Subscribe to Print and Digital for only $109!

GM recalls 500 new trucks, SUVs for flawed airbag sensor

Dealers also warned of 'suspect parts' shipped for a recall fix on '15 Escalade

GM last week recalled 1,402 2015 Escalades because of a problem with the passenger airbag.

UPDATED: 5/23/14 3:57 pm ET - adds recall

DETROIT -- General Motors is recalling about 500 new pickups and SUVs to fix a potential flaw in the sensor that controls the airbags.

The recall is to fix "a potentially faulty supplier part in the sensing and diagnostic module that controls the vehicle air bags" on 2014 and 2015 Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL models, GM said in an e-mailed statement.

It's unknown how many of the trucks are on dealership lots or in customer hands. Trucks in dealer inventory will be repaired before they're delivered to customers, GM spokesman Alan Adler said.

GM told dealers on Thursday to halt delivery of about 3,500 new pickups and SUVs as the company investigates an undisclosed "issue" with the trucks.

Adler said GM is recalling a smaller number because it determined that fewer potentially defective sensors were used than originally thought.

A bulletin sent to dealers Thursday included a list of vehicle identification numbers to help dealers pinpoint the affected trucks in their inventories. GM said vehicles not included on the list are OK to deliver.

'Suspect parts'

Separately on Thursday, GM sent a bulletin to Cadillac dealers alerting them that some "suspect parts" were included in a shipment sent to dealerships this week to fix an airbag defect on recalled 2015 Escalade models.

GM last week recalled 1,402 Escalades because of a problem with the passenger airbag that could result in partial deployment in a crash. Dealers can't deliver any of the SUVs until a fix is completed. GM also has warned customers to not let anyone ride in the passenger seat before the vehicle has been serviced.

In the bulletin sent Thursday, GM instructs dealers to cross-check serial numbers on parts they've already received against a list of "suspect" numbers. Any suspect parts are to be shipped back to GM.

If dealers already installed replacement parts in any of the recalled Escalades, they must remove part of the instrument panel to check the part's serial number to determine if it is suspect. The inspection should take about 35 minutes, the bulletin says. Replacing a suspect part will take another 50 minutes, according to the bulletin.

Recall binge

GM is in the midst of a record recall binge as it redoubles its safety focus amid federal investigations of its handling of a faulty ignition switch, which has been linked to 13 fatalities and 35 crashes, mostly in Chevy Cobalts and Saturn Ions.

In the past eight days, GM has announced 10 recalls covering about 5.4 million vehicles, ranging from 2004-08 Chevy Aveo subcompact cars with daytime running lights that could overheat and cause a fire to the airbag problem on the '15 Escalades.

For the year, GM's total number of callbacks stands at 30, including the truck recall announced today, totaling about 13.8 million U.S. vehicles, a record high for the company in a single year. The figure counts some vehicles more than once because they are being called back for multiple fixes.

You can reach Mike Colias at

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Email Newsletters
  • General newsletters
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Mondays)
  • (As needed)
  • Video newscasts
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Saturdays)
  • Special interest newsletters
  • (Thursdays)
  • (Tuesdays)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Wednesdays)
  • (Bimonthly)
  • Special reports
  • (As needed)
  • (As needed)
  • Communication preferences
  • You can unsubscribe at any time through links in these emails. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.