A class-action lawsuit has been filed against General Motors by four plaintiffs in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New Jersey over allegedly defective airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners in a wide variety of its vehicles.
According to the class-action suit, which was reported on by Car Complaints this week, thousands of people have been either killed or injured due to defective airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners in various GM vehicles. The problem is allegedly caused by a faulty Sensing and Diagnostic Module (SDM), which is used to tell the vehicle whether or not to deploy the airbags in the event of a crash and activate the seatbelt pre-tensioners. The SDMs allegedly fail when the crash involves at least two successive impacts that last for 45 milliseconds or longer.
The meat of the class-action suit is as follows:
“The ‘Class Vehicles’ include all vehicles in the United States, including but not limited to General Motors trucks and SUVs, that contain the SDM System Defect that were either: (1) manufactured, sold, distributed, or leased by General Motors; or (2) manufactured, sold, distributed, or leased by Old GM and purchased or leased by Plaintiff or a Class member after July 10, 2009, including but not limited to, General Motors trucks and SUVs.”
The suit goes on to state that more than 800 complaints have been filed with the government about airbag failures in front-end crashes in GM vehicles dating back to 1999. It also claims government crash data proves “thousands” of people have been killed or injured as a direct result of these airbag failures in the same time period. GM is aware of the SDM defects, but will not do anything about it due to recall costs, the suit says.
The plaintiffs in this suit are looking for GM to issue a recall for all affected vehicles to repair or replace the SDM in affected vehicles, or buy back affected vehicles.
GM issued a recall for 4.3 vehicles over airbag-related issues back in 2016. The recall included vehicles from the 2014 to 2017 model years, including cars, trucks, crossovers and SUVs. The automaker has not issued a public statement in response to this recent class action suit as of this writing.