Earlier this year, the NHTSA launched an investigation into cars located in high humidity areas of the United States which may have passenger-side airbags that will launch shrapnel into the cabin in the event of an accident. The issue is specific to vehicles with airbags manufactured by supplier Takata Corp, with two General Motors products, the 2003-2004 Saab 9-2X and 03-04 Pontiac Vibe, being affected.
The safety watchdog group issued an urgent public warning early this week advising car owners to check if their car is affected by the airbag issue. Automakers, including GM, have also taken the situation into their own hands, telling owners to keep passengers out of the front seat until the cars can be repaired.
GM will send out overnight letters to owners of the 9-2X and Vibe models as soon as possible, with spokesman Alan Adler saying the company is “treating this urgently.” Only customers in high humidity areas such as Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico will receive the letters. The automaker is unsure how many Vibe and 9-2X owners may live in the affected regions.