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Six Million GM Vehicles Recalled To Replace Airbags

Cadillac Escalade, 2007-14.
Cadillac Escalade, 2007-14. Photo Credit: M 93 via Wikipedia Commons

General Motors is recalling millions more vehicles due to defective Takata-built airbag inflators.

For more than a year, automakers have been recalling vehicles that were installed with defective airbags, which could potentially explode, causing injuries to the driver or passengers.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion and inflate airbags in a collision. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to high temperatures and humidity and blow apart a metal canister, spewing out shrapnel.

GM had previously petitioned the NHTSA to avoid the recall, but that motion was denied.

Vehicles subject to the latest recall, which were produced between 2007 and 2014:

  • Cadillac Escalade;
  • Chevrolet 1500;
  • Chevrolet 2500;
  • Chevrolet 3500;
  • Chevy Suburban;
  • Chevy Tahoe;
  • GMC Sierra 1500;
  • GMC Sierra 2500;
  • GMC Sierra 3500;
  • GMC Yukon;
  • GMC Yukon XL.

“NHTSA concluded that the GM inflators in question are at risk of the same type of explosion after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity as other recalled Takata inflators,” officials said in a statement. “Such explosions have caused injuries and deaths.”

Officials at GM contested the decision, but said that it will continue forward with the recall.

“The safety and trust of those who drive our vehicles is at the forefront of everything we do at General Motors,” they said in a statement. “Although we believe a recall of these vehicles is not warranted based on the factual and scientific record, NHTSA has directed that we replace the airbag inflators in the vehicles in question.

“Based on data generated through an independent scientific evaluation conducted over several years, we disagree with NHTSA’s position,” they added. “However, we will abide by NHTSA’s decision and begin taking the necessary steps.”

The recall comes as part of the coordinated recall of Takata airbag products in tens of millions of vehicles. Long-term exposure to high heat and humidity can cause the bags to explode, and have caused injuries and death, according to the NHTSA.

According to the NHTSA, approximately 37 million vehicles equipped with more than 50 million defective Takata airbags are subject to recall. Consumer Report said that vehicles made by 19 different automakers have been recalled as part of the “largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.”

The NHTSA investigation into Takata airbag inflators is ongoing.

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