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GM Vehicles Recalled Over Faulty Ignition Switches and Airbags... Again

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On: Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 11:37AM | By: Teddy Field

GM Vehicles Recalled Over Faulty Ignition Switches and Airbags... Again

Can lightning strike the same place twice? It would seem so, because General Motors is recalling a bunch of their 2014/2015 vehicles to fix bad ignition switches and Takada side airbags. Except this time, they issued the recalls before anybody got hurt...

You may remember GM recalling (a staggering) 2.6 million vehicles last year, to fix faulty ignition switches that could unexpectedly turn themselves, and subsequently the engine, airbags, power steering/brakes OFF. But instead of recalling the affected cars right way, they waited 13 years, which resulted in 274 injuries, 124 deaths, and like a gazillion dollars in fines and lawsuits. To avoid a similar scandal, "new" GM has instituted a number of fail-safes, including the Speak Up for Safety program.

Under the new policy, employees are encouraged to alert company officials to potential safety problems. So when a GM employee noticed that his ignition switch would get stuck in the 'start' position, and move itself to the 'accessory' position (killing the engine) if it was bumped, he 'spoke up'. That triggered an immediate investigation, which resulted in a recall of 3,296 copies of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, 2014 GMC Sierra, 2015 Chevy Suburban, 2015 Chevy Tahoe, and 2015 Chevy HD pickups. Out of those trucks, 3,073 of them were sold in the U.S.

The problem stems from ignition lock gears that are too big for the lock housing. Naturally, GM will install a new ignition housing free of charge. And mercifully, no injuries or deaths have been reported.

In another ironic twist, GM is also recalling 414 vehicles (395 in the U.S.) to fix Takada airbags that may explode and launch metal fragments into the passenger compartment. You might remember that recent 33 million car recall, to fix exploding Takada airbag cannisters? Well, it's happened again, except this time it's the side airbag that could spray you with shrapnel.

Apparently, Takada was testing its side airbag assemblies when one of them failed a cold weather test and exploded at -40F. They notified GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the next day, which resulted in an immediate recall of the 2015 Buick LaCrosse, 2015 Cadillac XTS, 2015 Chevrolet Camaro, 2015 Chevrolet Malibu, 2015 Chevrolet Equinox, and 2015 GMC Terrain. The General will replace the defective airbag modules, and they said that nobody was injured in this snafu either.

So in a nutshell, GM is getting better at handling recalls, and Takada should really consider getting out of the airbag business...


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