California Lemon Law News + Info

General Motors Trucks and SUVs Plagued With Deadly Airbag and Seat Belt Defects

General Motors faces another class action lawsuit that alleges airbag and seat belt defects have led to thousands of injuries and deaths over the past twenty years.

The lawsuit alleges that a defect in the airbag control units, or the Sensing and Diagnostic Modules, prevents the airbags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying during crashes with multiple impacts.

The plaintiffs are Willian J. Endress, Lee Ford, Gary Clark and Ira Bondsteel. The lawsuit represents those who have a General Motors truck or SUV that contains the defect, and whose vehicles were sold, manufactured, distributed, leased or purchased after July 10, 2009.

According to the lawsuit, the SDM functions as a computer for the seat belt and airbag system.

Inside the SDM, an electronic control unit receives sensor inputs, which an algorithm uses to determine if and when the airbags should deploy during a crash.

The lawsuit claims that the module software is calibrated so that airbags and pretensioners will not deploy if a deployment window has passed. This allegedly creates a “dead zone” during which these systems fail to deploy, even when additional collisions occur. The problem allegedly occurs in some frontal crashes that last for at least 45 milliseconds and require deployment after that benchmark.

General Motors allegedly knows about the SDM defect but refuses to do anything about millions of affected vehicles because of the potential costs.


Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2017–Present vehicle models only.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states.

To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our guides on the California Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law for more information.

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