GM recalls 4.3 million vehicles over air bag-related defect

Fri Sep 9, 2016 3:48pm EDT
 
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By David Shepardson

(Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote) said on Friday it will recall nearly 4.3 million vehicles worldwide due to a software defect that can prevent air bags from deploying during a crash, a flaw already linked to one death and three injuries.

GM's action marked the latest massive air bag-related recall in recent years by leading automakers, and was the latest air bag-related issue the Detroit automaker has faced.

The world's No. 3 automaker said the sensing and diagnostic module that controls air bag deployment has a software defect that may prevent the deployment of frontal air bags in certain "rare circumstances."

GM said the recall of trucks, cars and SUVs from the 2014 to 2017 model years would not have a material impact on its financial results. The recall includes some newer models of the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Corvette, Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban and Silverado HD and Cadillac Escalade.

GM stock fell on the news and was trading down $0.90 a share to $30.81, down 2.8 percent.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a notice posted on Friday that "certain driving conditions may cause the air bag sensing and diagnostic module software to activate a diagnostic test" that would prevent the air bag from deploying in the event of a crash.

GM received a report in May of a crash involving a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado truck in which the driver's frontal air bag and seat belt equipment called pretensioners did not deploy. Pretensioners tighten up any slack in the seat belt webbing in the event of a crash and work in tandem with the air bags.

GM opened an investigation into the issue in June and conducted road testing at its Milford Proving Grounds in August before deciding on a recall.   Continued...

 
Cars are seen on display inside the General Motors Corp world headquarters in downtown in Detroit, May 28, 2009.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo