GM has issued a product safety recall for certain units of the 2013 Chevy Volt that were produced with a manufacturing defect that could cause the frontal driver-side air bag inflator to explode when deployed.
The problem: the driver-side air bag module is fitted with a defective inflator that may explode when the air bag deploys and/or inflates in specific units of the 2013 Chevy Volt.
The hazards: if the inflator of the driver-side air bag module explodes during deployment, sharp metal fragments or shrapnel may be expelled throughout the interior of the vehicle, potentially wounding or killing occupants of the affected 2013 Chevy Volt.
The fix: dealer service personnel should inspect affected 2013 Chevy Volt vehicles and replace the driver-side air bag module, which will include the inflator, with a new, non-defective module. This fix fully corrects the problem and is carried out free of charge.
GM used manufacturing records and part trace data to identify the specific 2013 Chevy Volt units that may have been produced using the defective and potentially dangerous driver airbag inflator. Units that were produced with use of an inflator from the specific, defective lot are not covered by this 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 U.S., which includes 118 individual units of the 2013 Chevy Volt.
Owners should: owners of affected 2013 Chevy Volt units or similarly affected vehicles will be mailed a notification letter by GM on or shortly after September 11th, 2023 notifying them of the recall and the available repair.
Owners of affected 2013 Chevy Volt units who have additional questions or concerns can telephone either Chevrolet customer service or the NHTSA for additional information, using the phone lines listed below and referencing the recall number as appropriate:
- 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 recall was prompted by an incident on May 23rd, 2022 when a 2013 Chevy Camaro was involved in an accident in Brazil. The Camaro’s air bag exploded when the ammonium nitrate propellant inflated it, showering the interior with shrapnel, injuring one person. No other incidents have been reported.
GM Brazil analysis and further analysis in Armada, Michigan by Joyson Safety Systems is ongoing, but indicates the ammonium nitrate propellant caused a metal canister to burst and become shrapnel. The defect seems to be confined to a single batch of Takata air bag inflators used in the specified vehicles.