Some Cadillac Escalade owners are, too.
Remember the Takata airbag recall? Honestly, how could anyone forget? The faulty and deadly Takata airbags led to one of the biggest vehicle recalls in history, affecting millions of cars, trucks, and SUVs from multiple automakers in several countries. The United States was one of them and General Motors used Takata airbags. However, the automaker is seeking to avoid a recall for thousands of Chevy and GMC pickup trucks and SUVs equipped with these airbags for the fourth straight year. What’s going on here?
According to The Detroit News, GM argued in a petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that certain vehicles it produces "should be excluded from the massive recall effort because the supposed defects are ‘inconsequential’ to the safety of its pickups and SUVs due to ‘differences in inflator design and vehicle integration.’”
GM has requested the following vehicles be excluded, all of which are 2010-2014 models: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500, GMC Sierra 2500/3500, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Avalanche, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac Escalade ESV and Cadillac Escalade EXT.
If you recall, the precise problem with the affected Takata airbags was due to aging propellant in the inflators. Basically, this propellant can become unstable over time, especially in humid conditions. This can result with them exploding with too much force, thrusting metal shrapnel at drivers and passengers. At least 16 people were killed because of this and more than 250 injured in the US alone. Latest reports claim 24 people have died worldwide.
So why does GM believe the above vehicles should be exempted from the recall? It claims it "had deployed 4,270 of the inflators after exposing them to humidity and temperatures extremes without a reported rupture.” In a statement last week to the government, GM said its internal testing shows the inflators "do not present an unreasonable risk to safety, continue to perform as designed in the field and will continue to perform as designed in line with the results of our accelerated aging studies.”
The automaker’s previous exemptions were in November 2016, September 2017, and January 2018. This is merely the latest one. Some GM owners are quite angry because of these repeated recall exemptions. Even safety advocates have argued against GM’s exemption petitions and even went one step further by accusing the NHTSA of foot-dragging in making a decision about this issue.