General Motors last week announced the specific model years included in its expanded recall of vehicles equipped with faulty passenger airbags. The contentious recall of nearly 6 million full-size SUVs and pickup trucks equipped with Takata airbag inflators was ordered by the NHTSA in late November, despite GM's insistence that the affected vehicles were safe.
The announcement of the specific model years ends four years of GM insisting that its airbag inflators were safe, even as the rest of the industry roiled with the largest automotive recall in history. More than 63 million airbags have been recalled from every major automaker spanning more than a decade of model years.
In a statement published by the Associated Press in November, the NHTSA said it "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."
The faulty airbags produced by the supplier Takata could dry out and, when deployed in a crash, emit metal fragments like shrapnel in the face and chest of victims. At least 27 people worldwide including 18 in the U.S. have been killed due to the defect, with hundreds more injured. In the wake of the massive recall that still reverberated earlier in 2020 with huge recalls from Nissan, Toyota, and Honda, Takata went bankrupt and the auto industry spent billions on repairs.
The recall encompasses the following vehicles:
2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT
2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche
2007-2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2009-2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500
2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
2007-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
2007-2013 GMC Sierra 1500
2009-2014 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500
2007-2014 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL
The recall of GM's full-size SUVs and pickup trucks will cost the automaker an estimated $1.2 billion, according to Automotive News.
Last November, General Motors 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 independent scientific evaluation conducted over several years, we disagree with NHTSA’s position. However, we will abide by NHTSA’s decision and begin taking the necessary steps."
Prior to this recall, GM had recalled limited numbers of vehicles for the Takata airbag issue, totaling less than 800,000 units. The 2007-2008 Silverado and Sierra HD trucks were recalled, as were certain models of the Pontiac Vibe, Saturn Astra, and Saab 9-2X, 9-3, and 9-5.
Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified as early as March 1. GM will replace the front passenger airbag inflator free of charge. To check if your vehicle has been recalled, visit the NHTSA's dedicated Takata recall page or visit GM's Takata recall page, or call Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020; Cadillac at 1-800-458-8006; and GMC at 1-800-462-8782. GM's recall number is N212328760.