I’m driving a GMC Sierra 2009.
A few months ago I had the problem that the side airbags exploded without any impact to the car while driving (approx 30-40km/h).
The side airbags exploded and the seat belt retractors blocked.
Nothing happened to the front airbags.
The car was not hit and did not hit anything. A colleague sitting on the passenger seat was hurt.
The damage was repaired under warranty (at the GMC dealer I bought the car from).
Unfortunately it looks like they just replaced the damaged parts without investigating the reason for the uncontrolled explosion of the airbags.
A few weeks later the side airbags exploded again! (approx 40 km/h, the car was not hit and did not hit anything)
This time I had my two kids sitting on the second seat row and fortunately they were sitting with their heads towards the center of the car because they were watching a movie on the portable DVD player placed on the center armrest/console.
I don’t want to imagine what would have happened if they were sleeping laid towards the doors as usual. (side airbags are neck breakers for sleeping kids!)
I went again to the same GMC dealer.
The dealer ‘investigated’ the problem and found out that the side airbags are deployed and the airbag control light is on. (wow, that’s really ‘rocket science’ to find out!)
The dealer told me that it’s my problem and no warranty case and if I don’t like his statement I’ve to complain at GMC. (what I’m doing since more then 2 month now)
And I was told that the reason why the warranty is denied is confidential.
That looks more to me as if the dealer has no clue at all why the airbags exploded!
I asked some simple questions to GMC:
- please announce me a contact person that is able, willing and competent enough to handle such an issue
- the car is still under warranty, is that correct?
- the airbags are additionally under repair warranty, because replaced recently, is that correct?
- please provide a detailed list of all approved warranty repairs re my car
- please let me know what GMC is going to do now
GMC was not yet able or willing to answer the questions.
After six weeks the statement from GMC:
- The damage is not under warranty because the car is modified.
- The modification indeed occurred before the first airbags explosion, but this time it’s no warranty because repairs under ‘car warranty’ are coming without ‘repair warranty’ and the replaced parts are not longer covered by the ‘car warranty’ and not covered by the ‘repair warranty’.
- GMC is not able to provide the explanation why the airbags are exploding because it is confidential.
- GMC assumes that the installed tires (different to the original brand) can lead to uncontrolled airbags explosion.
- GMC assumes that the installation of other shocks (Rough Country) can lead to uncontrolled airbags explosion.
- GMC assumes that the installation of a roll bar can lead to uncontrolled airbags explosion.
- GMC assumes that the use of a portable DVD player in the car can lead to uncontrolled airbags explosion.
- GMC assumes that the use of a mobile phone charger in the car can lead to uncontrolled airbags explosion.
- GMC assumes that the installation of additional lights can lead to uncontrolled airbags explosion.
- GMC assumes that driving on unpaved tracks can lead to later uncontrolled airbags explosion on paved roads.
Of course I asked GMC some more questions:
- Are the above GMC statements really true? If not, what is the right explanation?
- If the statements are true, why are no warning placards installed and why is nothing mentioned in the manual?
- What happens if I use a more powerful device then a mobile phone charger in the car? Will then the whole car explode?
- What is the electronic link between the tires (brand) and the airbag system?
- How can the car ‘remember’ the drive on an unpaved track and more important what leads to the airbags explosion a few days later on the paved road??
- Why are all other car manufacturers in the world (including Great Wall/China and Tata/India) able to install functional airbag systems and GMC is not?
…and of course no answer from GMC.