The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into complaints that it received alleging the airbags in certain General Motors vehicles may not inflate in the event of a crash.
According to The Associated Press, NHTSA has received 15 separate complaints of airbag malfunctions in certain new GM vehicles, including six crashes with a total of eight reported injuries.
The safety watchdog says it has now launched a probe including 750,000 vehicles from both the 2020 and 2021 model years. The investigation includes the following makes and models:
- Chevy Silverado
- Chevy Tahoe
- Chevy Suburban
- GMC Yukon
- GMC Yukon XL
- GMC Sierra
- Cadillac CT4
- Cadillac CT5
- Cadillac XT5
- Cadillac Escalade
GM issued a service bulletin over the issue in March of this year, which indicated that rust particles may accumulate on the driver’s side airbag terminal. This can cause the airbag malfunction light to come on and potentially prevent the airbag from deploying in the event of an accident.
The NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) says it is “opening this preliminary investigation to determine the scope and severity of the potential problem and to fully assess the potential safety-related issues.”
The investigation was first opened by NHTSA on April 9th, 2021. It is currently unclear when the findings of the investigation may be shared with the public. GM has not issued a statement regarding the investigation as of this writing.
A handful of the complaints received by NHTSA relating to this issue are available to view on the safety agency’s website. In one complaint, the driver of a 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 said they “hit a couple of palm trees and an oak tree and the air bags didn’t go off.” The same complainant also said the airbag malfunction was a “huge concern” for them and questioned if they would buy another Chevy Silverado in the future.
GM Authority will provide an update on the NHTSA investigation once more information becomes available.