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.


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

GM Recalls More Than 150 Vehicles for Damaged Airbag Modules

Laguna Hills, CA – December 27, 2018 – General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab and GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab vehicles due to potential issues with airbag modules. The potential number of units affected is 154.

The defect

According to the NHTSA notification, these vehicles have a retainer ring within the passenger-side airbag module that may have been damaged during the assembly process.

This damage could allow gas to escape during airbag inflation and deployment, which would reduce the amount of gas available to fill the airbag.

Since the passenger-side frontal air bag module in affected vehicles may have been damaged during assembly, possibly resulting in the air bag not inflating properly in the event of a crash, the risk of injury is significantly increased if a crash does occur.

Timeline of events

On December 6, 2018, the manufacturer notified GM of the issue. On December 17, 2018, General Motors LLC (GM) informed the NHTSA. On December 26, 2018, the recall began.

This recall is not connected to the widespread Takata airbag recall which has been ongoing, and affected certain Saab, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn, and GMC models.

The solution

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger side air bag module, free of charge. The recall began on December 26, 2018. GM’s number for this recall is N182198820.

Courtesy transportation is available for customers whose vehicles are involved in a product program and still within the warranty coverage period. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-868.

To find out if your vehicle is part of this recall, use’s free look-up tool.

Sean ReyesGM Recalls More Than 150 Vehicles for Damaged Airbag Modules

GM Recalls Several Vehicles for Air Bag Deployment Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – November 27, 2018 – General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2019 Buick Encore, Chevrolet Spark, Traverse, and Trax vehicles due to a potential air bag deployment issue. The potential number of units affected is 12.

The defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, in a small number of the listed vehicles, the sensing diagnostic module (SDM) may have been left in “manufacturing mode” and not activated at the assembly plant prior to shipment.

If the SDM is in manufacturing mode, the vehicle’s airbags will not deploy in a crash, increasing the risk of occupant injury. Most other functions controlled by the same module, such as seatbelt reminder, event data recording and post collision notification, will also be inactive.

Drivers may receive advance notice of this issue via the airbag/supplemental inflatable restraint malfunction indicator lamp on the instrument panel, which will illuminate and remain illuminated (solid or flashing) after the vehicle is turned on.

Timeline of events

On October 3, 2018, a vehicle in GM’s Bupyeong, Korea plant was discovered to have a flashing airbag warning light after passing validation testing.

GM subsequently started an investigation into the issue, which determined that the vehicle’s sensing and diagnostic module (SDM) was set to “manufacturing mode;” when in this setting, the SDM is unarmed and the supplemental inflatable restraints are disabled.

GM further determined that the condition’s root cause is an error in a software update to GM’s production process at certain plants.

When the module is originally programmed during vehicle assembly, GM sets it to manufacturing mode, which is designed to prevent accidental restraint and air bag deployment when the vehicle is in the assembly facility.

Once full assembly is complete, all GM vehicles are subjected to a series of quality tests called dynamic vehicle tests (DVT), and at the conclusion of this process, the vehicle’s sensing diagnostic module (SDMs) is activated, which arms the restraints.

The error which was discovered in the software update can prevent the SDM from being activated in some vehicles at the conclusion of DVT. Due to this error, which only affected 12 vehicles, on October 25, 2018, GM’s Safety Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA) decided to conduct a safety recall.

The solution

GM will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the SDM module to the correct mode, free of charge. The recall began November 6, 2018.

Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesGM Recalls Several Vehicles for Air Bag Deployment Issues

GM recalls vehicles with defective air bags

Warren, Mich. – Nov. 9, 2017 – General Motors has recalled more than one-dozen vehicles potentially equipped with defective air bag assemblies, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models across two brands, including:

  • 2015-2016 Chevrolet Colorado pickup tucks produced between Oct. 10, 2014 and Feb. 6, 2016.
  • 2016 Chevrolet Volt electric sedans produced between Oct. 16 and Dec. 14, 2015.
  • 2015-2016 GMC Canyon pickup trucks produced between Oct. 13, 2014 and Aug. 2, 2015.

GM suspects that all of the vehicles referenced in this recall contain the defect components.

The Defect

Affected vehicles include driver-side front air bag assemblies with second-stage inflators that may malfunction upon deployment, thus failing to completely fill the corresponding air bags or do so within the regulated time span. This poses a serious risk to drivers involved in collisions, as they are less protected and therefore more likely to sustain injuries upon impact. However, GM has yet to receive reports connecting the defective air bag assemblies to any injuries or accidents.

Timeline of Events

In March 2016, GM recalled more than 1,500 vehicles after its air bag supplier, Key Safety Systems, discovered that some of its shipped frontal air bag assemblies failed to meet cold-weather fill-time requirements, according to an NHTSA Safety Recall Report. Specifically, these fixtures came equipped with second-stage inflators without the chemical mixture required to effectively facilitate deployment and fill frontal air bags as much or as quickly as required by law.

In the months following the March 2016 recall, KSS evaluated its inflators to determine whether mistakes were made during assembly or problems developed due to long-term vehicle use. During this analysis, the parts provider discovered another batch of defective filters that had been shipped to GM and installed in vehicles not referenced in the March 2016 action. KSS notified GM of the issue May 4, 2017. Approximately six days later, the automaker opened an internal investigation to better understand the problem.

Over the next four months, GM and KSS worked together to analyze the filters received during the March 2016 recall. This data allowed KSS to improve the accuracy of its existing strategy for detecting incorrectly assembled inflators, which involved the evaluation of component weight. The parts provider used this methodology to find defective inflators installed in non-recalled GM vehicles.

With this new information in hand, the GM Safety and Field Action Decision Authority elected to issue a voluntary safety recall Sept. 28. The car manufacturer notified dealers Oct. 5.

The Solution

GM has directed dealers to replace the driver-side frontal air bag assemblies in affected models free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. The automaker plans to notify owners via first-class mail Dec. 4. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Chevrolet customer service at (800) 222-1020 or GMC customer service at (800) 462-8782. Callers should use the internal GM recall identification number 17387. Owners can also reach out the NHTSA directly using its toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Nate GouldsbroughGM recalls vehicles with defective air bags