GM recalls Chevrolet and GMC pickups with dangerous airbags

Warren, MIAugust 15, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 410,019 pickup trucks with potentially dangerous airbags embedded in the vehicles’ roof-rails. The airbag inflator might rupture, propelling gas and the inflator’s end-cap into the vehicle at high speeds, which could injure vehicle occupants. 

The recall includes:

  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet  Silverado 2500
  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet  Silverado 3500
  • 2015 – 2016 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2015 – 2016 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2015 – 2016 GMC Sierra 3500

The affected component is roof rail airbags with multiple part numbers, including 84487867 and 84487868. The bags were manufactured by a successor of Takata, Joyson Safety Systems, in Mexico.

Recall summary  

The pickup trucks’ roof rail airbags deploy like “curtains” over the windows to protect vehicle occupants’ heads during a crash. Inflators within these bags do what you expect them to do.  

Due to a manufacturing mistake, moisture “was introduced into the [inflator] vessel,” which may result in its corrosion. This may allow compressed gas to escape from the inflator and  result in the parts of the inflator hurling themselves into the car occupants, causing injury.

Background of the recall

Initially, GM recalled a smaller group of approximately 9,000 trucks this past November. The automaker expanded the recall in June after it became aware of three additional roof rail airbag inflator ruptures in Florida and Texas. General Motors noted that “thermal cycling” (i.e. very hot days and cool nights) exacerbate the defect, making the inflator more likely to rupture. 


If the airbag inflator ruptures and the inflator’s end cap or other parts go flying into the cabin, they could hit vehicle occupants at high speeds, potentially injuring them. 

This defect is different from the infamous Takata airbag defect. Takata airbag inflators do not randomly explode. Rather, they deploy “too hard” during a crash, blowing the inflator to pieces that can impale vehicle occupants. The recalled cars’ inflators, on the other hand, explode because the container holding the compressed gas becomes too weak to hold it. This can occur at any time–not just when the airbags are triggered during a crash. Both are dangerous and should be repaired as soon as possible.

The repair

Chevrolet and GMC dealers will inspect and, if needed, replace the right- and left-side roof rail airbags for free. Owners will be warned about the recall by mail around August 16 and will receive a second letter once recall repairs become available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 410,000 vehicles are included in this Chevrolet and GMC recall. To see if your truck is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGM recalls Chevrolet and GMC pickups with dangerous airbags

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 Numerous Vehicles Due to Electronic Stability Control Malfunction

December 16, 2021 Update – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has remedied issues with 524,144 models dealing with a software error that can cause unintended braking. Additionally, 2,577 models including the 2020 Tahoe and the 2020 Yukon have been categorized as unreachable, and 26 models have been removed from the recall. These models were remedied in 3 different years, the first group in 2019, four groups in 2020, and two more were fixed in 2021 by these incorrect calibrations in the EBCM which has also presented other software errors in many other GM models.

Laguna Hills, CA. – November 1, 2019 – General Motors recently informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of a recall involving five different vehicle models including the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, all of which share the same defect.

Affected vehicles include:

  • 2015 – 2020 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2015 – 2020 Tahoe
  • 2015 -2020 Yukon
  • 2014 – 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • GMC Sierra 1500 vehicles equipped with a 5.3-liter engine, a 3.08-ratio rear axle and four-wheel drive

The defect

According to the official report regarding this issue filed by GM with the NHTSA, the vehicles involved in the recall contain a defect caused by incorrect axle-ratio calibrations in the vehicles’ electronic-brake control module (EBCM).

The flaw can cause the module to incorrectly calculate the speed of a wheel that has a faulted wheel-speed sensor. In specific operating conditions and vehicles, this can trigger the vehicle’s driveline protection system at an inopportune time.

“If a wheel speed sensor fails in these vehicles, a software error in the vehicle’s EBCM can cause the vehicle’s driveline protection system to activate when (i) the vehicle’s electronic transfer case is set to four-wheel drive or automatic mode, and (ii) the vehicle is driven between the speeds of 41 and 60 MPH,” stated GM’s report on the matter.

“If the [system] activates, the driver will experience unintended braking on the wheel on the opposite side of the failed sensor, which can be considered as one of the many failures that increase the risk of collision in different brands and models.”

Timeline of events

The first report involving the recall arrived May 21, when a GM dealer submitted a warranty report to the manufacturer involving a 2018 GMC Yukon whose owner reported that, while driving between 40 and 45 MPH, the brakes were involuntarily applied and caused the vehicle to pull leftward.

A test of the vehicle confirmed the report, and further investigations revealed all the vehicles which might contain the defect.

“GM and ZF (the EBCM supplier) isolated the condition to certain K2 platform vehicles equipped with 5.3-liter engines, four-wheel drive, and 3.08-ratio rear axles, and to specific operating conditions,”

the chronology report provided by GM explained.

The decision to conduct the recall was made official on Oct. 17. 

The solution

Owners of vehicles involved in the recall will be notified sometime in the near future, although the exact schedule has yet to be set. Authorized dealers will reprogram the EBCM for affected automobiles on behalf of GM, free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 650,000 vehicles are included in this GM recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesGM Recalls Numerous Vehicles Due to Electronic Stability Control Malfunction