Hello seismic, and welcome to the forum. Hope we can help you sort out the issues with your newly-purchased used i-MiEV. I presume you're in Canada? You might consider updating your profile which will show your location under your name in the box to the left of the posts.
Here's the thread which discusses this: http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3196
I'll address the Remote -
1. The car has to be plugged into a live J1772 outlet in order for Remote to control the car charging or heating/cooling.
2. When heating, set to either the Heat or Defrost and press the Enter button. In my case, very often this will produce an Error, but if I wait a few seconds and hit the Enter button again, it will 'take'.
3. The Remote overrides any of the dashboard control settings when either Heating or Defrosting.
4. If you leave the seat heater switch on the ON position, the seat heater will also be activated by the Remote.