General Motors begins government-ordered Takata airbag recall

Warren, MI – February 15,  2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has begun its recall of nearly 6 million vehicles built with potentially dangerous Takata airbags. The recall includes the following models:

  • 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2007-2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT
  • 2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2007-2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2009-2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
  • 2009-2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2007-2013 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2009-2014 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2009-2014 GMC Sierra 3500
  • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon
  • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon XL

Recall summary  

The recalled vehicles were built with Takata airbag inflators that, due to damage from moisture, may explode when the airbags are deployed. If the inflator explodes, its metal casing can fragment into shrapnel that could fly into drivers’ and passengers’ bodies, possibly maiming or killing them. This December article explains in more depth why the U.S. government ordered General Motors to recall these vehicles

Repair

Recalled GM vehicles are divided into five priority groups, labeled priority group 6 through priority group 10. Owners of the vehicles in group 6 – whose cars are older and were sold or registered in the hottest parts of the country –  will be notified by mail when repair is available in early March. Consumers in groups 7-10 – that are considered lower risk – will be advised of the recall in late February, but it is not clear when the repair will be available.

However, consumers in both categories may be able to receive a repair earlier by contacting their dealer.

Use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to see if your car is affected and to connect with an authorized dealership.

All repairs will be free of charge.

Risks

Exploding inflators pose a significant danger to vehicle occupants. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that Takata inflators have killed at least 18 people in the U.S. and at least nine more abroad. 

You can find some broad recommendations for owners of affected cars – including a list of cars that should NOT be driven – in this article detailing the background of this GM recall.

Other GM airbag inflator recalls

In December, GM recalled Chevy Silverado 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks, as well as GMC Sierra 2500, 1500 and 3500 pickups whose roof airbag inflators could shoot off an end cap, potentially injuring occupants or distracting them.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Nearly six million vehicles are included in this Takata / GM airbag recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors begins government-ordered Takata airbag recall

General Motors recalls Buick and Chevy cars for suspension problem

Warren, MI – January 29, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 213,128 mid-size cars because parts of the suspension called the toe links may break. The recall includes:

  • 2012 – 2013 Buick Regal cars 
  • 2013 Chevrolet Malibu cars
  • 2010 – 2013 Buick Lacrosse cars

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the toe links at the rear underside of the car, which hold the rear wheels straight. The toe links are coated to protect them from road debris and corrosion, but the supplier applied too much coating, paradoxically making the protective layer more likely to chip off

GM has issued the recall in specific states in the “Salt Belt,” where salt is used to de-ice roads in the winter. Without their protective coating, salt can corrode the metal toe links and cause them to break.

The recall will include models that were sold or ever registered in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

Risks

A car with a broken toe link becomes very hard to control and could end up crashing. 

Read more about the risks of a broken toe link in this article about a Ford toe link recall.

Other GM recalls

In December, GM also recalled a host of GMC Sierra 2500, as well Sierra 1500 and 3500 trucks, among others. That GMC Sierra recall was related to the airbag end cap detaching during a crash and potentially hurting the car occupants.

The repair

GM dealers will replace the rear suspension toe links and adjuster fasteners for free. This repair is not yet available. GM is still working on getting enough parts and will offer more details when it starts notifying owners on March 15. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 200,000 vehicles are part of this GM recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors recalls Buick and Chevy cars for suspension problem

General Motors continues recall of heavy duty pickups with faulty seat belts

Warren, MI – January 5, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) is continuing  a recall of 38,048 heavy-duty trucks that were built with the driver- and front passenger-side seat belt parts meant for other cars. The recall includes the following pickup trucks:

  • 2017-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500
  • 2017-2018 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500

The name of the affected component is Retractor ASM-F/Seat Belt with part numbers 84253641, 84253686, 84234013 and 84234008.

