On June 25 General Motors ordered its dealers to stop selling the 2013 and 2014 versions of the Chevrolet Cruze sedan, its most popular car, because of a problem with air bags made by Takata, the Japanese supplier. Takata’s products are already the subject of large recalls of other vehicles. GM said about 33,000 Cruzes may have a faulty driver’s side air bag inflator reportedly caused by the wrong part being used. A
Takata devices are already the subject of a recall involving millions of vehicles made by Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota and BMW. The Takata-produced inflator in those vehicles may contain propellant that can explode in certain situations. But it was reported that the problem GM most recently announced involved how Takata’s inflators are assembled. Based on our experience with GM, there may be more to the problem than has been admitted.
As we know, Takata has been a long-term supplier of GM. The Cruze is GM’s best-selling car, with 32,393 sold in May in the United States, up 41 percent from the previous year. GM issued a recall for the Cruze vehicles on June 26. Sadly, this is another case in which GM knew it had a safety problem, but did not act either promptly or decisively. The airbag problem appears to have been dealt with very much like the Colbalt ignition switch problem.
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