Some units of the 2013 Chevy Sonic are included in a recently issued GM product safety recall for vehicles that were equipped with a potentially defective inflator as part of the frontal driver-side air bag, which could explode when the air bag deploys.
The problem: the inflator fitted to the driver-side air bag module is possibly defective has the potential to explode when the air bag inflates during a crash involving specific 2013 Chevy Sonic units.
The hazards: in affected units of the 2013 Chevy Sonic, deployment of the driver-side air bag in a collision could cause the module’s inflator to burst, expelling high speed metal shards or shrapnel into the vehicle’s interior with the potential to injure or kill passengers.
The fix: GM has instructed dealers to provide a repair of the issue free of charge. Dealership service can carry out the fix on an affected 2013 Chevy Sonic by removing the defective driver-side air bag module and replacing it with a new, correctly manufactured module.
GM identified the exact 2013 Chevy Sonic units affected by the recall through analysis of manufacturing records and part trace data. Most 2013 Chevy Sonic units were made with an air bag module and inflator from a different batch of components and are not included in the current recall.
Affected components: driver-side air bag inflator module.
Number of affected vehicles: GM says a total of 767 vehicles in total are affected by the recall in the United States, which includes 69 individual units of the 2013 Chevy Sonic.
Owners should: September 11th, 2023 is the date chosen by The General to mail a notification letter describing the recall and the available fix to owners of affected 2013 Chevy Sonic units and other GM models affected by the defective part and recall.
Owners of affected 2013 Chevy Sonic units who require more information can reach either Chevrolet customer service or the NHTSA at the phone numbers shown here, referring to the recall numbers as needed:
- GM recall number: N232413120
- Chevy customer service number: 1-800-222-1020
- NHTSA campaign number: 23V516000
- NHTSA recall number: 23V-516
- NHTSA safety hotline: 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153)
Note: the inciting incident for the recall happened in Brazil on May 23rd, 2022 when a 2013 Chevy Camaro airbag inflator burst and injured the driver with shrapnel during a collision. No additional incident or injuries are known to have happened.
The involved 2013 Chevy Camaro was closely inspected by GM Brazil, then sent to Armada, Michigan where Joyson Safety Systems continues to analyze what went wrong. The analysis thus far suggests an inflator defect and not earlier damage or age-related problems as the cause of the explosion, and indicates the issue is limited to a single batch of Takata air bag inflators.