Airbag issues have plagued the automotive industry for years in the wake of the defective airbags produced by Takata that led to multiple deaths. GM has now announced that trucks under both the GMC and Chevrolet brands have been recalled due to another airbag issue. This recall concerns trucks with airbags along the roof rails that can deploy without the vehicle being in an accident.
While deploying airbags outside of an accident environment are a problem on their own, when these roof-rail airbags deploy, they can send parts into the cabin, posing a risk to driver and passengers. The recall also notes there is a higher risk of inadvertent deployment in hotter regions. The recall covers certain 2015 and 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickups.
Also covered in the recall are certain GMC Sierra 1500, 2500, and 3500 trucks. The recall action was prompted by reports of three vehicles that experienced ruptured airbags while unoccupied in June 2021. An investigation by GM found corrosion inside the inflator caused by moisture introduced during manufacturing operations.
Corrosion from moisture was increased by temperature changes in hot regions. The recall covers 410,019 trucks and supersedes the previous recall announced in November 2020 for the same issue. That particular recall was NHTSA number 20V-736 and covered 9279 trucks.
Owners of trucks from Chevrolet or GMC in the appropriate year range can use their vehicle identification number to see if the truck is covered in the recall directly on the GM Owner Center website or via the NHTSA website. GM has promised that customer notifications will be sent out in mid-August with more communication available when a fix is available. It’s unclear when a fix for the issue might be available or what it will entail.