Positive Post of the Day: GM Moves to Sort Out Side Airbag Issue

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

GM is taking decisive action to rectify safety issues stemming from the sale of roughly 200,000 Chevrolet Malibus, Cobalts and Impalas without “standard” side airbags. The cars in questions were sold to fleet buyers with the bags deleted, saving purchasers $145 per vehicle. They then found their way into the resale market, including GM-certified franchises, where they’ve been sold as side airbag-equipped. No more, from one end of the food chain to the other. “Brian Latouf, director of GM’s Global Structure & Safety Integration Center, said the company wouldn’t allow the airbags to be deleted from the list of features available when they are bought by fleet buyers,” reports Detroit News. “He also said that vehicles without side airbags are clearly marked in the owner’s manual.” As for the cars already out there, somewhere, GM is making moves to address labeling issues for used car buyers. . .

The General’s minions have . . .

• Modified its GM Certified Web site so that when a dealer prints the window sticker for one of these vehicles, the side airbag feature will no longer be included automatically in the list of standard features for the vehicle.

• Contacted AutoTrader.com, Cars.com, and other major sellers and advised them that side airbags were not included as standard equipment in these certified used fleet vehicles.

• GM also called dealers that had certified used car inventory with the side airbag option deleted so they can remove the window label and replace it with correct information.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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4 of 19 comments
  • Anonymous Anonymous on Sep 06, 2009

    @Dimwit, My guess is that the difference is the federal mandate. Side curtains aren't mandated... yet. I know the last time I looked at Hondas side curtain airbags were an added cost option. This was a couple years ago, but I bet there are other brands that offer side curtains as options instead of standard equipment.

  • GS650G GS650G on Sep 06, 2009

    So to save 145 dollars they put drivers at greater risk. Nice. Who is the bigger turd? Gm or teh bean counters that bought the cars and went for the delete?

  • Gimmeamanual Gimmeamanual on Sep 07, 2009

    FreedMike, Since the airbags are standard equipment, it's likely that all the applicable trim panels have the embossment.

  • Redwood Redwood on Sep 07, 2009

    I've always hated how fleet buyers cheap out cars and this just gives me more ammunition. These are the same people that wanted a cheaper car and gave GM a reason to continue using the 2 gens prior Malibu as a "Malibu Classic". The very same ones that kept the previous Taurus alive longer than than it should have been allowed to live. I swear, if given the option, fleet buyers would make us put our foot through a hole in the floorboard to slow the car down just so they could save a buck.