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Old 07-05-2007, 09:39 AM   #1
centerice
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2007 Outlook XR
Default Intrusive Head Rests

Hello,
I have only one complaint about my Outlook: it is the intrusive headrests. I feel like the headrest is pushing my head forward. I just want to sit up straight and not have the headrest not push my head forward. I know I can tilt the seat back a little bit, but that is not comfortable, and makes it more likely to slouch. This problem is causing a pain in my shoulder.

I called Customer Service, and they first told me to contact the dealership to ask if there is anything they can do to change the angle of the headrest. I didn't think this was practical (liability for the dealership, etc).

I asked if the 2008 Outlooks have a headrest with a different styling. Perhaps, I wonder, can I buy some newly designed 2008 headrests and put them into my 2007 Outlook.

Does anyone have a problem with the headrests? Any suggestions?

Does anyone know if the 2008 headrests are different than the 2007? I called my dealership and the manager said he is not expecting any 2008 Outlooks for 1 month or so. The customer service agent promised to look into this and get back to me on Tuesday, 7/3, but she never called back.

Thanks,
Pam
2007 Outlook XR, FWD
White Diamond Coat, tan interior, has every option except towing

PS- CR validated my problem with the headrest. That made me feel a little beter.

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Old 07-05-2007, 09:51 AM   #2
VMMVMMM
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

I'm right there with you, the seats begin to hurt my back over long hauls because of this. I'd love to know of a solve for this, as it is a real pain for me. I know some here actually like that their head touches the headrest all the time, but I don't like it at all, really limits my ability to move my neck around on long drives, which causes fatigue and stiffness. Not to mention the bald spot it creates in your hair.

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Old 07-05-2007, 09:57 AM   #3
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2007 Outlook XR
Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Quote:
Originally Posted by VMMVMMM View Post
I'm right there with you, the seats begin to hurt my back over long hauls because of this. I'd love to know of a solve for this, as it is a real pain for me. I know some here actually like that their head touches the headrest all the time, but I don't like it at all, really limits my ability to move my neck around on long drives, which causes fatigue and stiffness. Not to mention the bald spot it creates in your hair.
Had the same trouble until I pumped up the lumbar support a little more. It changed the slant of my back and now I hardly notice the headrest! Give it a try!

...
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premium seating,
premium plus seating
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:00 AM   #4
centerice
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2007 Outlook XR
Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Hello,
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I have already tried adjusting the lumbar support, but it has not helped the problem with the headrests. I already have the lumbar support as far forward as it can go, but the headrest problem stays the same.
Thanks,
Pam

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Old 07-05-2007, 10:05 AM   #5
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2007 Outlook XR
Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Quote:
Originally Posted by centerice View Post
Hello,
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I have already tried adjusting the lumbar support, but it has not helped the problem with the headrests. I already have the lumbar support as far forward as it can go, but the headrest problem stays the same.
Thanks,
Pam
Did you try moving the lumbar support UP as far as it will go?

...
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Dual sunroof,towing package,
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:20 AM   #6
centerice
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Hello,
Yes, I have tried it every way possible. Even with the lumbar position as "up" and "forward" as possible, I still have the problem with the intrusive headrest.
Any other suggestions?
Pam

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Old 07-05-2007, 11:17 AM   #7
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2007 Outlook XR
Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Does anyone know if you can replace the headrests with aftermaret ones? I am not sure if the pole slots are a univeral fit. I am considering doing this with the intent of installing one with a head rest monitor in it.
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Hi Centerpice -

Personally I have no problem with the seats, i think they are extremely comfortable. I've driven my Outlook for up six hours at a time, and never even felt slightly uncomfortable.

I'm just curious though are you a skinny person? I'm a bigger guy (read here - fat). I'm wondering if because I am thicker (front to back) i don't have this as an issue.

Maybe the seat was designed BY fat people FOR fat people! If this is the case i can't decide if that makes me feel extremely happy, or extremely pathetic.

...
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

That's hilarious.

For my part, I wouldn't necessarily say I'm fat, but I'm by no means skinny.

As for the headrest monitors, I do believe that is an option. We purchased our Outlook with a DVD, but would have installed one had the perfect one been available without it. One of the options our dealer said was available for an aftermarket install was screens in the headrests.

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Old 07-05-2007, 04:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

That may be the solution for the intrusive headrests. Get un-intrusive aftermarket headrests, with or without monitors. I have black leather, so they will be easy to match.

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Old 07-05-2007, 06:51 PM   #11
centerice
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Hello Pepsikid,

I would not say that I am skinny (average woman's build, size 10, not fat, but not skinny). Some people might say that I am on the short side, 5'3" (5'4" on a good day .

Perhaps a person's height has something to do with the comfort level of the headrest. My husband is 5'11' and does not have a problem with the headrests.

I also think it may have to do with a person's curviture (sp?) of the spine. It is just a matter of personal fit.

Any suggestions where I can purchase an aftermarket headrest?
Thanks,
Pam
PS- I also found it helps to have the headrest as high as possible. Then it feels less intrusive.

Saturn Customer Service has not been helpful. They suggest I contact the dealership to alter the headrest. The dealership's manager has no suggestions and never heard of altering a headrest. He laughed out loud when I told him that customer service referred me to his dealership. Customer Service has now transfered to another department, and have been "promised" a call back by the end of business day tomorrow. We'll see. Wish me luck!!

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Old 07-05-2007, 06:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Have you tried turning the headrest around? It comes off if you push the release on both posts. It looks a little odd, but at least you won't be hitting your head on it.

I too like sitting upright, like I am in a chair. I have the seat at its highest position and a bit back from the dash. I have the steering wheel extended as far back as well.

When I first got the Outlook I was sitting up very straight - to the point that slowing down even the slightest bit caused me to lean forward. I had the same problem with the headrest at that point.

I then adjusted the seat back back a little, cranked the lumbar and now things are perfect. I took some getting used to but in the end I think it is a more comfortable way to drive. YMMV.

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Old 07-05-2007, 10:49 PM   #13
centerice
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Hello,
Funny you should ask.....YES, I did try taking the headrest out and turning it around. It fits perfectly.

The good news is that now I can sit straight up w/o having my head pushed forward by the headrest. The bad news is that it feels like an unsafe position in case of an accident. The back of the headrest (now facing front) curves back so there is quite a bit of room between my head and the headrest.

In this new configuration, if I tilt my head back (to mimic the motion my body would go during an accident), my head is tilted back behind my spine. It feels like I could get a neck injury.

Did anyone notice in the August issue of Consumer Reports (in the same issue as the Outlook review) there is an article on the ideal position for headrests? It states that idealy the driver wants the headrest to be about 3 inches away from the headrest.

I am not sure if my head is more than 3 inches away from the inverted headrest, but in an accident, my spine would not be in line with my neck, so I don't think I should try it.

Has anyone else tried turning around the headrests?

I have tried many different positions and angles with the back of the seat.
If I sit straight up and push the back of the seat a little farther back (so it does not push my head forward) then my back is not touching the back of the seat. I paid extra for heated seats, and by golly, come winter I want to be able to use this feature again!!

I hate to say it, but I wish I did not buy this car. Oh, and our city gas mileage is poor. 14 or 15 mpg and I drive VERY conservatively. Our highway mileage, however is excellent, 24, 26, and once 29 miles per gallon. We had a flat and used the spare -- where you MUST drive 60 mph max. on the highway. I think we may have even topped 30 miles per gallon.

Again, any suggestions where I can buy and aftermarket headrest in tan is greatly appreciated.
Thanks!!!!

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Old 07-05-2007, 11:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Quote:
Originally Posted by pepsikid View Post
Hi Centerpice -

Personally I have no problem with the seats, i think they are extremely comfortable. I've driven my Outlook for up six hours at a time, and never even felt slightly uncomfortable.

I'm just curious though are you a skinny person? I'm a bigger guy (read here - fat). I'm wondering if because I am thicker (front to back) i don't have this as an issue.