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the seat belt torsion bars, which help the seat belt hold a passenger during a crash and protect him or her from an upper body injury. The bars a supplier of General Motors (GM) installed in these vehicle models in the seat belt retractors were the wrong size and had not gone through crash testing.  These bars are typically used in “other full-size trucks,” according to GM.

Continuation of the 2017 recall

This is a continuation of a recall that was originally announced in September 2017. A month after starting the original recall GM petitioned the auto industry regulator – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – to be released from going through with the recall, based on the belief that the different seat belt part would be “inconsequential” to safety. 

The regulator disagreed and denied GM’s petition in November 2020. Between fall of 2017 and spring of 2019, the automaker recalled and fixed over 10,000 cars.

Other Chevy Silverado recalls

A different model year of Chevy Silverado 2500 is subject to a recent recall launched on the back of faulty airbag end caps that may fly off and injure or distract the car occupants. 2020-2021 Silverado 2500 and 3500, as well as GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 trucks, are involved in another seat belt recall, also as reported. The seat belts on these cars may similarly fail to protect the driver and passengers due to being loose.

Risks

A seat belt meant for another car may not work as expected. This can lead to an injury or death for the car’s  driver and passengers.

Read more about seat belt safety in this Chrysler seat belt recall article.

The repair

GM will replace the seat belt retractor with one with the correct size torsion bar, free of charge. GM began notifying owners on December 28, but the repair will not be available until after March 17. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 38,000 vehicles are part of this GM recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors continues recall of heavy duty pickups with faulty seat belts

General Motors vehicles recalled for seat belt issue

Warren, MI – December 31, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 624,216 vehicles due to a seat belt issue in the front-row center seat. The seat belt may not properly secure the occupant in the seat, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

The recall includes:

  • 2019-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks
  • 2019-2021 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks
  • 2021 Chevrolet Suburban SUVs
  • 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs
  • 2021 GMC Yukon XL SUVs
  • 2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 trucks
  • 2020-2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 trucks
  • 2020-2021 GMC Sierra 2500 trucks
  • 2020-2021 GMC Sierra 3500 trucks

Recall summary  

Seat belt brackets are designed to secure the seat belt to the seat frame. In recalled vehicles, the supplier of the front-row center seat failed to attach the brackets to the frame of the seat correctly.

As a result, the seat belt may be “loose or detached from the seat frame.” Passengers may also hear a rattling sound emanating from the seat. 

The issue was first caught by the manufacturer in August 2020. There are no injuries associated with this recall.

Other GM recalls

December saw a GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado recall due to an issue with roof-rail airbags, as well as a massive, six-million car recall due to faulty Takata airbags’ inflators that are prone to hurling “sharp metal fragments” into the car occupants in a crash. The latter includes Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs. However, the trucks involved in both recalls are older models and not the same ones that are being recalled this time around.

Risks  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S.”  Seat belts can sharply reduce the risk of death or injury in a crash but they must be able to secure each occupant in the vehicle. If not, the passenger or the driver may be injured inside the vehicle or thrown from the vehicle during a crash.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers must inspect the seat belt bracket attachments on both sides of the front-row center seat and will reassemble them as necessary. The repair will be free of charge.  General Motors expects to begin the recall on February 1, 2021.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 624,000 vehicles are included in this General Motors recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydGeneral Motors vehicles recalled for seat belt issue

Sierra and Silverado trucks recalled for airbag inflator issue

Warren, MI – December 22, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 9,279 vehicles that operate with roof-rail airbags. The airbags connect to the inflation system using an end cap and the cap may malfunction. The recall includes:            

  • 2015 GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks
  • 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks
  • 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks
  • 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks     

Recall summary  

The vehicles in this recall are equipped with roof-rail airbags (RRAB). These airbags deploy from near the roof and downward, to protect occupants from a side-impact crash. 

