GM Recalls Nearly 290K Chevy Impalas Over Airbag Issues

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

Over the past two years, General Motors has recalled millions of vehicles over airbag issues, many related to Takata safety devices deploying too forcefully. Now, the company is recalling nearly 290,000 Chevrolet sedans for a different reason: the airbags might not deploy in a crash. 

General Motors says it will recall 289,254 model year 2009 to 2010 Chevy Impala sedans that have airbags that may not recognize when their passenger seats are occupied.

According to a notice [PDF] posted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the passenger presence sensory system of the affected cars “may fail to recognize that the passenger seat is occupied, disabling the air bag.”

GM says the issue likely occurs when the front passenger seat frame contacts and damages the wires of the passenger presence sensor module.

If the wires are damaged, the passenger presence sensory system may fail to work as intended, recognizing that a passenger is in the seat.

Damage may also cause the air bag fuse to short, resulting in a loss of all air bags and seat belt pretensions.

Both conditions increase the risk of injury during a crash.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will double wrap the wires with anti-abrasion tape and replace damaged wires as necessary.