Car Industry

GM recalls 3.6 million cars for non-Takata airbag issue

The lack of relation to Takata doesn't mean the recall is any less serious, though.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

A lack of proper airbag deployment can increase the chance of injuries, or worse, in the event of a collision.

Chevrolet

Are airbags more trouble than they're worth? No. Oh, goodness, no. The latest airbag recalls aren't the fault of the parts themselves. They represent a failure of the human element of automotive manufacturing, whether it's cost cutting at Takata or, in the case of GM's massive new recall, some buggy software code.

General Motors has issued a recall for 3.64 million vehicles in the United States for an airbag issue. The recall affects a whole boatload of vehicles, from police cars to electric vehicles to full-size trucks and SUVs.

The issue with the airbags can be traced to a software defect. In the affected cars, the sensing and diagnostic module might prevent the deployment of front airbags and seat belt pretensioners when a crash is "preceded by a specific event," GM says, but it did not expand upon that further.

Here's the whole list of affected vehicles:

2014-2016: Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet SS, Chevrolet Spark EV

2014-2017: Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Trax, Chevrolet Caprice PPV, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Buick Encore, GMC Sierra 1500

2015-2017: Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Silverado HD, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, GMC Sierra HD, Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac Escalade ESV

While the issue may be serious, thankfully, it's an easy fix. When it's time to head to the dealer, the service department will update your vehicle's software, which should take around an hour. That's it. In the meantime, try to avoid that "specific event" that GM did not explain in any detail whatsoever.