Faulty airbag sensors cause Pontiac G8 recall

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Pontiac G8 sedan

General Motors has announced a recall of more than 38,000 Pontiac G8 sedans because of an airbag sensor. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

General Motors has announced a recall of almost 40,000 Pontiac G8 cars manufactured between 2008 and 2009. A faulty sensor could cause the passenger-side airbag to not deploy correctly in the event of a crash.

Holden airbag tests reveal a problem

The Pontiac brand is dead and gone; General Motors had to shutter the under-performing division in 2010 as part of a reorganization to keep itself solvent. However, GM honors warranties and still provides service for Pontiac owners.

Recently, General Motors notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to the New York Times, that it was initiating a recall for the Pontiac G8. Holden, the Australian division of GM, found in crash testing that a higher number of head injuries were occurring on crash test dummies less than five feet in height when the seat was positioned forward. The airbag deployment sensor would malfunction and cause airbag deployment to be delayed, causing greater injury.

Aussie Pontiacs recalled

Holden was testing the Holden Commodore, the car the Pontiac G8 was based on, according to Edmunds. According to MotorAuthority, testing of the Commodore revealed that the crashes at 30 miles per hour could cause a 30 millisecond delay, which is not up to federal airbag standards. Holden manufactured the G8 in Australia for export to the United States.

According to the automotive recall website of the Australian government, there has been at least one recall of the Holden Commodore because of side airbag issues before, in Nov. 2008.

The recall affects 38,444 Pontiac G8 sedans. The G8 units in question were manufactured between Nov. 2, 2007 and Jan. 22, 2009. According to USA Today, it’s unknown whether the recall also affects the new Chevrolet Caprice. The new Caprice, also based on the Commodore platform, is only being sold to police departments, but a few have managed to find their way into civilian hands.

Fix will be free

No accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of the defect; the recall is entirely preventative. Owners are being directed to take G8s from the specified years to the nearest General Motors dealership service station. GM technicians will reprogram the sensing and diagnostic module to correct the problem at no cost to the owner.

Anyone who wants further information, according to MotorWard, can contact General Motors at 1-800-620-7668. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can be reached at 1-888-327-4236. The reference campaign number for the Pontiac G8 recall is 11V534000.


New York Times


USA Today


Australian recalls

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