US: safety group asks NHTSA to probe Chevy Impala’s airbags image

The Center for Auto Safety, an auto safety group, has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to probe whether Chevrolet Impalas from 2003 to 2010 have an airbag defect.

General Motors seems to have a recall year in 2014 – considering that its 2.6 million cars recall related to the ignition switch defect (that could also turn off the airbags) is already almost matching the number of cars called back for the full 2013.

The Center for Auto Safety – which also called out the Jeep defect involving the rear-end fiery collisions, now sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration saying in the Impalas a computer code could malfunction and trigger the airbag shutdown if the passenger is bounced on the seat prior to the accident.

“We call on NHTSA to examine each of the fatal non-deployment crashes to determine whether the air bag should have deployed and why it didn’t,” Clarence Ditlow, the center’s executive director, said in the letter.

The 2000-2010 model year Chevrolet Impala has been involved in front impact crashes in which airbags did not deploy, which led to 143 fatalities – and the safety group says that in 98 of the cases the occupants wore their safety belts.

Via Reuters