2013 Chevrolet Malibu recall announced just months after release

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The 2013 Chevrolet has been recalled for an airbag sensor issue, which can cause the airbag to deploy after braking. Photo Credit: Navigator84/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu was recently honored as a “Top Safety Pick” for crash test performance by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, Chevrolet is recalling the Malibu for a faulty airbag that can deploy randomly.

Irony is thick

Recently, the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, according to the Washington Post, was named a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a non-partisan automotive safety research organization funded by the car insurance industry. The Malibu, along with the Hyundai Azera, both achieved high ratings for crash safety.

For instance, the 2013 Malibu was able to sustain 5.22 times the weight of the car in pressure when on its back, indicating the car’s ability to take a rollover. Accidents in which the driver could sustain a chest injury were the only category in which the Malibu received a rating of “acceptable;” in all other categories, it rated higher.

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Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony, as the Malibu, according to Inside Line, is being recalled for an airbag issue that poses a serious safety risk.

Control module issue

General Motors has announced a recall for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu for an issue with the electronic control module that regulates the airbag system called the sensing and diagnostic module. An error in programming can cause the sensor to give the signal to deploy the airbags after a “hard braking” event, resulting in the airbags deploying erroneously.

If the error occurs during turning, the roof airbag may also deploy. In addition, the defect can also cause airbags to not deploy during an actual crash. It can also interrupt the seat belt pretensioner from operating during a crash. Both effects can pose a serious risk of injury during a crash, as airbags and pretensing seatbelts are among the most critical safety components in modern cars.

The sensor, if tripped, will reset itself and trigger the airbags within three seconds, according to AutoGuide.

Fewer than 5,000 units affected

GM is only recalling 4,304 units as a result of the sensing and diagnostic module fault. All cars in question were manufactured between Oct. 24, 2011 and March 31, 2012. No owners have reported the defect, but Chevrolet noticed the defect in a test vehicle, so the recall is more prevention than cure.

Owners will be contacted by Chevrolet in the near future. The recall itself is slated to begin on June 1. Malibu owners will be directed to take their car to the nearest Chevrolet dealer, where service technicians will reprogram the sensing and diagnostic module to correct the issue, at no charge to the owner. Granted, the oldest cars in the recall are barely off the production line, so it seems only fair. Concerned owners can contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020.


Washington Post

Inside Line


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