General Motors is adding more vehicles to the Takata airbag recall list, though the brand doesn’t think its vehicles are unsafe.
The company has issued a new preliminary recall for a number of 2007 to 2011 full-size trucks and SUVs, although GM “does not believe that a safety defect exists at this time.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent an amended consent order to Takata, advising them to recall all front airbag inflators that use ammonium nitrate as a propellent without a drying agent, which includes these GM trucks.
GM will send additional test data to NHTSA to prove that its vehicles do not post an unreasonable safety risk. GM’s position is based on no inflator ruptures over an estimated 44,000 crash deployments along with analysis of parts returned from the field.
GM has also started a third-party investigation where it will expose inflators to long-term temperature cycling to estimate service life. The company has also committed to studying all Takata inflators returned from the field, to make sure no safety risk is posed.
In addition to all of the testing and analysis, GM says that the inflators in these vehicles specifically pose less risk based on a few factors. These inflators were built just for these trucks and SUVs and include more venting, a unique propellant wafer and machined steel end caps. Even the way they are packaged into the instrument panel is to minimize exposure to moisture.
The preliminary recall covers the 2007 to 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Avalanche, Tahoe and Suburban; GMC Sierra 1500, Yukon and Yukon XL; Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT and Escalade ESV; and 2009-2011 Silverado and Sierra 2500 and 3500 pickups.
The recall is dependent on vehicle age and area, with the oldest vehicles in the highest humidity areas being targeted first. The specific number of vehicles covered in the recall will be released after GM does a tally of vehicle registration data.
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