General Motors is recalling more than 3.64 million Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles registered in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the software that controls the airbags on those vehicles may not deploy the devices during collisions.
The problem is rooted in the airbag sensing and diagnostic module, or SDM, which was supplied by Delphi. As for specifics, the short version is that the software associated with that module can prevent airbags from deploying and seatbelt pretensioners from activating during crashes. The longer version, for the curious, is that:
"The supplier of these SDMs included a diagnostic 'oscillation test' routine in its SDM software which can be improperly activated by pre-crash vehicle dynamics and which can, in rare circumstances, interfere with the SDM’s proper deployment of frontal airbags or pretensioners as required."
In other words, the SDM may occasionally slip into test mode that would prevent activation of safety components during collisions. That, in turn, could dramatically increase the risk of injury.
The recall includes the following makes and models:
- 2014-2017 Buick Encore
- 2014-2016 Buick Lacrosse
- 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade
- 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV
- 2014-2017 Chevrolet Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle
- 2014-2017 Chevrolet Corvette
- 2014-2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- 2015-2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD
- 2015-2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD
- 2014-2016 Chevrolet Spark EV
- 2014-2016 Chevrolet SS
- 2015-2017 Chevrolet Suburban
- 2015-2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
- 2014-2017 Chevrolet Trax
- 2014-2017 GMC Sierra 1500
- 2015-2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD
- 2015-2017 GMC Sierra 3500 HD
- 2015-2017 GMC Yukon
- 2015-2017 GMC Yukon XL
All told, the recall affects 3,640,162 vehicles in America.
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GM will mail recall notices to owners, asking them to take their vehicles to dealerships for service. Dealers will reflash the software on the airbag sensing and diagnostic module at no charge. If a vehicle's airbags have previously deployed, the module will be entirely replaced.
If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact Buick customer service (1-800-521-7300), Cadillac customer service (1-800-458-8006), Chevrolet customer service (1-800-222-1020), or GMC customer service (1-800-462-8782) and ask about recall #16007. You can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #16V651000.