Originally Posted by RupturedDuck
@multispoke whilst I love Recaro seats and it's a good option, but as Maurgo said, there are airbags in the side that you'd lose in the Recaro and would there be some changes to electronics needed for airbag sensors that would be potentially missing?
I had a set of Recaros in an 'old' RS Turbo II that came standard and they were brillant. The Sabelts that are fitted as a 'dealer option' in the Abarth models and are available in the MiTo have as already pointed out have no airbags (you still have 5 other ones). I am aware of one individual on buying his A500 with Sabelts fitted that he was supposed to sign a special form on taking delivery of the new vehicle so that he was aware that they were missing (form wasn't signed). This was to ensure that his insurance company was notified that the seats had been 'upgrade' essentially a modification had taken place. Still since it was 'Dealer supplied' it makes it easier for the insurance update.
To replace the standard seats with the Sabelts or seats with missing airbags (there is one per seat) there is a process that has to be followed. IIRC the battery is dis-connected when it is being done so that the airbags don't go off if you 'unplug' the connectors. It's supposedly a simple enough job with one or two individuals on the FF changing their standard seats to seats from the Abarth model.
The Sabelt seats come with a "jumper" it is an orange plastic piece with a resistor inside (2.2 ohms) that will fool the ECU into thinking the airbags are still there and not put the airbag light on the dashboard.
On the article from the Sunday times on the 110911 you'll notice that Alfa used to offer the option of fitting Recaro seats. If one was opting for a change of seat you could tell your insurance that the current seat is too uncomfortable and that you have
to change the seat. Once this is not seen as a performance modification there should be no increase in premium.
Leather vs Sabelt Seats & Prices
If I had a choice of leather upgrade on MiTo I would opt for 'standard' leather seats since they are brillant. The leather on the A500 has not been wearing well - the 'ribbed' effect on the MiTo seats limits the sagging that can happen. On the above thread there is a link where you could opt for a set of secondhand Sabelt seats - can't see any reason what a set from a GPA would not fit in a MiTo.
On the american supplied Fiat 500 models dealers were organising to have the seats re-upholstered in Leather (there was a poor Fiat choice). There was complaints about the 'job' lasting and now the Dealers have withdrawn the option to do this. Another issue is that the warranty cover on the seats from buying a new car is gone since you have changed what was originally supplied.