mirrors, and heated windshield washer nozzles.

  • avatar

    I saw a kit for putting the composite heating plates under upholstery somewhere. Maybe someone knows a good source for that? Might be more than $60, but would likely be as good as OEM.

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t really call it a pre-emptive strike. More like years of observation and experience. Remember the Aqua-Dots that contained the date rape drug? Sheesh.

    Fair warning: Don’t lick that seat warmer.

  • avatar

    Well, if JCI or Intier had decided to make this thing, it’d cost you over $100. So if you had paid double for the thing and had it read “Made in the USA” would it still be a ripoff and a bad product?

  • avatar

    Thanks for the warning.

  • avatar

    You’re out of your mind if you pay $500 for factory heated seats.

    But to be honest, I have them in my Audi and I don’t have them in my Z4 – I live in Western NY where the average yearly temperature is 47.5 degrees, and I drive the Z4 more often (including during the winter – snow tires FTW) – with no complaints, even in sub zero weather.

    Who needs heated seats?

    Get a coat.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    RayH, I think putting this thing under an existing seatcover would be about like sitting on a warm dog. Don’t do it.

    holydonut, if it said Made in USA I would have a lot more confidence in it being well-made. Not a guarantee, but better than most. And yes, I’d rather pay the $100 for something reliable than the $60 for crap, and if there are people who have found Canadian or cottage-industry versions for $10, more power to ’em.

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