Seat belt pretensioner problem Discovery and Investigation of the Defect

The issue was initially brought to GM’s attention on August 29, 2023, by an employee through the company’s Speak Up For Safety (SUFS) program. This action followed a dealer report from Simpson Chevrolet of Irvine, indicating that 66 vehicles repaired under the earlier recall 22V930 had not been properly fixed. Subsequent investigations, initiated by GM on October 10, 2023, uncovered further evidence suggesting Simpson Chevrolet of Irvine’s failure to execute the necessary recall repairs.

Further investigations by GM revealed no direct complaints or incidents linked to this condition. However, the seriousness of the potential risk prompted the GM Safety Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA) to mandate a safety recall for all 22V930 repairs completed by Simpson Chevrolet of Irvine up to December 4, 2023.

Risks Associated with the Defect

The central concern revolves around the seat belt pretensioner. If a crash occurs and the recall remedy has not been implemented, the seat belt pretensioner’s deployment could ignite a fire near the B-pillar, elevating the risk of injury. After a collision, the pretensioner exhaust may set fire to carpet fibers in this area.

Remedy and Owner Notification

To address this issue, GM dealers will inspect both front seat belt pretensioners. If necessary, they will install metal foil at the carpet near the pretensioner exhaust, and some vehicles may also require a new pretensioner cover. These repairs will be conducted free of charge. GM plans to send owner notification letters by January 29, 2024. Notably, these vehicles had been previously recalled for the same issue under recall number 22V-793, necessitating the implementation of this new remedy. The GM recall number is N232421970, and the NHTSA campaign number is 23-845.

Repeated Repairs and California Lemon Law

The situation with the Chevrolet Bolt EV highlights an important aspect of consumer rights, especially in states like California with robust Lemon Laws. The California Lemon Law provides protection to consumers who have purchased or leased vehicles with warranty defects. If a vehicle requires repeated repairs for the same issue, owners may be entitled to compensation, including a refund or replacement vehicle. This law ensures that manufacturers are held accountable for their vehicles’ reliability and safety, offering peace of mind to consumers facing repeated repair issues.

In conclusion, GM’s steps in recalling and repairing these vehicles underscore the importance of automotive safety and consumer protection. Vehicle owners are advised to heed recall notices and ensure their vehicles receive the necessary repairs to mitigate any risks associated with this defect.

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