  • Each RRAB operates with an inflator, which inflates the airbag with compressed gas during a crash. An end cap keeps the compressed gas in the airbag.
  • A supplier’s manufacturing error caused moisture to corrode inside the inflator vessel near the end cap.
  • In the recalled cars, the inflator end cap may detach from the inflator, and compressed gas may propel the end cap into the passenger compartment. The end cap may injure occupants or distract the driver and cause a crash.

GM is aware of two cases of end caps detaching.  No injuries have been reported.

Note that this recall is different from the massive recalls for defective Takata airbags in 2015 or the recent recall of Nissan Sentras, also related to airbags.

GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado vehicles have had other recall notices in recent years. Recalls have been made for ignition locks, brakes, seats and for seat belt issues.

Risks 

A detached end cap may fly forcefully into the vehicle and hit an occupant, causing an injury. The end cap detachment may also distract the driver.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will inspect each RRAB and replace modules that appear to be dangerous. The repair is free of charge. General Motors expects the recall to begin on January 10, 2021.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 9,200 vehicles are included in this Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydSierra and Silverado trucks recalled for airbag inflator issue

General Motors vehicles recalled for potential fuel leaks

Warren, MI– December 10, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 194,105 vehicles due to missing bolts on the start-stop accumulator end cap. The missing bolts may result in a transmission oil leak, a loss of vehicle power or an engine fire. This General Motors (GM) recall includes:

  • 2018-2019 Chevrolet Cruze sedans
  • 2018-2019 Buick LaCrosse sedans
  • 2018-2020 Chevrolet Equinox SUVs
  • 2018-2020 Chevrolet Traverse SUVs
  • 2018-2020 GMC Terrain SUVs
  • 2018 Chevrolet Malibu sedans
  • 2019-2020 Buick Encore SUVs
  • 2019-2020 Buick Enclave SUVs
  • 2019-2020 Cadillac XT4 SUVs
  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet Blazer SUVs
  • 2019-2020 GMC Acadia SUVs
  • 2020 Cadillac XT6 sedans

Recall summary  

Your vehicle’s transmission is designed to transfer engine power to the driveshaft. The start-stop accumulator shuts down the engine when it is not in use to achieve better fuel economy and cut down on emissions.

Each start-stop transmission accumulator is attached using four bolts. In the case of the recalled vehicles, due to a supplier software error, two of the required bolts are missing

Risks 

Missing bolts can create a number of issues:

  • Transmission oil leak: A leak may damage other engine parts, and driving the vehicle without the proper amount of oil or transmission fluid may damage the engine.
  • Loss of vehicle power: A loss of power may prevent the driver from accelerating into a busy road or onto a highway, increasing the risk of an accident. A power loss may also reduce the driver’s ability to speed up to avoid an accident. Finally, the vehicle may slow down on its own until it comes to a complete stop, increasing the risk of being struck by another vehicle coming up from behind.
  • Increased risk of fire: A fire can injure the vehicle occupants, or cause the driver to lose control and cause an accident. This article explains what you should do if you believe your vehicle is on fire.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to check the start-stop accumulator end cap and determine if any bolts are missing. If they are, the dealer will replace the end cap at no cost to the owner. GM expects the recall to begin on December 14, 2020.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

This GM oil leak recall includes over 194,000 vehicles. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydGeneral Motors vehicles recalled for potential fuel leaks

General Motors ordered to recall 5.9 million cars equipped with Takata airbags

Pleasanton, CA – December, 3 2020 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has ordered General Motors (NYSE:GM) to recall 5,888,421 pickup trucks and SUVs built with potentially dangerous Takata airbag inflators, which could explode and fling deadly shrapnel into vehicle occupants. The infamous airbag inflators have already killed 27 people and injured at least 250 more, and are part of the largest auto recall in history. The latest installment of the recall – which already encompasses 19 car manufacturers and “tens of millions” of cars – includes the following GM models on the GMT900 platform: 

  • 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV and EXT SUVs
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Avalanche pickups
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2500/3500 pickups
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban SUVs
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs
  • 2007-2014 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2500/3500 pickups
  • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon XL SUVs

Recall summary

The recall concerns the vehicles’ passenger-side airbag inflators. The inflators use ammonium nitrate to generate a small explosion to inflate the airbags. If this volatile chemical is exposed to heat and humidity, it becomes porous. The extra surface area in this microscopic swiss-cheese allows the ammonium nitrate to burn faster, thus causing a much stronger explosion than intended. This explosion can blow up the inflator and send bits of shrapnel flying into vehicle occupants at high speeds, potentially maiming or killing them.

