Detroit GM Recalls 270,000 Cars for Airbag Problems : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Monday September 11 11:36 AM ET GM Recalls 270,000 Cars for Air Bag Problems--Report

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - news) is recalling almost 270,000 Buick and Oldsmobile cars because they have driver air bags that may fire unexpectedly, but the world's largest automaker does not yet have the parts needed to fix the problem, a trade publication said Monday.

GM told Automotive News that time was needed to start production of replacement igniters for the air bags and that repairs should begin by the end of the year. The igniter is a key part of an air bag module.

GM officials could not be reached to comment.

In a letter to owners of 1995 Buick Regals and 1995-96 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supremes, the automaker is warning drivers to take precautions against injury, including wearing a seat belt, sitting back from the air bag and not driving the vehicle if the air bag warning light comes on and stays on, Automotive News said.

The passenger air bag has a different igniter and is not involved in the recall, which could cost GM $41 million if the owners of all the recalled cars respond, the publication said.

GM told Automotive News it was aware of 115 inadvertent air bag deployments so far. About 60 people have been injured and no deaths have been reported.

The automaker described the problem as corrosion of the air bag igniter's internal wiring, Automotive News said. The small porcelain unit ignites the inflater, or propellant, that inflates the air bag.

GM said the air bag could deploy when the car is started or during normal driving, the publication said. The air bag would still function properly, if needed, in a crash.

GM said the igniter's that needs to be replaced is no longer made, so a new supplier had to be found, Automotive News said. The automaker did not name the maker of the original part or its replacement.

-- Rachel Gibson (, September 11, 2000

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