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General Motors has announced another recall, involving nearly 30,000 Saab convertible vehicles that may experience seatbelt problems, where the restraints could fail during a crash.
The Saab recall (PDF) was confirmed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on June 11, following at least 33 consumer complaints of the automatic tension system cable in the driver’s side front seat belt reactors breaking, disallowing the seat belts to hold tension.
In the event of a crash involving the recalled Saab vehicles, the driver may not be properly restrained by the seat belt, which would result in an increased risk of serious and potentially life-threatening injury.
The recall includes an estimated 28,789 Saab 9-3 Convertible vehicles from the 2004 through 2011 model years, which were manufactured from July 30, 2003 to February 15, 2011. During the time the vehicles were being manufactured, Saab was a subsidiary of General Motors Company, leaving responsibility on GM for recalling the vehicles.
The seat belt issue was first noticed in February 2011, when the NHTSA opened an investigation into a consumer complaint indicating the seat belt would not lock and hold tension. During the investigation officials noticed similar retractor content used in multiple year models that may become defective. After receiving several dozen more customer complaints of the same nature, GM’s Safety and Field Action Decision Authority decided a safety risk is present and requires a recall.
General Motors announced in the recall that the company will be notifying owners and dealers of the plan to replace the driver’s seat belt free of charge and inspect the passenger’s side seatbelt as well. A repair schedule has not been released to date. Owners may contact Saab customer service center at 1-800-955-9007 for more information and reference recall number 14222.
GM Recalls Continue to Mount
Just half way through the year, auto recalls in the U.S. have already reached a record high, with 37.5 million vehicles recalled due to defects and other safety issues over the first six months of 2014. The largest contributor to the recent influx in recalls has been General Motors Company, accounting for nearly two-thirds of recalled vehicles.
The automaker has faced substantial criticism and scrutiny after acknowledging that it has known for years about ignition switch problems in many of their vehicles, which have caused dozens of accidents and deaths.
At least 12 million vehicles have been recalled by GM this year due to ignition switch defects, which may cause the vehicles to suddenly shut off if a heavy keychain is used or if the ignition is jarred, such as may occur in an accident. This could result in loss of control of the vehicle and prevent the airbags from deploying in a crash. GM now faces a growing number of ignition switch lawsuits involving allegations of personal injury, wrongful death and loss of vehicle value.