In a statement over the recent recall expansion, General Motors hinted that the safety campaign was not quite necessary.
As the US NHTSA and Takata agreed that automakers would have to replace 35 million to 40 million potentially defective airbags by December 2019, the recall announcements over the matter have flooded the industry. And part of the recent callbacks, General Motors issued a preliminary recall for 1.9 million 2007-2011 full-size trucks and SUVs for eventually replacing the passenger-side front airbag inflators fitted with ammonium nitrate propellant and without the drying agent. However, the US largest carmaker said in a statement that “it does not believe that a safety defect exists at this time,” adding that it expects to provide NHTSA with “additional test data, analysis or other relevant and appropriate evidence in support of its belief that these GM vehicles do not pose an unreasonable risk to safety.”
The company said its vehicles featured a unique design that limited such incidents, backed up by data and tests gathered during 44,000 crash deployments that lead to no ruptures. It claims that Takata inflators used in GM trucks and SUVs include larger venting for hot gases, different propellant wafer configurations and machined steel end caps, while the airbags are packaged in the instrument panel in such a way as to minimize exposure to moisture from the climate control system.
This contradicts the analysis made by the US regulators which said that Takata’s inflators clearly become unstable over time when exposed to humidity and variations of temperature. Such a statement is definitely a sign that automakers are not happy at all with the implications of such massive recalls, which are hurting their brand image and sales, especially when there are affected high-margin models such as pickups and SUVs.
GM’s latest callback covers certain 2007-2011 pickups and SUVs including: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Avalanche, Tahoe and Suburban; GMC Sierra 1500, Yukon and Yukon XL; Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT and Escalade ESV; and 2009-2011 Silverado and Sierra 2500 and 3500 pickups.