We blame the ongoing chip shortage.
The chip crisis is proving to be a worthy adversary to the automotive industry. No carmaker has gone unaffected, with Ford even having to cut production of key vehicles such as the Bronco and F-150. If BMW's CEO is to be believed, it's not going to get any easier for car companies, either. General Motors has been hit particularly hard by the global shortage and has had to remove key features from popular products such as the Cadillac Escalade.
The luxury SUV has previously seen Super Cruise removed from its lengthy list of features (it was later re-added) but now it has lost a rather handy convenience feature. According to sources close to the carmaker, the Navigator rival is rolling down the production line without the second-row auto-up function on the rear windows. While that may not sound like such a big deal, those who are used to the feature know just how convenient it is.
Not all 2022 models are affected by this, though. The change took place as of April 25, so only the latest batch of Escalades will be built without the auto-up function. While GM has given no indication as to why this specific feature has been pulled, it's likely got to do with the chip crisis.
Thankfully, the front row windows retain their full auto up/down functionality, while the second row holds into its auto-down function. Cadillac also hasn't alluded to how long this feature omission will last but we can't imagine Escalade customers will be too pleased by this. Hopefully, affected buyers will be compensated with a credit and be able to retrofit the function at a later date.
At least the Escalade won't have to do without more important luxury features. The big SUV's lesser siblings have had to contend with several feature cuts, with the CT5 sedan losing Super Cruise for the 2022 model year. It's worth noting that Cadillac isn't the only automaker being forced to cut nice-to-haves from its lineup.
Rival brand Genesis was forced to remove Highway Driving Assist (HDA) II from the G80 and GV80 models, and even removed it as an option for the more compact GV70 SUV. This is a problem across the board and, as the chip shortage improves, we expect this practice to become less common. With luck, this is the last time the Escalade loses a luxury feature - it's not the type of car sold to those who are happy with anything else but perfection.