GM recalls nearly 30,000 Saab 9-3 convertibles

GM is recalling Saab 9-3 convertibles after customer complaints to U.S. safety regulators.
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General Motors is recalling almost 30,000 Saab 9-3 convertibles in the United States for a seat belt issue that has previously affected sedan models.

GM, which owned Saab between 2000 and 2010, said that the automatic tensioning cable in the drivers’ side seat-belt retractor could break, meaning the seat belt would not retract. The recall affects 28,789 convertibles from the 2004-2011 model years.

No crashes or injuries have been reported because of this, GM said in a statement. GM hasn’t said if European models are affected.

GM has previously recalled the Saab 9-3 sedan twice in the United States for a similar issue, once in 2004 affecting 9,322 cars and again in 2010 affecting 14,126 cars. The convertible wasn’t subject to that recall.

"The convertibles and sedans were investigated at the same time, but the convertible parts were not identical to the sedan parts,” GM said. “GM has since learned of customer complaints to the NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] for the convertibles,” it said.

The seat belt part supplier was named in the 2004 recall as Takata, the Japanese company at the heart of an ongoing airbag recall involving multiple automakers. At the time GM said Takata had damaged the retractors during the manufacturing process. No supplier was named for the current recall.

The Saab 9-3 sedan was recalled in the UK in 2005 for the seat retraction problem, affecting 9,322 cars made between 2003 and 2004. Both front seat belts were replaced under the recall. As yet no recall has been announced has been officially announced in the UK for the convertible.

In the same announcement as the current recall, GM said that 9-3 convertible passenger-side seat belt retractors will be covered under warranty for the life of the vehicle if they need replacing.

So far this year GM has recalled more than 25 million vehicles in the United States, the majority for ignition key problems that meant the key could inadvertently turn in the barrel while driving, so disabling important safety systems.

You can reach Nick Gibbs at ngibbs@crain.com.


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