GM recalls vehicles with defective engine software


Warren, Mich. – June 27, 2018 – General Motors has recalled almost 500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective engine software, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 sports cars manufactured between Dec. 8, 2017, and May 31, 2018. The American automakers suspects just 1 percent of the models involved in the action contain the defective software.

The Defect

Affected vehicles come with sensing diagnostic module software that may fail when exposed to hard braking or extreme acceleration. In the event of SDM failure, crash sensing and air bag deployment functionality may be inhibited. This defect therefore poses a serious safety risk to occupants. However, GM has yet to receive field reports connecting the defective software to any accidents or injuries.

Owners in possession of vehicles that have experience SDM failure will not receive airbag readiness or diver information center notifications.

Timeline of Events

GM personnel on April 30, 2018, hosted a media demonstration in Atlanta, during which a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 was subjected to race-like driving conditions. Following the event, GM engineers assessed the vehicle and found that its SDM software was not operating properly. These technical specialists brought the issue to the attention of the automaker May 3, 2018, via an internal Speak Up For Safety report. GM opened an investigation in response May 8, 2018.

During this inquiry, the engineering team at the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan conducted road tests involving hard braking and extreme acceleration. Following these trials, the group reviewed vehicle performance data and concluded that such maneuvers caused SDM overstress, which in turn led to complete software failure.

The GM Open Investigation Review evaluated the the matter May 21, 2018, before sending it to the Safety Field Action Decision Authority. The SFADA ultimately decided that a voluntary recall was necessary and initiated such action May 24, 2018.

GM notified dealers of the forthcoming campaign May 31, 2018.

The Solution

The automaker has directed dealers to reprogram the SDM software in affected models free of charge, according to an internal communication. GM intends to notify owners via first-class mail June 29, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance prior to the start of the recall can contact GM customer service at (866) 522-9559. They can also connect with the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesGM recalls vehicles with defective engine software