General Motors has issued a recall for nearly 100,000 Pontiac and Saturn vehicles, due to a risk that the passenger seat airbag sensors may fail, potentially disabling the front seat passenger airbag in the event of an auto accident.
The Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on February 8, after receiving a defect petition warning the Passenger Air Bag Suppression System (PPS) may fail due to sensor damage from continuous use, ultimately disabling the airbags and increasing the risk of injury in the event of a crash. To date, no injuries have been reported in connection to the recall.
General Motors first learned of the issue after a public defect petition was sent to the NHTSA in April 2016, requesting the agency investigate the performance of the PPS sensor mat on certain Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky vehicles. On May 16, 2016, the NHTSA began evaluating the allegations described in the defect petition and issued a series of interrogatories and requests for documentation to General Motors.
During this time, General Motors opened a formal product investigation to determine the nature of the issue described in the defect petition regarding the PPS sensor. General Motors investigators discovered that the PPS system uses a flexible sensor mat inside of the passenger seat that over time can bend and damage the sensor’s conductor. In severe cases, this form of damage may cause an open circuit in the sensor, which would disable the air passenger airbags even when the vehicle is in motion.
Following this discovery General Motors reported back to the NHTSA with the newly found defect information and decided to conduct a safety recall.
Included in the recall are model year 2006 through 2010 Pontiac Solstice vehicles that were manufactured from March 16, 2005 through May 28, 2009, and 2007 through 2010 Saturn Sky vehicles manufactured from December 6, 2005 through May 26, 2009. The recalled vehicles were distributed throughout the United States to licensed dealers.
According to the NHTSA recall, an estimated 91,007 vehicles are included in the recall with a projected 2% to be impacted by faulty PPS sensor.
General Motors has not released a recall schedule at this time, but plans to notify customers in writing when available. Customers with further questions are being asked to contact Pontiac customer service at 1-800-762-2737 or Saturn customer Service at 1-800-553-6000 and reference the recall number 17036.