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I recently purchased a 2021 RAV4 XLE Hybrid and worked it in to the deal to have Katzkin leather installed. The dealership sent it out to a shop to have the install completed. When I got it back I was more than disappointed! All of the seats had several wrinkles and the back seat had a number of areas where the leather was loose. I sent it back to have it fixed. The service advisor just called and told me that “it’s 90% better” but there are some wrinkles still. She said that they will settle with heat. The shop also missed the frayed threads in the passenger seat headrest so I’ll now need to bring it back for a THIRD time! Does anyone have any idea about the quality/finished product of aftermarket leather installation? I haven’t gotten the car back yet so I don’t know what the seats look like, but being told it’s “90% better” when I paid 100% of the price for a quality leather install is quite disheartening!!
 

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Leather installation is as good as the installer. Dealers farm it out to the cheapest resource to make the most margin.

At minimum I would respond with "I will pay 80%" or something of that nature.

Be wary about "heat will solve wrinkles". Some small wrinkles will go away but larger ones will not.

Do you have any pics for those of us here to evaluate?
 

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Leather installation is as good as the installer. Dealers farm it out to the cheapest resource to make the most margin.

At minimum I would respond with "I will pay 80%" or something of that nature.

Be wary about "heat will solve wrinkles". Some small wrinkles will go away but larger ones will not.

Do you have any pics for those of us here to evaluate?
These pictures are from the first go around. I haven’t picked up the car yet after they “fixed it” so I’m not even sure what to expect. I plan on calling Katzkin directly to get some insight for when I go to pick the car up, but figured I’d try here first in case anyone has had a similar experience. Thanks for the feedback!
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Not great. Not a whole lot of time spent pulling and steaming to get the skin snug against the foam. Thrown on and sent out the door.

I would think most of that should be fixable with some proper time and treatment.
 

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Not great. Not a whole lot of time spent pulling and steaming to get the skin snug against the foam. Thrown on and sent out the door.

I would think most of that should be fixable with some proper time and treatment.
Yes, my thoughts exactly. And I was originally told it would take an additional day because the kit for the backseat was “defective”, but it ended up being ready that same day 🤔 Here’s to hoping it turned out better this time!! Thanks again!
 

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Let us know how it turns out. Given what they probably charged you you should be 100% satisfied with the quality of work.
 

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I bought mine with the Katzkin already pre-installed with the dealer and mine looks totally clean. Curious, how much did you have to pay for the seats + install?

The dealership I got mine tacked on about $2,000 for leather seats upgrade, which I think was totally 100% worth it.
 

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I bought mine with the Katzkin already pre-installed with the dealer and mine looks totally clean. Curious, how much did you have to pay for the seats + install?

The dealership I got mine tacked on about $2,000 for leather seats upgrade, which I think was totally 100% worth it.
It ran me just under $1400.
 

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That workmanship is not good at all Dude.
A Suggestion.. You Need To Be There When They REMOVE AND REPLACE.
 

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Most shops will not allow you to sit and hawk over them.
 

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That workmanship is not good at all Dude.
A Suggestion.. You Need To Be There When They REMOVE AND REPLACE.
Agreed, it’s not done well at all. The dealership called and said they had to order “special foam” for it and I won’t have the car back for another week and a half! After that phone call I called the shop that’s doing the install to find out what’s going on. They said they consulted with Katzkin and they recommended adding foam to make it fit better. He said that the kits aren’t always a perfect fit (which doesn’t make sense to me considering they’re designed to be an exact fit) so adding the foam will alleviate some of the looseness and wrinkles. I questioned why we couldn’t just order a new kit and he said we would run the risk of the new one not fitting correctly either 🤷🏻‍♀️. When I finally get my car back I’ll have a better idea of how it looks but I feel like adding foam runs the risk of it not looking factory. If that’s the case I’ll definitely be making a stink about it! But the guy I spoke to at the shop seemed to understand my concerns and assured me that it would look as it’s supposed to when it’s all said and done. We’ll see!
 

