GM to recall 5.9 million vehicles due to air-bag safety concerns

The GM Wentzville, MO., plant. - MICHAEL B. THOMAS/GETTY IMAGES

In an unforeseen $1 billion expense, General Motors (GM) announced plans to recall 5.9 million SUVs and pickup-trucks to replace potentially faulty Tataka air-bag inflators, after a recall order was issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The recall affects GM’s most popular vehicle models from 2007-2014, including the Cadillac Escalade SUV, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pick-up trucks, Suburban and Chevy Tahoe SUVs as well as the GMC Yukon SUV.

Initially, GM tried to stop the NHTSA from issuing a massive recall, arguing that not all of the listed vehicles could have the same air-bag complications. The NHTSA denied the automaker’s petition citing a plethora of research data indicating that the Tataka inflator was a major safety risk.

According to the NHTSA, the Tataka air-bag suffers from a design flaw in which the equipment degrades over time, raising a risk that it will explode during a car crash resulting in shrapnel projectiles that could seriously harm or kill drivers. The Tataka recall is one of the largest in U.S. history and involves over 19 auto manufacturers and tens of millions of vehicles.