Warren, MI — April 11, 2016 — Approximately 3,137 vehicles are subject to a possible fault that would leave occupants in danger during a collision. According to an official report submitted on March 11, this new recall applies to 2016 Chevrolet Malibu autos, which may feature fracturing on the side air bag weld studs. This could destabilize the airbag and reduce its effectiveness. Though the cause of the defect is currently unknown, the Part 573 report for this issue stated that the weak weld bonding in affected vehicles may be responsible.
The first weld fractures connected to this recall were observed earlier this year, in February. The report clarified that the manufacturer announced the recall after its Safety and Field Action Decision Authority received studies on the studs’ torque and angle. Dealers are expected to fix this issue, when it exists, by replacing all of the affected side airbag modules.
“Vehicles built after March 5, 2016 are manufactured with side airbag modules produced after additional lot acceptance testing and process check criteria were implemented at the supplier,” the source stated. Without these repairs, the offending models could violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 214.
A Stop Delivery Notice, also distributed on March 11, warned dealers that the Global Warranty Management system won’t display the correct status or release date until the repair is ready. Dealers were also instructed to keep all potentially affected vehicles out of circulation, which included “new or used vehicle inventory, GM Certified Used, courtesy transportation vehicles, dealer shuttle vehicles” and others.
None of these vehicles were asked to be used for any purpose, which not only means sale to customers, but other purposes, such as demonstration and auction. The side airbags in need of replacement could be located in the rear, left, right and front.