General Motors are once again petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to exclude certain GM full size trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) from the massive Takata air bag recall. Nearly 50 million Takata inflators have been recalled and another 20 million expected to be called back in the next couple of years, making it the largest automotive safety recall in U.S. history.
In 2015, the NHTSA ordered Takata to recall airbags after reports that aging propellant could cause inflators to explode with excessive force that could throw shrapnel at drivers and passengers. The problem has been linked to at least 16 deaths and over 250 injuries in the United States, and at least 24 deaths world wide.
GM previously petitioned for exemptions in November 2016, September 2017 and January 2018. The latest request was filed in January. The automaker said it's confident that their testing shows the inflators "do not present an unreasonable risk to safety, continue to perform as designed in the field and will continue to perform as designed in line with the results of our accelerated aging studies." GM said that it had deployed 4,270 of the inflators after exposing them to humidity and temperature extremes without any ruptures.
GM's request for exemption includes: 2010-2014 models: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500, GMC Sierra 2500/3500, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Avalanche, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac Escalade ESV and Cadillac Escalade EXT. The recalls are being phased in based on the age of the vehicle and its exposure to high temperatures and humidity.
Safety advocates in Washington have argued against GM's petitions for exemptions to the Takata recall, and they have accused NHTSA of dragging its feet on making a decision about the company's request.