General Motors Drops as NHTSA Opens Airbag Inquiry

NHTSA opened an inquiry into the airbags on certain GM models after the agency received 15 consumer complaints of malfunctions.
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Shares of U.S. automaker General Motors  (GM) - Get Report dropped Monday morning after U.S. regulators started investigating complaints the air bags on thousands of GM vehicles may not inflate in a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the inquiry covers nearly 750,000 Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC SUVs and pickup trucks from the 2020 and 2021 model years.

The Office of Defects Investigation has received 15 consumer complaints of alleged air-bag-system malfunctions. Nine of the 15 allege the illumination of an airbag-malfunction indicator during the crash. 

Six of the incidents featured "significant frontal collision damage" when the driver's front air bags failed to deploy. Eight injuries, none fatal, were reported from those six crashes. 

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Shares of the Detroit auto icon at last check were down 1.9% to $58.52. The stock on April 6 touched a 52-week high $63.44.

In December, GM recalled nearly 840,000 vehicles for suspension problems or because the front seat belts on the vehicles could fail. 

The seat-belt recall covered 624,000 model year 2019 through 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups.

The recall also includes the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and GMC Yukon XL, and the 2020 and 2021 Silverado and Sierra 2500 and 3500. All have split bench seats.

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Earlier this year, Ford Motor F said it would recall 3 million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to replace faulty Takata airbags at a cost of $610 million.

The recalls came after a petition Ford filed with NHTSA for exemption from recalls was rejected.