This time General Motors announced it will recall about 7 million vehicles worldwide, including a 2007 to 2014 model year Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Suburban, and GMC Yukon. Almost six million of these vehicles are located in the United States. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found the GM inflators in these vehicles are at risk of the same type of explosion after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity as found other recalled Takata inflators.
Owners have long complained that General Motors is placing profits over safety. At this point, 27 people have been killed worldwide by the exploding inflators. Eighteen of these deaths have occurred in the United States. Takata used volatile ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to fill airbags in a crash. Studies have shown though that this chemical will deteriorate when exposed to heat and humidity. These airbags can explode with far too much pressure, blowing apart the metal canister and sending shrapnel in the air – often towards occupants in the vehicle.
It is important to note that General Motors had petitioned NHTSA four times to avoid recalls, but those petitions have now been denied because it appears the Takata inflators still run the risk of exploding. This is a big safety win for consumers of these vehicles.