General Motors is now facing a class-action lawsuit.
Despite advancements in safety technology, manufacturers are still discovering faults that can prevent the airbag from deploying during a crash. This is obviously a significant safety hazard, so the right thing to do is issue a safety recall and get the problem fixed as soon as possible. In this case, however, the manufacturer allegedly knew there was a serious issue with the airbag but did nothing about it.
According to Car Complaints, a faulty sensor pad in 2010 and 2011 Chevrolet Camaros would cause the front passenger airbags to deactivate even if an occupant was sat in the seat. Chevrolet allegedly knew the sensors were prone to tearing but failed to issue a recall to rectify them.
As a result, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against General Motors in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. According to the class action, GM issued an alert to the seat supplier in 2009 and a redesigned PPS pad was introduced in September 2010.
Technical service bulletins issued in 2009 and 2010 indicated that customers were complaining about the airbag readiness sensor light turning on warning that the passenger side airbag was turned off even when an adult was sat in the seat. Because of this, the class action claims Chevrolet was fully aware of these issues and should have issued a safety recall. Cars affected by this issue include 2010-2011 Chevrolet Camaro cars leased or purchased in the US outside of California.
The plaintiff, Edward Jackson, purchased a new 2011 Chevrolet Camaro in January 2012 but says he would not have bought it if he knew the passenger airbag would fail several years later in May 2019. After noticing the airbag light illuminated and airbag indicator light read "Off" when an adult passenger was in the seat, he took the car to a GM dealer in November 2020.
After paying $163.86 to have the problem diagnosed he was recommended by the dealer to replace the PPS seat pad sensor and module for $1,799.00. Refusing to pay this much, Jackson instead bought the parts online for $667.55 and had them installed by a local mechanic for an additional $300.