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GM Issues New Air-Bag Recall

Aug. 1, 2023
Nearly 900 Chevy and Buick vehicles in North America have a Takata-made inflator device that could explode due to a manufacturing defect, not a previously recognized chemical problem.

General Motors is issuing a recall notice for about 900 Chevrolet and Buick vehicles in the U.S. and Canada due to defective Takata air-bag inflators that could explode in a crash. The automaker has indicated the defects are the result of a manufacturing defect by Takata Corp.

The recall – covering 2013 model year Chevy Camaros, Sonics, and Volts, and Buick Veranos, along with some 2013 Chevy Trax versions in Canada – follows a much larger GM recall announced in May for nearly 1 million Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia vehicles (2014 through 2017 model years.)

In that earlier recall, the defective air-bag modules had been supplied by ARC Automotive Inc.

About 100 million vehicles with Takata inflators have been recalled since the issue came to light in 2021.

Takata, a Japanese manufacturer now bankrupt, produced millions of inflators designed to open an air bag as a result of a small, controlled explosion when a collision happens. The ammonium nitrate that causes the air bag to burst open apparently degrades over time, which may lead to a more explosive reaction.

For the new recall, according to records filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the vehicles’ driver-side front air-bag inflator could explode with excess force as a result of a crash and issue shrapnel that may injure passengers.

In the NHTSA record GM states it learned in March that a person in Brazil was injured in May 2022 when the inflator exploded in a 2013 Camaro. GM’s analysis of the inflator is ongoing, but it has determined that a manufacturing defect is the cause, not deterioration of the ammonium nitrate.

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Hasan Hüseyin Yücel
U.S. Dept. of Defense
General Motors