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GM Recalls Air Bags Due to Software Defect 4 Million Cars Affected

Sep 12, 2016

General Motors is launching a massive air bag recall affecting 4 million vehicles worldwide. The recall is being issued due to a software defect that can cause the air bag not to inflate in case of crash. The company said in rare instances the software issue switches the car's computers into test mode; this means the front air bags will not inflate and sometimes the seat belts may not work properly.

The defect has been linked to at least one death and three injuries, GM said. A total of 4.28 million cars are affected worldwide, including 3.6 million in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall on Sept. 9.

In a filing with the NHTSA, GM stated "A failure of the front air bags or seat belt pretensioners to deploy in the event of a crash necessitating deployment increases the risk of injury to the driver and front passenger,"

According to CBS News, GM discovered the issue in May, when the air bags of a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado failed to deploy in a crash. Delphi, the supplier who made the module, was informed of the issue. GM and Delphi decided to issue a recall after testing the modules.

The following vehicles are affected by the recall: 2014-2016 Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet SS and Spark EV; the 2014-2017 Buick Encore, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Corvette, Trax, Caprice and Silverado; and the 2015-2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban and Silverado HD, GMC Yukon, Yukon XL and Sierra HD and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV.

GM says it will alert customers to the issue and update the software free of charge. Dealers reportedly already have access to the software update.

GM came under fire in 2014 over an ignition switch defect linked to 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Last year, the company agreed to a $900 million settlement with federal authorities and admitted that it failed to warn about the problem.

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