General Motors has announced a recall of Chevrolet Malibu vehicles from the 2016 model year. These cars are suffering a defect in their Takata-manufactured airbags – marking yet another problem for the embattled company.
General Motors will recall 2016 Chevrolet Malibu models manufactured between Nov. 18, 2015 and June 7, 2016, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. The cars have defective modules in their seat-mounted side-impact airbags that may cause the fabric of the airbag cushions to tear during deployment. This increases the risk that the airbags will not perform as designed, threatening the safety of the vehicles’ occupants.
- June 13, 2016 – Airbag supplier Takata discovered the fabric tear during a routine Lot Acceptance Test. Takata informed General Motors and then quarantined the entire shipment of supplies to confirm that the module was the cause of the problem. Specifically, the inflator may have been loaded with more propellant than necessary.
- June 24, 2016 – General Motors opened an investigation into the issue after a report was filed on its Speak Up for Safety System.
- July 13, 2016 – General Motors assigned a product investigator to look closely into the module issue.
- Aug. 11, 2016 – General Motors learned that other inflators not included in the original quarantine may have similar problems, requiring further testing. The company’s Open Investigation Review then sought more data regarding the inflators.
- Aug. 26, 2016 – Takata told General Motors that it found 18 modules with inflators that were heavier than they were supposed to be – meaning they could contain too much propellant.
- Oct. 19, 2016 – General Motors decided to conduct the safety recall.
Chevrolet dealers will inspect side airbags and replace them at no charge if faulty inflators are detected. Buyers are encouraged to contact their dealer as soon as possible.