NHTSA first ordered GM to recall the affected cars in 2016. The company had recalled 330,198 vehicles on the GMT900 platform in May 2015, but argued that the rest of vehicles that are now being recalled should be excluded because the airbag defect was “inconsequential.” This argument was rejected by NHTSA on November 23. Despite disagreeing with the decision,  GM said it would not appeal.

‘Almost no data’ to back up claims

NHTSA consulted air-bag chemical expert Harold Blomquist regarding these findings, who rebutted GM’s many claims that unique design features could prevent their inflators from exploding. “GM expended little effort over the last two years to methodically study the claimed features in order to substantiate their effectiveness,” he said in his 75-page review of GM’s petition. As a result, Blomquist said, GM had “almost no data” to back up their claims that their Takata airbags were somehow less dangerous.

Previous Takata airbag recalls

Automakers have been issuing ever-expanding recalls of Takata airbags for seven years, with 100 million inflators recalled worldwide. Volkswagen, BMW and Honda all recalled cars this and past year because of the airbag issue.

Repair

GM will replace the Takata airbags with a different model, free of charge. More information about the recall schedule should be released by December 24. 

What to do if you own a recalled vehicle

NHTSA has issued a few broad recommendations for drivers in the Takata recall population:

  1. Don’t have your dealer disable your airbags. “It is much more likely that your airbag will perform properly and protect you in a crash than cause harm,” NHTSA says.
  2. “If you feel uncomfortable continuing to drive your vehicle before it is repaired, you should contact your dealer to see if they will provide a loaner until the repair is completed,” NHTSA says. Dealers and manufacturers aren’t required to provide loaners, but it can’t hurt to ask. 
  3. If you’re offered an interim repair, take it. Some automakers will offer to replace the old Takatas with newer ones, which are safer. “It is an inconvenience to have your vehicle serviced twice and to wait for a final repair,” NHTSA says, “But rejecting an interim replacement air bag is not worth the continued higher risk of injury or even death to you, your family, and your friends while waiting for the final repair.”

Some automakers have advised riders not to sit in the front passenger seat. 

Here is the list of vehicles that NHTSA says should NOT be driven.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Nearly 6 million vehicles are included in this GM Takata Airbag recall. Use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool to see if your vehicle is affected. 

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors ordered to recall 5.9 million cars equipped with Takata airbags

General Motors issues another round of recalls for brake assist system

Pleasanton, CA – November 25, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 14,620 vehicles that operate with either 5.3L or 6.2L V8 engines. In each case, the  power of the mechanical vacuum pump  – which helps the engine with several key functions, including braking – may decrease. This may negatively affect the brake assist system. The recall includes:

  • 2018  Cadillac Escalade sedans
  • 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks
  • 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs
  • 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks
  • 2018 GMC Yukon SUVs

Recall summary  

Among other functions, the mechanical vacuum pump provides power to the brake assist system. Due to a design error that was not addressed during a previous recall for the same issue last year, “the output” of the pump can drop over time, making the power brake assist system less effective.

There are several factors that alert the driver to the brake assist issue:

  • The brake pedal may vibrate when the driver applies the brakes
  • Braking requires more effort
  • A ticking sound is emitted from the engine compartment when the brakes are applied
  • The driver may see a “Service Brake” message pop up on the dash

Risks 

If the brake assist is not operating correctly, the driver must press on the brake pedal with more effort and depress it further to be able to stop the vehicle.