Maybe the seat was designed BY fat people FOR fat people! If this is the case i can't decide if that makes me feel extremely happy, or extremely pathetic.
My wife and I are in the non skinny boat. Guess you didn't notice how shallow the Outlook drivers seat is either? My wife noticed immediately. I ran over to the Honda dealership and noticed the Pilot seat is 1.75 inches longer than the Outlook. My wife didn't look comfortable at all. On top of that the headrest was jamming her head forward. I was standing there dumbstruck -- I spent all my free time for the last two weeks studying all the cool features of the car -- all dashed in 10 seconds by my wife. The salesman stood there trying to move the headrest back (but couldn't of course because YOU CAN'T). Thanks GM for a shallow seat with a weird, unadjustable headrest

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Old 07-06-2007, 09:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Not to mention absolutely no side bolstering whatsoever. For a car that I love so much for every other reason, the seats are really making me frustrated. I purchased this car to replace an old minivan because we are doing about a 4000 mile road trip this fall, and now I'm noticing that if I drive for more than about 15 minutes, my back is killing me because of these terrible seats. Almost makes me want to return the car.

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Old 07-06-2007, 10:51 AM   #16
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Hi all,

I don't have a problem with the seat other than wishing it was just a tab bit higher from the floor; I guess I was used to my old Durango. Anyway, I am in the other boat as it comes to the headrest; I don't think it is tall enough. I am 6'3" so my head hits the top of the head rest when it is raised to its highest position. I moved it up a little further than the last notches so my head would be more comfortable when I lay my head back against it.

I guess it would have nice to have to option of pivoting the headrest to aid in comfort but I'm sure having it cradle forward is far better for the driver in an accident than having it to far back.

There is a huge difference between the headrests in the Outlook compared to my old Durango. In a rear collision I could always picture my head snapping back quite easily in the Durango. I feel much safer in the Outlook as there is far less distance for my head to move.

Maybe they could incorporate something like SAAB's active head restraint system.

Also, here is a link to a study of head restraint systems. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd...16/98S5O15.PDF

In the first paragraph of the abstract, 2nd sentence, "whiplash injuries can be reduced by minimizing the gap between the head and head restraint during the first phase of a rear-end impact."

After reading the study I wondered how much energy being deflected by a head restraint, during an accident, is reduced with video monitors installed into them. Or if the monitor can shatter upon impact sending shards of glass into the rear seat occupants watching them?

Anyway, hope this information is helpful.

...
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Old 07-07-2007, 10:19 AM   #17
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

I have no problem with the Outlook head rests, nor the seats. I find them very comfortable.

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Old 07-11-2007, 09:17 AM   #18
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbshuler View Post
Thanks GM for a shallow seat with a weird, unadjustable headrest
You mean a safe, protects you in a rear impact crash, well engineered headrest. By the way, the headrest is adjustable. Read your owner's manual.

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Old 07-11-2007, 03:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

Quote:
Originally Posted by puckalicious View Post
You mean a safe, protects you in a rear impact crash, well engineered headrest. By the way, the headrest is adjustable. Read your owner's manual.
Sorry. I was a little over critical. By unadjustable I meant you cannot move the Outlook head rest forward/backward or tilt it at an angle -- it only moves up and down.

Here is the manual section on adjusting the head rest (our salesman at the Buick/GMC dealership had no clue how to adjust this):

Quote:
Adjust the head restraint so that the top of the restraint is at the same height as the top of the occupant’s head. This position reduces the chance of a neck injury in a crash. Pull the head restraint up to raise it. To lower the head restraint, press the release button, located on the top of the seatback, while you push the head restraint down.

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Old 07-11-2007, 09:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: Intrusive Head Rests

I'm of average height (about 5'11") and neither skinny nor fat, and the Outlook right out of the showroom is the most comfortable vehicle I've ever driven. Seats, headrest, all excellent. I've taken 1,600 mile and 2,400 mile road trips and the Outlook fatigued me noticeably less than any other vehicle, car or van I've driven for several hours straight. I also have a herniated disk in my back between the 4th and 5th lumbar areas so comfortable seating is mandatory for me.

...
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