Nearly 200,000 Saab and Saturn vehicles are now under recall by General Motors (GM) upon discovering the cars are fitted with potentially defective Takata airbag inflators. The inflators have been blamed for causing airbags to explode, even in minor collisions, thus causing metal shrapnel to fire into the vehicle’s driver and passenger compartments. The defective inflators have been linked to at least 10 deaths thus far, and 139 crash injuries.
According to GM, the latest vehicles to be added to the Takata airbag recall list are the Saab 9-3 vehicles from model years 2003 through 2011, the Saab 9-5 from model years 2010 and 2011, and the Saturn Astra from model years 2008 and 2009. While the Saab model was sold in other markets worldwide as a Saab, the recalled Astra was renamed as Opel in European and other markets around the world.
GM has assured consumers that the automaker has not received any reports of the Saab or Astra vehicles’ airbags exploding. However, the vehicles’ airbags did explode during testing at GM’s testing facilities. GM’s position is that “you can continue to drive the cars as normal” until the airbag repairs are made.
GM will notify drivers of the recent recall by mail, but warns that the parts needed to complete the repairs have not arrived yet. The automaker will send a second letter to drivers when the parts have arrived and repairs can be scheduled. Approximately 24.4 million vehicles in the U.S. have been impacted by the Takata airbag recall thus far, but NHTSA expects that number to grow as more vehicles are tested for the defective inflators.
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