General Motors has notified the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of a seat belt safety noncompliance issue with certain 2009 and 2010 models of their Chevrolet Impala.
According to the NHTSA report, “The front seat belt webbing on these models may not have been properly secured to the lap belt pretensioner mounted to the side of the seat nearest the door.” This means that during a crash, the safety belt may not restrain the occupant, which could result in injury.
GM’s letter to NHTSA states that the condition is due to an assembly error where the operator did not properly install the pretensioner anchor into the nut. They explain, “When properly installed, a bolt is threaded through the pretensioner anchor into a nut. In cases where the pretensioner anchor is not secured, the anchor may not be fully seated and as a result the anchor is not secured by the bolt, but rather it may be clamped between the bolt and the anchor plate. In other cases, if the pretensioner is installed with a 180 degree twist and the error proofing feature to ensure the twist is broken, the anchor may be supported by the anchor threads instead of the bolt shoulder.”
In June 2009, GM investigated nine reports of seat belt warranty repairs that noted repairs and thought all incidents were identified and corrected. However, there were additional reports and in July 2010, a Product Investigation Engineer was assigned to investigate. As of August 13, 2010, there were 32 warranty reports of seat belt separation.
It is noted in the letter that to date there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities where the belts were reported to have the separation problem.
GM is acting quickly. The safety recall will begin on or before October 26, 2010, with notifications sent to the owners of 2009 and 2010 Chevrolet Impalas. Dealers will inspect both the front safety belts for proper installation of anchors to pretensioners and, if necessary, reinstall the anchors. The service will be performed free of charge.
GM will be providing the dealers’ bulletin and owners’ letter. The safety recall number is: N100312.
Here is a list of the vehicles potentially affected:
192,922 vehicles: Chevrolet Impala, model series W, model year 2009, manufactured 04/2008 to 06/2009.
110,178 vehicles: Chevrolet Impala, model series W, model year 2010, manufactured 04/2009 to 03/2010.
Contact Information for Owners
If owners have any questions regarding this recall, they may contact either their dealership or Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438 or online at the GM Owner Center Website. They may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle hot line at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or go to their Website.
U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Website
Photo opportunity provided by Grey Chevrolet, Karl Rightmyer, Port Orchard, Wash.: Website
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