GM Chevrolet Impala Recall Issued Over Airbags That May Not Deploy

Nearly 300,000 Chevrolet sedans have been recalled, following several reports of problems that suggest the front passenger seat airbag may not deploy. 

The Chevrolet Impala recall (PDF) was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Commission (NHTSA) on July 20, after investigating a cluster of consumer reports that indicated the wiring harness to the passenger seat sensory system had been damaged or shorted out, due to contact at the seat frame.

Damaged airbag sensory systems could potentially disable the airbag and seatbelt, posing an increased injury risk in an auto accident.

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General Motors (GM) was first notified of the issue on March 8, 2016, after an employee submitted a report relating to the intermittent loss of cluster gauges and a possible malfunction of the passenger presence sensor to GM’s Speak Up for Safety (SUFS) program. GM initiated an investigation the very next day and found several similar consumer complaints.

Further analysis by GM’s investigating electrical team and engineers found the front passenger seat frame in these vehicles may rub against and damage the wires of the passenger presence sensor (PPS) module, causing the PPS system to fail to recognize the presence of a passenger occupying the seat. Additionally,the investigation revealed the cluster gauges and driver information center (DIC) alerts may intermittently turn off or not function properly while driving. In the event of the disruptions, the damage to the PPS module could cause the airbag fuse to short, resulting in the loss of all airbags and seat belt pretensioners.

After recognizing the safety defect, GM’s Safety and Field Action Decision Authority concluded that the condition poses an increased injury hazard to occupants and decided to conduct a voluntary recall.

Included in the recall are roughly 289,254 model year 2009 through 2010 Chevrolet Impala vehicles that were manufactured by General Motors from April 25, 2008 through February 16, 2010. To search whether your vehicle may be included in the recall please visit the NHTSA website

General Motors has not released a repair schedule to date but announced they will begin notifying owners of the issue. Dealers will be instructed to inspect the wiring system and double wrap the wires with an anti-abrasion tape and replace any damaged wires free of charge. Customers with further questions may contact the automakers customer service team at 1-800-424-9153 and reference the recall number 36110.


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