This change in braking ability increases the risk of a crash. Drivers may not be able to brake quickly enough to slow or stop the vehicle. GM notes that the problem is more apparent at low speeds when a driver applies soft pressure to the brakes.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to inspect the Electronic Brake Control Module and reprogram the system. The recall free of charge and began on November 16.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 14,000 vehicles are included in this General Motors recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydGeneral Motors issues another round of recalls for brake assist system

General Motors recalls SUVs for blocked fuel pump nozzle

Laguna Hills, CA – November 16, 2020 – General Motors (GM) (NYSE: GM) has recalled 2,781 midsize SUVs which may have a blocked fuel pump nozzle that could stall the vehicle. The recall includes:

  • 2020 Buick Enclave
  • 2020 Cadillac XT5 and Cadillac XT6
  • 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2020 GMC Acadia

and concerns the fuel tank pump module (MODULE – F/TNK F/PMP, #84702674).

Recall summary  

The issue stems from the fuel pump, which supplies the vehicle’s engine with the gasoline it needs to run. A tube inside the fuel pump may be blocked by burrs left over from the manufacturing process. This could keep fuel from getting to the engine, particularly if the gas tank is already running low. If the engine is starved of fuel, the car could unexpectedly stall while driving.

Risks

A car that stalls in moving traffic, especially at high speeds, can get hit from behind as other drivers may not have enough time to react. Even if the driver safely gets to the shoulder, they are still at risk of being hit. This raises the risk of injuries or death for everyone involved.

For information on what to do if your car stalls, please see this article.

The repair

Owners will be notified about the recall by mail starting on November 30. GM will replace the fuel pump module for free, but this service is not yet available. In the meantime, owners who are not comfortable driving their recalled car may be eligible for courtesy transportation through their vehicle’s warranty.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 2,700 vehicles are part of this GM recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors recalls SUVs for blocked fuel pump nozzle

Excess glue caused problems in GM trucks

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 20, 2019 – General Motors LLC is recalling certain 2019-2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks. The B+ battery positive cable rings may have an excess of glue, increasing the likelihood of an intermittent electrical connection

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 350,371.

The Defect

While driving the vehicle, the glue may soften so that the nut that attaches the battery cable to the alternator loosens, causing an intermittent electrical connection. A bad connection could cause the vehicle stall and also cause arcing, which could generate enough heat to start a fire. The defect was caused by an excess of glue that should have been removed from around the B+ battery cable rings during the supplier’s assembly process. The excess glue resulted in glue contamination.

Timeline of Events

General Motors’ Canadian Brand Quality Manage found a case where a 2019 GMC Sierra stalled because it was missing the nut that secures the B+ cable to the alternator stud. On August 20, 2019, the Brand Quality Manager submitted a report to General Motors’ Speak Up For Safety (SUFS) program. GM opened an investigation on September 10, 2019. The investigation found warranty reports of related field incidents. Between September and November, GM experts analyzed parts to determine the cause of the defect and conducted a torque-curve study. Field data analysis was completed November 25, 2019, finding one case of a related fire.

On December 5, 2019, General Motors’ Safety and Field Action Decision Authority decided to conduct a safety recall.

The Solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified and told to take their vehicles to a certified General Motors dealer for repairs, free of charge. Dealers will use a black light to inspect for glue and other contaminants at the B+ cable attachment alternator. Dealers may clean the connection and then reattach the B+ cable connection. If any damage has occurred to the alternator, cable or nut will replace the damaged parts. Secondary black light inspection has been implemented in production to catch the defect moving forward. Secondary inspections began November 14, 2019 at General Motors’ Fort Wayne plant and November 22, 2019 at their Silao plant.

Dealers will be notified of the recall beginning on December 12, 2019, while owners will be notified on January 27, 2020.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit motorsafety.org.

Sean ReyesExcess glue caused problems in GM trucks