General Motors is recalling 4,304 2013 Malibu Ecos sold in the United States because of a defective module that controls the airbag.
The affected cars were built from October 24, 2011 through March 31, 2012. This recall announcement comes one week after the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco was placed on to the IIHS’s top safety pick list.
While there have been no crashes of injuries related to the defective airbag, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the airbags and/or seat belt pretensioners may not deploy during a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
GM said they discovered the airbag problem during a development test in which one of the cars was performing extreme maneuvers.
“After an event of hard braking, the sensing and diagnostic module may reset itself. If this occurs during an aggressive turning maneuver, and then afterwards a potential vehicle rollover event is sensed, the roof rail airbag may unintentionally deploy. Additionally, the airbags and/or seatbelt pretensioners may not deploy during a severe crash, increasing the risk of personal injury,” quoted NHTSA in the recall summary.
Customers who have bought a 2013 Malibu Eco will start to receive letters after June 1 with instructions on how to make an appointment with a dealer to have the air bag work done free.
Chevrolet dealers will reprogram the sensing and diagnostic module. The recall is expected to begin on June 1. Owners can contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020.
The safety recall number is 12102. Customers can also contact NHTSA at (888) 327-4236 or www.safecar.gov.
Chevy’s redesigned mid-size sedan with the so-called e-Assist hybrid powertrain also used on the Buick. On sale in January, the Malibu Eco is the only model of the redone already on sale. Conventional gas-engine 2013s are coming, but the other Malibus on sale now are the 2012 last-generation models, reported by USA Today.