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Agreed, it’s not done well at all. The dealership called and said they had to order “special foam” for it and I won’t have the car back for another week and a half! After that phone call I called the shop that’s doing the install to find out what’s going on. They said they consulted with Katzkin and they recommended adding foam to make it fit better. He said that the kits aren’t always a perfect fit (which doesn’t make sense to me considering they’re designed to be an exact fit) so adding the foam will alleviate some of the looseness and wrinkles. I questioned why we couldn’t just order a new kit and he said we would run the risk of the new one not fitting correctly either 🤷🏻‍♀️. When I finally get my car back I’ll have a better idea of how it looks but I feel like adding foam runs the risk of it not looking factory. If that’s the case I’ll definitely be making a stink about it! But the guy I spoke to at the shop seemed to understand my concerns and assured me that it would look as it’s supposed to when it’s all said and done. We’ll see!
If they have been at it a long time you shouldn't be worried. Doing bulk for a dealership is a bang it out the door. Now that you have contacted them I would be willing to bet you will be very happy with results.

And while its an "exact" fit; there are still deviations to density of the foam, shape..blah blah blah. They template one vehicle and then make the patterns from that. Happens with hardware for cars too. Just keep calm and gunning for a proper install.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If they have been at it a long time you shouldn't be worried. Doing bulk for a dealership is a bang it out the door. Now that you have contacted them I would be willing to bet you will be very happy with results.

And while its an "exact" fit; there are still deviations to density of the foam, shape..blah blah blah. They template one vehicle and then make the patterns from that. Happens with hardware for cars too. Just keep calm and gunning for a proper install.
I’m hoping that calling them and speaking to them directly will work in my favor... kinda like putting a face to a name, making it more personal. It does make sense that there will be some deviations with the kits, thank you for pointing that out!
 

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I’m hoping that calling them and speaking to them directly will work in my favor... kinda like putting a face to a name, making it more personal. It does make sense that there will be some deviations with the kits, thank you for pointing that out!
I think the call was your best move exactly for the reason you stated. Face to a name. Otherwise they sit behind the dealer for customer issues.
 

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I had a K kit installed on my Prius v 9 years ago and it did take an extra refitting to get it right. But boy was it nice once done. Be patient.
 

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I agree that persistence will pay off in this instance. Make sure they do the job they were being paid for, but also give them the chance to make it right before raising hell. Sounds like they are trying. Also, kits are probably not mass (like millions) produced so while they have a template I'm sure there's some level of "craftsmanship" or lack thereof involved.

I'm just curious; why would you get leather on a brand new RAV4? I have thought about it but only if my original seats started to be worn out. I haven't had a problem with the SotfTex yet.
 

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I agree that persistence will pay off in this instance. Make sure they do the job they were being paid for, but also give them the chance to make it right before raising hell. Sounds like they are trying. Also, kits are probably not mass (like millions) produced so while they have a template I'm sure there's some level of "craftsmanship" or lack thereof involved.

I'm just curious; why would you get leather on a brand new RAV4? I have thought about it but only if my original seats started to be worn out. I haven't had a problem with the SotfTex yet.
Yes, both the dealership and the shop seem to be trying to make it right. I’m hoping I’ll be happy with the finished product!
My car had 2 tone (black/ash) cloth seats when I purchased it. I wanted the all black leather because I think it looks nicer, will be easier to keep clean, and doesn’t absorb smells as easily (I’m a smoker, unfortunately, but haven’t smoked in it yet!).
 

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Yes, both the dealership and the shop seem to be trying to make it right. I’m hoping I’ll be happy with the finished product!
My car had 2 tone (black/ash) cloth seats when I purchased it. I wanted the all black leather because I think it looks nicer, will be easier to keep clean, and doesn’t absorb smells as easily (I’m a smoker, unfortunately, but haven’t smoked in it yet!).
Give this a look see for future endeavors.

 
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