General Motors ordered dealers to stop selling 2013 and 2014 model Chevy Cruze sedans earlier this week, because they are equipped with air bags supplied by Takata Corporation, which may be defective.
GM officials said it is not recalling the affected vehicles that are already in consumer hands at this time, but expect that dealers will be able to start selling the Chevy Cruze again today. Approximately 33,000 vehicles are believed to have the potentially defective parts.
GM is the latest company to raise concerns over Takata air bags, which have been involved in the recall of more than 10 million cars worldwide by a number of different auto makers.
The announcement came just days after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced recalls for millions of Honda and Toyota vehicles, as well as recalls for thousands of Nissan, BMW, Mazda, and Ford vehicles.
Some Chrysler vehicles were affected as well, but the company was still in the process of identifying the serial numbers of affected vehicles.
At issue in all of the cases are the air bag’s inflators. In some cases, they expand the air bag too quickly, and can launch dangerous, and sometimes deadly, shrapnel into the passenger’s cabin of the vehicle. In other cases, they appear to be affected by humidity, which may make them inflate without warning, which could cause injuries and auto accidents.
The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation has received six recent reports of airbagsin other company’s cars spontaneously rupturing in predominately humid regions such as Florida and Puerto Rico. The report indicated the Takata air-bags rupturing in vehicles models as old as 2001.
History of Takata Air Bag Problems
The recalls come less than two weeks after the NHTSA announced an investigation into the air bags made by Takata. Additionally, the Office of Defects Investigation said that it is investigating three reports of incidents involving Chrysler vehicles involving three injuries resulting from air bags rupturing.
The investigation follows a number of Takata air bag recalls in recent years.
A recall for Takata air bags issued in April 2013, affected a combined 3.3 million Toyota, Honda, Nissan, General Motors and BMW vehicles. That recall came following reports of Takata air-bags exploding and shooting scrap metal toward passengers.
During the investigation, Honda Spokeswoman Akemi Ando claimed the exploding air-bags were caused by parts being stored improperly, allowing them to be exposed to humidity.
In 2011, another Honda air bag recall was announced that affected 273,000 vehicles due to exploding airbag fears. That was an expansion of a 2009 recall for the same problem, which had already been expanded once before in February 2010.
Second Sales Halt For Chevy Cruze
This is the second time this year that GM has ordered its dealers to stop selling the Chevy Cruze. In March the company recalled about 172,000 Chevy Cruze vehicles and ordered dealers to stop selling some 2013 and 2014 models.
The recall and sales halt came after several dozen reports that the drivers lost control of the vehicles after a separation of the front axle half-shaft.
The company says it is unaware of any injuries or accidents related to either the air bags or the axle problems.