Seems this is the season for recalls. We just had the recall of battery exploding smart phone devices, now we have another recall on vehicles with airbags that fail to deploy.

On Friday, General Motors confirmed that it will recall up to 4.3 million vehicles worldwide due to a discovered software defect that may prevent airbags from deploying during a crash. This airbag-related recall is not related to a prior recall that involved Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata. The Takata recall involved manipulated testing data and faulty airbag inflators.

Takata Airbag Inflater
Photo Source: Jeff Kowalsky / European Pressphoto Agency


The General Motors recall is software related. In a summary posted on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, it was reported that certain driving conditions may trigger the airbag sensing and diagnostic module (SDM) software to activate a diagnostic test” that would prevent the airbags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying in the event of a crash. The software defect has already been associated with one death and three injuries.


Typical GM airbag SDM module

Photo Source:


GM has confirmed that the defect has been isolated to trucks, cars and SUVs which include some newer models of the 2014-2016 Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet SS and Spark EV; the 2014-2017 Buick Encore, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Corvette, Trax, Caprice and Silverado; and the 2015-2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban and Silverado HD, GMC Yukon, Yukon XL and Sierra HD and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV.

The number of vehicles affected is estimated at 3,640,162 and may cost Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by General Motors about the defect.  According to the NHTSA website, the repairs, which are free, may include reflashing the SDM software or replacing the SDM altogether.

Sources: NHTSA, MSN, US News

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