By on November 23, 2020

As sure as the sun rises in the morning, we can always count on the Takata airbag recall adding new vehicles to its ranks. General Motors is poised to add another 5.9 million vehicles to the list after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued an announcement on Monday.

Regulators stated that the automaker will be obligated to recall SUVs and pickup trucks (GMT900 vehicles) manufactured between 2007 and 2014 because the installed airbag inflators suffer from the classic Takata trait of being extremely dangerous. While the defect itself is relatively rare, the number of vehicles involved is staggering. Around 100 million inflators have been recalled by 19 major automakers around the world, and the resulting failure is often devastating. Units, especially those exposed to high levels of heat and humidity, can rupture ― causing an explosion that sprays metal fragments all over the cabin. There have been 18 known fatalities relating to the issue in the United States alone.

Most of those took place inside Honda vehicles, with the rest being split between Ford and BMW. While GM has been fatality-free, it’s also come under increasing scrutiny for attempting to avoid recalls by petitioning the NHTSA on multiple occasions.

“Although we believe a recall of these vehicles is not warranted based on the factual and scientific record, NHTSA has directed that we replace the [ammonium nitrate] airbag inflators in the vehicles in question,” GM said in a statement. “Based on data generated through independent scientific evaluation conducted over several years, we disagree with NHTSA’s position. However, we will abide by NHTSA’s decision and begin taking the necessary steps.”

The recall covers GM full-size pickup trucks and SUVs, including the Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Avalanche, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra, and Yukon. General Motors estimates it will cost around $1.2 billion, which will be over a quarter of its net income this year. Another 1 million vehicles will also need to be recalled globally, bringing the grand total up to 7 million units. GM has 30 days to provide the NHTSA with a proposed schedule for notifying vehicle owners ahead of the U.S. recall.

[Image: General Motors]

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35 Comments on “GM Recalling Nearly 6 Million Vehicles Over Eternal Takata Scandal...”

  • avatar

    Syphilis and Takata, the gifts that keep on giving.

  • avatar

    At least (for GM) the years in question will likely mean a relatively low take rate by owners. I would image vehicles older than 5 or 6 years start to see a significant dropoff of owner participation in recalls.

    • 0 avatar

      One would think, but GM keeps sending me key rotation recall notices faithfully every few months for a 2003 Olds Alero that left our company fleet and went to the boneyard 4 years ago. There is no contact info, website, phone number, or other means of contacting GM to tell them not to worry about it. Makes me wonder how much they spend sending all these messages out about cars that have long since been turned into bridge supports and washing machines.

  • avatar

    Typical GM to stall this out as long as possible.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s their M.O.

    • 0 avatar

      Pretty much S.O.P. for any corporation that f**ks up and has to pay out.

      • 0 avatar

        In other news, GM has been busy denying the warranty claims of numerous C-7 Corvette owners with defective wheels. It’s a well known problem in the Corvette community/forums, specifically C-7 ZO6 and Grand Sport wheels.

        GM simply claimed driver error, misuse/abuse or similar.

        When a Corvette owner filed suit in California, in court GM argued the owner failed to prove the wheels were defective in “materials or workmanship” (as stipulated in the warranty literature) because it’s neither.

        GM says it’s simply a “design flaw”, so it’s not covered by the warranty. The judge ruled in favor of GM, dismissed the case.

        In other words, the wheels were built to exact blueprint specifications so it’s in no way related to defective “materials or workmanship”.

        This is typical GM.

  • avatar

    $1.2 billion to replace items that to date have killed nobody in a GM vehicle? Interesting. I wonder were NHTSA would draw the cost line at.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      In a normal world, I’m not sure it’s GM’s cost to bear, since the fault is Takata’s alone. But IIRC Takata is bankrupt, and so GM may stand little chance of getting reimbursed for its trouble.

      OTOH, GM really ought to think twice before stonewalling such an effort. It’s only a matter of time until a Takata airbag kills/maims a GM driver, and a jury would look poorly upon their claim that this is nothing to worry about. Maybe their actuaries told them that a few out-of-court settlements would cost far less than $1.2 billion. Gives me the creeps.

  • avatar

    Yeah, they’re making too much money on them trucks anyways, lets give them something to worry about, besides the dealerships could use the boost!

  • avatar

    In other news, Ford grudgingly recalls Pinto for exploding gas tanks.

  • avatar

    I do not like that truck in bright red.

    • 0 avatar

      I hate red. But I love what it does. It hides dirt, road grime, dents, scratches and trail pinstripes, like nothing else. No other color comes close.

      Maybe its the glare. Although red looks acceptable to great at night, or dusk to dawn.

      For cars, yeah, but a truck that gets used for truck things, it has to be red.

      Yes I’d rather have a dark green metallic, although on construction sites a red truck is less likely to be hit by a skiploader or something. At least in theory..

      And there’s less chance a bad, half blind or distracted driver won’t see you coming. Again, theory. I’ve actually had less cop encounters in red trucks, and I’m guessing they spot me first but quickly realize I’m probably not the fastest in a group of speeders, just the most conspicuous.

      • 0 avatar

        It does look sharp with the color-keyed, chrome deletes. Extra points for the look of bright billet aluminum wheels, but the puke gold bowtie has to go.

        • 0 avatar

          A chithead in a brand new Mercedes hit and ran me last week, not very hard at least, and all of his paint wiped right off my chrome bumper. Color keyed would have been trashed.

          • 0 avatar

            My red color-keyed front bumper has taken a lot of minor hits on the corner/fog light areas, no dents, just scratches. The back bumper has more dings than scratches, they’re direct hits.

            None are really visible at 30+ ft or 30 MPH. On chrome bumpers though, dings/scratches, like from rocks/boulders really stand out.

            The bonus is it’s single stage red, no clear-coat to get crusty.

          • 0 avatar

            I didn’t know that they left off the clearcoat there, as many scrapes as the bumpers take that’s a great idea. Easy to blend one layer.

      • 0 avatar

        re: single-stage paint

        I’ve never favored paint that gets chalky/thirsty. Give me failing multi-stage over that any day.

  • avatar

    Built Chevy Proud!!

    Man, these 2007-2014 GMT900 are quickly becoming some of the worst vehicles to come out of Detroit in a very long time. What’s troubling is that Chevy just can’t seem to figure out how to make them correctly.

    What a joke.

    • 0 avatar

      Best looking of any GM trucks since the C/Ks!

      Too bad many of them are starting to rot away!

    • 0 avatar

      Other than the AFM problems, admittedly a pretty big other than, have these really been that bad? Takata screwed pretty well everyone.

      • 0 avatar

        Yea, I don’t get the GMT900 hate on the internet. I know 3 people with them (all non AFM engines) and while they aren’t amazing or perfect or anything they’re fine and seem to have a decent number of years ahead of them if the owners want to keep them.

        Honestly I know more people with K2 issues than GMT900 ones.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Ralph Nader, where art thou?

  • avatar

    Just remove the whole mess. I’ll pay extra. After 10 to 15 years or ownership, I don’t want ANY live bombs in my car (or anywhere). That’s if I bought it new and know its history.

    • 0 avatar

      You raise an interesting point – is there such a thing as airbag system shelf life? I had a 92 miata that I sold at 23 years of age, and I often wondered about the driver airbag.

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