General Motors is recalling almost 4.3 million cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles built in the last three years due to a software defect that could prevent airbags from deploying in a collision. The problem has been linked to one death and three injuries.
The company said the sensing and diagnostic module that controls airbag deployment has a software defect that may prevent the deployment of frontal airbags in certain “rare circumstances when a crash is preceded by a specific event impacting vehicle dynamics.”
GM discovered the problem after a report was filed in its Speak Up for Safety system relating to a crash involving a 2014 model year Chevrolet Silverado truck in which the driver’s frontal airbag and seatbelt pretensioners were alleged not to have deployed.
GM opened an investigation into the issue on June 7, 2016 and assigned a product investigator on June 8, 2016. After reviewing the data, the company conducted testing to replicate the problem in August. Once that was complete, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company elected to order a recall.
(Ford recalls 1.5 million vehicles. For more, Click Here.)
The vehicles in the recall comprise a large cross-section of GM products, including the 2014-2016 Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet SS and Spark EV; the 2014-2017 Buick Encore, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Corvette, Trax, Caprice and Silverado; and the 2015-2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban and Silverado HD, GMC Yukon, Yukon XL and Sierra HD and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV.
The recall comes less than a week after the company settled the final two of the six bellwether cases involving GM’s faulty ignition switch. The defective part, which led to the recall of 2.4 million cars, was responsible for more than 120 deaths and hundreds of injuries. The company will spend an estimated $2 billion in settlements, fees and government fines to resolve the issues.
(GM Q2 earnings double despite sliding sales. Click Here to see the story.)
The problem ushered in an new era of openness at the company, led by its first-ever woman chairman and CEO, Mary Barra. She said she would change the corporate culture at GM that fostered an environment where engineers and executives hid the problem. It also led NHTSA to enact tougher rules about reporting defects and problems.
For this recall, GM will notify customers and update the software at no cost to vehicle owner, although it hasn’t elaborated on when the repairs will begin.
(GM settles final two bellwether cases related to faulty ignition switches. Click Here for the story.)
Owners may contact Buick customer service at 1-800-521-7300, Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006, Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020, or GMC customer service at 1-800-462-8782.