GM issues two small ’15 Corvette recalls

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

General Motors Co. is issuing two new small recalls for its 2015 Chevrolet Corvettes for about 900 cars, bringing its tally for recalls this year to at least 78 campaigns in North America.

One recall covers 89 Chevrolet Corvettes in the United States for a possible driver air bag separation issue. GM briefly issued a stop delivery order covering about 2,800 cars but declined to confirm it was issuing recalls. The final population of recalled vehicles was lower than originally indicated at the time of the stop delivery. Including two vehicles in Canada and three in Mexico, the total recall population is 94. Owner letters are being mailed Monday. GM knows of no crashes, injuries or fatalities related to either condition.

GM said the driver air bag back plate molding process was changed for the seventh generation Corvette — specifically the barrel temperature, which increased the viscosity of the material. This resulted in a back plate with less weight and ultimately lower strength. The module back plate could crack in a crash, which could allow the air bag’s retention wire to pull through and separate from the steering wheel. GM said it had not approved the Troy-based supplier’s decision to change the process. Dealers will replace the driver’s air bag.

The second Corvette recall, also submitted to NHTSA on Sept. 11, covers 783 Corvettes in which only one of the parking brake cables may have been fully seated and operating on one of the rear brake drums. Since the service procedure was released Sept. 29, more than half of those vehicles — 57 percent — have been inspected and repaired as necessary.

NHTSA is taking significantly longer than previously to post automaker recalls publicly. These recalls were made public about six weeks after GM submitted notices. NHTSA’s recall website also suffered significant problems and was inaccessible for much of last week.

GM's record-setting 76 recalls cover 30 million vehicles worldwide this year, including 26.5 million in the United States. It has at least one more recall that has not yet been made public.