Q: Replacement of body wiring harness

asked by on January 23, 2017

My brand new Sonic was rear ended on 11/15/16 @ 45-50 MPH. Car went into body shop by 11/17. New problem surfaced on Jan. 17th. Air bag icon went on and would not go out. Called repair shop as I felt might be accident. They diagnosed an electrical problem. A small part, the size of a nickel, needed replacing. Three days later the repair/body shop notified me that the emtire body wiring harness needed to be replaced. I need to know how this piece of equipment could be damaged in such an accident.
ALSO, this part cannot be had from any U. S. supplier (includimg GM manufacturer) at this time! GM also stated that there's no date of availability. This info was provided to the auto repair/body shop by a Las Vegas Chevy dealership. I am sooo frustrated. I only had the car 2 weeks. What do I do?

My car has 2400 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It would be difficult to say if the shorted area of the harness was damaged in the accident. If it is in the area of the impact, it may be possible. If the bad part of the harness is located anywhere other than the impact area, then probably not. As for replacing the entire harness rather than repairing it, some manufacturers require replacing the entire wiring harness if there is ANY damage to the air bag wiring, even in the smallest, for safety and legal reasons. Some allow repairs within certain guidelines which also vary from make to make. As to why it will take so long to get the harness, it is not a commonly replaced part. They generally do not have replacement wiring harnesses on the shelf ready to send out. Typically, they have to be made specifically for your vehicle which can take some time. In some instances, they are made by hand. If it was damaged in the accident, then the insurance company should be paying for the replacement. If the damage/defective area is not located anywhere near the impact area and the harness is intact, then you may have a case for it being replaced under warranty.

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