Both the General Motors owned Buick and Chevrolet as well as Toyota owned Scion have issued recalls today due to issues with air bag deployment and safety. The model year 2012 Buick Verano, Chevy Cruze and Chevy Sonic have problems with the driver’s side frontal air bags. The model years 2012 and 2013 Scion IQ also have problems relating to the air bag improperly deploying.
In both cases, the issues with air bag deployment could cause problems in the event of a car accident. The risk of injury becomes much higher when air bags do not deploy properly. However, neither company has heard any reports of an accident caused by the defect. No injuries have been reported in connection to the recall.
In the case of the General Motors recall, 2,949 vehicles are affected. The driver’s side air bags have a shorting bar that may come into contact with the air bag terminals. If the bar contacts the air bag terminals at the time of the an accident, then the air bag won’t deploy. This dangerously affects the driver’s chance of injury as they won’t be protected in a crash that throws them forward.
General Motors is in the process of completing a schedule to contact vehicle owners that are affected by the recall. Consumers can bring the Chevy and Buick vehicles to a General Motors dealership to receive a free replacement coil that amends the air bag deployment problem.
The Toyota recall affects over 11,000 Scion IQs that were manufactured between July 31, 2011 and October 12, 2012. The cars use an Occupant Classification System, which adjusts the air bag deployment to the passenger weight. Part of the system is a cable that runs under the seats. It can be damaged when adjusted forward and backward. That means the air bag deployment could be incongruous to the passenger’s size and weight.
This type of system first came to prevalence once it as understood that air bags can be dangerous to small children. The force at which an air bag deploys can severely injure a child, which is why many states require children to sit in the rear seats. The air bag deploying to slow or fast can severely injure a passenger in an accident.
Toyota will officially begin the recall in December of 2012. Owners will be notified of the recall and can bring their vehicle in to the dealership for a protective covering on the cable.