The issue over defective Takata airbags continues to hound General Motors as the United States government just ordered the automaker to recall nearly 6 million vehicles from its Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac lineups. This order follows years of petitions from GM, claiming that the airbags are safe.
In the last four years, GM has been petitioning with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), insisting that its SUVs and trucks from the 2007 to 2014 model years are safe despite being equipped with Takata airbag inflators. The company even supplied the agency with its own safety data.
However, in its final decision, the NHTSA ruled several GM models unsafe after reviewing the data and safety information the automaker provided. The conclusion shows that the Takata airbag inflators in the vehicles are a risk to drivers.
A statement from the NHTSA said: “The GM inflators in question are at risk of the same type of explosion after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity as other recalled Takata inflators. Such explosions have caused injuries and deaths. GM now has 30 days to provide the agency with a proposed schedule for the notification of vehicle owners and the launch of a remedy.”
GM, for its part, said that while it disagrees with the government decision, it will conduct the recall as ordered.
“Based on data generated through [an] independent scientific evaluation conducted over several years, we disagree with NHTSA’s position,” GM said in a separate statement. “However, we will abide by NHTSA’s decision and begin taking the necessary steps.”
GM added, “We are still developing the safety recall execution plan. We will be submitting our remedy plan with NHTSA in line with NHTSA’s denial documentation. Customers will be receiving the official notification via mailed letter in accordance with NHTSA agreement to our cadenced plan and that notification will provide instructions to customers.”
Among the GM models affected by the recall are the Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, and Tahoe; the GMC Sierra and Yukon; and the Cadillac Escalade.