General Motors will voluntarily recall nearly 4.3 million vehicles worldwide due to an airbag software defect linked to at least one death and three injuries in the United States. The defect purportedly prevents the airbags from inflating in a car accident. The auto recall affects about 3.64 million vehicles in the U.S., including trucks, cars, and SUVs with the 2014-2017 model years.
According to Fortune, “GM said the sensing and diagnostic module that controls airbag deployment has a software defect that may prevent the deployment of frontal airbags in certain ‘rare circumstances when a crash is preceded by a specific event impacting vehicle dynamics.’”
In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced in a statement: “In the affected vehicles, certain driving conditions may cause the air bag sensing and diagnostic module (SDM) software to activate a diagnostic test. During this test, deployment of the frontal air bags and the seat belt pre-tensioners would not occur in the event of a crash.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that the Detroit-based auto company became aware of this issue in May when a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado crashed and its airbags failed to deploy after. GM then notified Delphi Corp., the supplier that developed the software component, and the two companies tested the problematic modules together, resulting in a decision to recall the vehicles last week.
The GM Airbag Software Defect Recall includes the following vehicles:
• Buick LaCrosse (model years 2014-2016)
• Chevrolet SS (model years 2014-2016)
• Chevrolet Spark EV (model years 2014-2016)
• Buick Encore (model years 2014-2017)
• GMC Sierra 1500 (model years 2014-2017)
• Chevrolet Corvette (model years 2014-2017)
• Chevrolet Trax (model years 2014-2017)
• Chevrolet Caprice PPV (model years 2014-2017)
• Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (model years 2014-2017)
• Chevrolet Tahoe (model years 2015-2017)
• Chevrolet Suburban (model years 2015-2017)
• Chevrolet Silverado HD (model years 2015-2017)
• GMC Yukon (model years 2015-2017)
• GMC Yukon XL (model years 2015-2017)
• GMC Sierra HD (model years 2015-2017)
• Cadillac Escalade (model years 2015-2017)
• Cadillac Escalade ESV (model years 2015-2017)
The GM airbag software defect occurs during a time when Takata, one of the world’s largest suppliers of auto safety materials, is facing escalating issues with its airbags, which has been linked to at least eleven deaths and over 100 injuries.