Service Driver Assist System Message: Causes & How To Fix

Many questions are probably running through your mind, if the service driver assist system message is new to you. You want to know what it means and whether there’s an immediate danger. Most importantly, you must know what triggers the problem and how to fix it. 

If that is so, we’ve got you covered. Having researched in depth about this error message, we have the answers you seek. Keep reading.

What Does the Service Driver Assist System Message Mean?

The service driver assist system message indicates a malfunction in your vehicle’s Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS). The ADAS in your car comprises electrical components that can develop faults with continued use. When that happens, the system will notify you by sending a warning on the dashboard.

Driver Assist Systems (Driver Assistance) or ADAS are sophisticated technologies in modern vehicles. The systems can refer to control functionalities that ease your driving experience and make it more comfortable and safer.

For instance, some features serve to alert you to errors or hazards. These may include lane departure detection and drowsiness detection.

In addition to vehicle control, driver assistance may include auxiliary driving functions. Examples are obstacle detection, location finding, and route planning.

Your vehicle can have complex or straightforward driver assistance systems. It depends on the model, make, and manufacture year. Either way, the systems need occasional maintenance to stay in tip-top shape.  

What Causes the Service Driver Assist System Message?

The common causes of the service driver assist system message include a broken or shorted haptic seat motor circuit. It could also result from something as simple as a software error on rare occasions. A failing steering wheel can also trigger the message.

Let’s get into the details:

Possible Cause #1: Broken or Shorted Haptic Seat Motor Circuit

The driver’s seat cushion may have two haptic motors as part of the Driver’s Assist System—one on the right side and the other on the left. The seat memory control module supplies them with the output voltage they need to run. In some circumstances, the motors will vibrate to alert you (haptic feedback).

Their circuits can break or short-circuit with continued use. Haptic motor wire breakage is the most common cause of the service driver assist system message. Fixing this problem is usually challenging. You’ll mostly see the message without any corresponding Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC).

Still, a B172E or B172F may sometimes be present in the Seat Memory Control Module. Other times you’ll find both codes. That’s usually when an intermittent short-circuit has triggered the problem.

How to Fix

Open the seat to access the haptic motors. Scrutinize them for noticeable fraying or broken wire. As mentioned, the wiring pigtail near the seat motor is likely the problem. If so, you need to replace the motor.

Many choose to repair the pigtail wiring by soldering the wires together. Although that can save you money (the unit costs about $50), it’s hazardous. It can lead to more complicated issues in the long run.

If you can’t find wire breakage, plug in an OBD II scanner. That will be to perform a DTC check on the vehicle’s Memory Seat Module (MSM)—command on the right and left motors. If the motor doesn’t operate, follow the instruments and continue troubleshooting.

If you can’t find any error codes, check in the MSM and Active Safety Control Module directly. Follow the repair process keenly and complete each step. You might resolve the problem without completing all the steps. In that case, you don’t need to perform the remaining steps.

Possible Cause #2: An Issue with the Software Part

It’s rare, but some people have encountered this message without having any noticeable system malfunction. Think of it as a software error. Like in the wiring breakage case, the sufferers of this problem also said that no codes appeared after a DTC check.

How to Fix

Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery for about 15 minutes. Ensure you have a scanner (OBD II scan tool) to clear any engine trouble codes once you reconnect the battery. You also must reset all your settings, including the memory seat module. Follow the instructions on the digital information center until you complete the process. If that doesn’t work, something else might be the cause.

Possible Cause #3: Faulty Steering Wheel

A faulty steering wheel is another rare problem. It has happened to a few people, meaning it could also have happened to you, regardless of your car’s age. So, if the trigger of the message is neither a wiring issue in the haptic seat motors nor a software problem, then it’s probably the steering wheel.

How to Fix

You need a steering wheel replacement. Your dealer may cover the cost if your vehicle is under warranty.


How Can the Driver Assist Technologies Avert an Accident?

The driver assists technologies on some vehicles can avert accidents by alerting the drivers. They do so through audible alerts, haptic feedback, and visual displays. These systems help prevent crashes into the back of stopped or slower-moving vehicles.

What Are Some Driver Assist Systems that Enhance Safety While Driving?

There are many driver assist systems that enhance safety while driving. These include Tyre Pressure Monitoring (TPMS) and Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS). Another popular feature is the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). The number of features available varies, depending on the car model, make, and manufacture year. 

How Can I Reset Ford Driver Assist System?

You can reset the Ford driver assist system easily. Turn the ignition off and on when the vehicle is stationary. Opening and closing the driver’s door when the car is at a stop may also reset the driver’s assist.


The service driver assist system message is a common problem. We have learned that a broken or shorted wire in the haptic seat motors is the most notorious cause. Repairing this issue requires the replacement of the motor.

Rarely a malfunctioned steering wheel or a software issue can trigger the message. Our article has provided a solution, whichever your case may be. Hopefully, you’ll resolve it quickly. We want you to continue enjoying your driver assist in its excellent condition.

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