GM recalling 2014-15 Impalas over air bag fears
Washington — General Motors Co. said Friday it is recalling more than 8,900 new Chevrolet Impala cars because the vehicle could fail to deactivate the passenger side air bag if an infant seat is placed in the front seat.
GM said the recall of the 2014-15 full size cars with front vented heated seats is because moisture introduced during seat steaming in the seat assembly production process could cause a calibration error in the electronic control module.
Vehicles are required to prevent air bags from operating if a child or infant is in a front seat because of possible serious injuries to children from air bags deploying. All automakers recommend children sit in the back seat — if possible — at all times.
“The front passenger air bag status is active without the passenger seat being occupied and the Automatic Occupant Sensing system may fail to suppress the front passenger air bag if a child seat is in the front passenger seat,” the automaker said in a statement.
GM said 5,493 Impalas are in the United States, 215 in Canada and 3,281 are exports.
“GM is unaware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition. Dealers will recalibrate the passenger seat free of charge,” GM said.
The Detroit automaker said the recall of 2014-15 cars came after a GM engineer in March reported the issue through GM’s “Speak up for Safety” program. That program was created after GM’s recall in 2014 of 2.6 million vehicles for ignition defects that are now linked to nearly 400 deaths and injuries.
GM conducted extensive research over the following months to determine if two warranty complaints were isolated incidents, including surveying owners of company owned vehicles and collecting OnStar data. GM’s survey revealed three additional reports of calibration errors. Even though there are no other reports, GM decided to recall the vehicles. The recall includes about 5,500 vehicles in the United States and 200 in Canada.
Dealers will precondition the empty seat and reset the calibration.