GM recalls vehicles with defective child restraint features

 

Warren, Mich. – July 26, 2018 – General Motors has recalled more than 22,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective child restraint components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2016-2018 Cadillac CT6 luxury sedans produced between Sept. 4, 2015, and Sept. 21, 2017. The American automaker suspects 90 percent of the models involved in the action contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles feature inboard child restraint anchorage bars containing excess adhesive. As a result, the diameter of these components may surpass factory standards and interfere with the installation of child seats. This defect therefore poses a serious safety hazard to young passengers. However, GM has yet to receive field reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries. In addition to creating a safety risk for passengers, the defect violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 225, which states that all vehicles sold in the U.S. must have child restraint anchorages that are “accessible without the need for any tools other than a screwdriver or coin {and}, once accessed, be ready for use without the need for any tools.”

Timeline of Events

On February 15, 2018, a GM quality assurance employee inspecting a recently assembled 2018 Cadillac CT6 discovered what appeared to be excess body adhesive on one of the vehicle’s inboard child restrain anchorage bars. Nine days later, another worker discovered additional vehicles with the same issue, prompting him to file an official report through the automaker’s internal Speak Up For Safety program. GM investigated the claim and found no field reports detailing incidents related to the issue. Despite these findings, the car company decided to widen the scope of the inquiry to include 2016 and 2017 Cadillac CT6 sedans on April 10, 2018. The investigation would also assess whether the flaw violated FMVSS 225.

Over the course of the expanded investigation, GM failed to find field reports mentioning 2016-2018 Cadillac CT6 sedans with defective child restraint anchorage bars. However, the car manufacturer chose to continue the inquiry. Throughout May and June 2018, GM engineers inspected dealership- and employee-owned Cadillac CT6 sedans. The company also conducted tests to determine if the adhesive-covered bars inhibited child safety seat installation and measured these fixtures to determine if their diameters changed due to the defect.

This investigation revealed several key pieces of information. First off, all of the vehicles that exhibited the defect seemed to originate from the GM assembly plant located in Detroit, which has amended its body adhesive application process in September 2017. This production line change ultimately caused the defect. GM engineers also managed to confirm the excess body adhesive did alter the diameter of the inboard child restraint anchorage bars, making them incompatible with most car seat models. Lastly, the investigation showed that the bars did violate FMVSS 225.

On June 21, 2018, the members of the GM Safety and Field Action Decision Authority convened and reviewed the issue. After evaluating the data from both inquiries, the group chose to initiate a voluntary safety recall.

GM notified dealers of the forthcoming action June 28, 2018.

The Solution

The automaker has directed dealers to inspect the inboard child restraint anchorage bars installed in recalled vehicles, remove any excess body adhesive and apply anti-corrosion coating, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. Technicians will perform this work free of charge. GM has yet to release a timetable for owner notification. However, those who need assistance can speak with GM customer service personnel by calling (800) 458-8006. Callers should use the internal recall reference number 18228. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly via the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

 

Sean ReyesGM recalls vehicles with defective child restraint features