By on September 12, 2016

2015 Chevrolet Silverado Rally Edition

General Motors has a doozy of a recall on its hands after admitting that 3.64 million vehicles in the U.S. are equipped with airbags that might not deploy in the event of a crash.

The automaker has announced a voluntary recall of numerous 2014-2017 models to fix the issue, which can also disable seatbelt pretensioners. There remains a bit of mystery as to the “certain rare circumstances” that can disable the airbags.

Unlike the massive Takata recall, the problem with this crop of GM airbags isn’t that they’re dangerous, rather, some simply might not work.

GM blames the issue on faulty software in the sensing and diagnostic module (SDM). In the most common collisions, the airbags function as intended. However, the automaker claims that airbags and pretensioners fail to function in crashes “preceded by a specific event impacting vehicle dynamics.”

The automaker didn’t elaborate on what that specific event is.

Included in the recall are certain 2014-2016 model year Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet SS and Spark EV models, 2014-2017 model year Chevrolet Corvette, Trax, Caprice PPV and Silverado 1500s, Buick Encores and GMC Sierra 1500s, and 2015-2017 model year Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban and Silverado HDs, GMC Yukon, Yukon XL and Sierra HDs, and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESVs.

GM is urging owners to check their vehicle identification numbers to see if they’re part of the recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a search tool for this.

The automaker claims the recall — despite its scope — isn’t “expected to be material and will be included in GM’s third quarter earnings.”

[Image: General Motors]

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9 Comments on “The Anti-Takata: GM Says Airbags in 3.6 Million Vehicles Might Not Deploy...”


  • avatar
    Carzzi

    … Arguably making the vehicles safer to drive.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Swap ya for the ones I got.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Man, I always hated airbags.
    Use your shoulder belts.
    I never felt good about anybody installing explosives in my face.
    This was wrong from day one. Just another dogooder law forced upon me and, IMO, endangering my life.
    So all this is great news to me…if I had such a GM.
    Take em all out.
    Disable them all.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    And yet, in this insane world, people can sue manufacturers for damages EVEN if they never had their seatbelts on.
    Whataworld.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I don’t see how having to wait years to replace airbags and a software fix, that other makers have had to do through the ages (software fixes related to airbag deployment), are even on the same plane. Airbag might not go off because of software written by a room of code monkeys. Airbag might explode like Claymore mine and must be replaced, ironically with airbag from same company using same propellant, the problem in the first place.

    If TTAC is going to draw schadenfreude from non-Takata airbag issues then I will ask again. Where is the story about VW, Mitsubishi and Toyota’s continued practice of installing defective Takata airbags, that are currently under recall, in NEW manufactured vehicles. The excuse of there is no other supplier doesn’t hold water since FCA ended the practice.

    What happened to the policy of anyone writing a recall story that wasn’t “big earth shattering news” would have to write a story around every recall for the entire month?

    Is it because of a somewhat cozy relationship has had in the past, too cozy, with one of those makers from a former EIC, while being built on having an adversarial relationship with the maker subject of this story?

    Nah…it couldn’t be that.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Let me sarcastically guess, the airbags and seatbelt pretensioners don’t work if the ABS is engaged at the time of impact. Wait; that’s my actual, non-sarcastic best guess. Some idiot fixed a current surge deployment problem with an ABS on crash sensor defeat.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    “certain rare circumstances” = edge cases that got missed while testing the software just like with the infamous Toyota ECUs with the overflow causing a hanged task… that read the accelerator pedal position. Natch.

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