General Motors will recall roughly 7 million vehicles worldwide to replace potentially dangerous Takata airbag inflators.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ordered GM to recall and repair certain vehicles with Takata airbag inflators, as they may rupture/explode in the event of an accident, posing a safety risk to occupants. Vehicles that will be affected by this recall range from the 2007 to 2014 model years of the following models:
- Chevy Silverado
- Chevy Silverado HD
- Chevy Avalanche
- Chevy Tahoe
- Chevy Suburban
- GMC Sierra
- GMC Sierra HD
- GMC Yukon
- GMC Yukon XL
- Cadillac Escalade
GM petitioned NHTSA numerous times to avoid the recall, saying that it did not think the Takata inflators in affected vehicles posed a safety threat to its customers. The automaker reiterated this stance this week, saying that it would go through with the safety recall even though it believes it is unnecessary.
“The safety and trust of those who drive our vehicles is at the forefront of everything we do at General Motors,” the automaker said in a statement. “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 airbag inflators in the vehicles in question. 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.”
A GM Spokesperson told The Detroit Free Press that none of the inflators in affected vehicles had exploded during their tests. NHTSA, for its part, says that its testing “concluded that the GM inflators in question are at risk of the same type of explosion after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity as other recalled Takata inflators.”
The Takata airbag recall is the largest automotive recall in U.S. history and has involved more than 100 million vehicles worldwide. Takata inflators used ammonium nitrate, which can be unstable when exposed to moisture or humidity, causing the airbags to explode in the event of an accident. The Takata inflators involved in this latest recall had a moisture-absorbing chemical in them called desiccant to prevent such explosions, but these later style of inflators will now also have to be repaired.
A total of 27 people have been killed by faulty Takata airbag inflators worldwide, 18 of which were located in the U.S.