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GM Recalls 5.9M Vehicles to Replace Takata Airbags

Why are these Takata Airbags being recalled now? Paul D’Adamo (the ‘Recall Guy’) and Katie Stark provide their view on the recent vehicle recall by GM to replace Takata airbags


GM Recalls 5.9M Vehicles to Replace Takata Airbags feat four
Paul D-Adamo

It seems ironic that we were just alerted to a Volvo Airbag Recall in November. NHTSA has concluded that the GM inflators are subject to the same issues; moisture, temperature, and age making them vulnerable as a safety hazard.

GM had petitioned NHTSA over the last four years to exclude them from the Recall. GM claimed that the Takata-made airbag inflators did not have the same deterioration as the other vehicles. GM asserts that these vehicles had a lower risk of rupture due to “unique design differences.”

The original Recall of Takata airbags was based on inflators igniting with explosive force, sending metal shards throughout the passenger cabin. The actual cause was determined to be a lack of a chemical drying agent for the propellant. Environmental moisture, high temperatures, and age would cause the ammonium-nitrate-based propellant to inflate improperly, resulting in the inflator’s premature rupture. Recently, NHTSA denied GM’s petition to avoid the Recall.

Many GM Models recalled are familiar to Auto Recyclers, Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac Trucks and SUV’s from the model year 2007 through 2014. Only the passenger airbags will need to be replaced.


Chevrolet GMC Cadillac
Silverado 1500, 2500, 3500 Sierra 1500, 2500, 3500 Escalade
Tahoe/Suburban Yukon

RAS recommendation

Do not remove any airbags in these vehicles until we have the VIN’s loaded into our Recall Software.  EPA guidelines allow for the removal of airbags only if there is a “sale” or “recall” shipment being prepared. It is not recommended or permitted for you to store airbags at your facility. Leaving them in the vehicles until such time where they will be crushed or shredded is a legitimate disposition.

Airbags put Recyclers in the Crosshairs

There seems to be a pattern with airbags. As airbags age in vehicles and further testing is done, other makes and models may be recalled. For Recyclers, selling airbags has become a perilous business. Once we thought it was safe to sell GM Truck and SUV airbags, we now find ourselves in the predicament of knowing that we have sold them, but now they are recalled. Many Recyclers have excluded ALL airbags from their parts available for sale list due to recalls’ hazards. This might be a good time to review your corporate policies related to the sale of Airbags.

There is no “traceability” component currently in any of the Yard Management Systems. Wikipedia defines traceability as the ability to verify the history, location, or application of an item by means of documented recorded identification.

When can we expect to start recovering GM Recalls?

NHTSA has given 30 days to submit a plan for their Recall. We at RAS expect to have the VINs loaded into our web/desktop/mobile platforms in early January.

Questions on airbag recalls? Call or email Paul the Recall Guy at 401-458-9080 or