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Airbag Failures Cause Massive Recall of General Motor Corporation Terrain Vehicles

June 05, 2018

June 2, 2018 (  According to an online report from, General Motors is issuing a recall of nearly 90,000 model year 2018 GMC Terrain automobiles due to defective airbags.

The cause of the defective airbags is due to issues with the sensing diagnostic modules, or SDM. According to the report, the SDM “senses a crash and deploys the airbags, but engineers determined the module may not power down correctly when the Terrain is turned off. The module may stay deactivated when the SUV is restarted, showing an airbag warning light to the driver and a message that says, ‘service restraint system.’ Additionally, a driver will hear warning chimes indicating the airbags are off.”

In the winter of 2018, an engineer for General Motors uncovered issues with the 2018 Terrain SDMs where they lost communications.   In essence, testing was done to duplicate the issue and as such, General Motors issued a bulletin when a software problem was found by a supplier in early spring. As a result, General Motors “opened an internal investigation and found more incidents of diagnostic trouble codes related to the modules, but no reports of crashes or injuries.”

The recall is set to begin at some point soon but General Motors is not sure as to when dealerships will start to reprogram the software responsible for the sensing module.

Owners of affected vehicles can reach out GMC at 800-462-8782 and use reference number 18179.

This is not the first time General Motors has had to recall automobiles due to issues with the SDM that led to failures of airbags and seat belt pretensioners.  Millions of vehicles were, in fact, recalled by General Motors as a result.  

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Category: Auto Accidents

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