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Sensing and Diagnostic Control Module Could Keep GM Air Bags from Deploying

September 16, 2016

Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys Report GM Recalling 4.3 Million Vehicles Because of Defective Air Bag Software

Air bag recalls have dominated the news in recent times because of faulty inflators that spew shrapnel at vehicle occupants, but a new air bag recall has just been announced related to an unconnected issue. General Motors (GM) has announced a recall of four million vehicles because of problems with the software that controls the air bags. The defect has been linked to a fatality and three injuries according to a USA Today report.

GM Indicates Faulty Sensing and Diagnostic Control Module Could Keep Air Bags from Deploying

According to the report, the sensing and diagnostic module might switch into test mode. The module is a tiny computer that monitors the vehicle and control deployment of the air bag. When the module is in in test mode, it does not activate the air bag during a crash, and the seat belts do not function properly. GM was apparently made aware of the problem in May when a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado failed to have the air bags deploy during a crash. Both GM and Delphi, the manufacturer of the module, tested the computer system and decided to recall the module based on results of the testing. The recall covers a significant number of vehicles, but the automaker has indicated the problem involves updating software rather than mechanical repairs.

This new recall was the second large recall announced over a two day period by a major U.S. vehicle manufacturer. The other recall related to a potential door latch malfunction was expanded from 900,000 vehicles to 2.4 million vehicles manufactured between 2012 and 2015. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates the agency received 17 reports from consumers regarding the sensing and diagnostic module. The recall extends to 3.6 million U.S. vehicles and 4.28 million worldwide.

The new GM air bag recall covers Cadillacs, Buicks, GMCs, and Chevrolets from years 2014 to 2017. It is voluntary and reportedly does not appear to involve the failure to respond to injury or fatality reports. Moreover, the recall contrasts significantly from GM's massive mandatory ignition switch recall in 2014. The ignition switch recalls resulted in $2 billion in a criminal investigation settlement, regulatory fines, and victim compensation.

New GM Air Bag Recall Is Unrelated to Takata Exploding Air Bag Recall

This air bag recall is unrelated to the ongoing Takata air bag recall involving malfunctioning inflators that explode and propel shrapnel at vehicle occupants. Alternatively, the Takata air bag recall involves more than twenty million vehicles from over a dozen automakers.

Vehicles subject to the new GM recall include, among others:

• 2015-1017 Cadillac Escalade and Cadillac Escalade ESV, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMS Sierra HD, Chevrolet Suburban
• 2014-2016 Chevrolet Spark EV, Chevrolet SS. Buick LaCrosse
• 2014-2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Caprice police car, Chevrolet Corvette 

The above list is not necessarily exhaustive, and if you are concerned that your vehicle is affected, you should search for recalls for your particular vehicle on, created by the NHTSA.

Put Our Law Firm's 32 Years of Legal Experience to Work For You!

If you suffer serious injuries because a defective air bag fails to deploy, call Montlick & Associates to learn about your rights and options. Automakers and manufacturers of faulty vehicle components can normally be liable for vehicles containing defects that cause or exacerbate collision-related serious injuries. Product liability lawsuits against automakers can be challenging because of complex engineering and design issues, so our law firm often uses experts to help develop persuasive evidence and provide testimony.

Our law firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over 38 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located, the attorneys of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

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Category: Personal Injury

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