400,000 Chevy, GMC pickups recalled: Side airbags can explode

DETROIT — General Motors is recalling more than 400,000 pickup trucks in the U.S. because the side airbags can explode without warning and spew parts into the cabin.

The recall covers certain 2015 and 2016 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500, 2500, and 3500 trucks.

Documents posted Friday by U.S. safety regulators say the airbag inflator can rupture or the end cap can fly off on both sides of the trucks. Documents say three inflators ruptured in 2015 Silverados last month, one in Florida and two in Texas. All three trucks were unoccupied at the time, and GM says it has no reports of injuries.

Dealers will replace both side airbag modules. The company says it has a limited number of replacement parts available. Owners will be notified starting Aug. 16 and they’ll get a second letter when parts are widely available.

About 9,000 of the trucks were recalled last year for the same problem.

The company says a manufacturing defect allowed moisture into the inflator while it was being manufactured, causing corrosion. The inflators were made in Mexico by Joyson Safety Systems, the company that took over Takata.

Back in April, Silverado and Sierra were among nearly 750,000 GM vehicles in a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation into non-deploying driver-side airbags. That investigation is ongoing.

Takata is responsible for the largest recalls in automotive history, covering about 100 million inflators among 19 major automakers worldwide, including about 67 million inflators in the United States. Nineteen deaths in the U.S. have been attributed to Takata inflators.

Only about 50 million of the 67 million recalled inflators in the U.S. have been repaired. This latest recall is a good reminder to go to NHTSA’s recalls website and enter your car’s VIN. Millions of recalled vehicles still pose a danger to their owners. Yours could be one of them.

 

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