General Motors (GM) yesterday announced that it was recalling 243,403 large crossovers vehicles to inspect second-row safety belts for damage that in rare cases could make an occupant think the belt is properly latched when it isn't.
The recall covers 2009-2010 models of the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, the majority of which are in the US, with several thousand having been exported to Canada, Mexico, China and Saudi Arabia as well as a small quantity to other countries.
The Detroit-based carmaker, which is planning to announce an initial public offering soon, said that a few vehicles may have a condition where the second-row seat side trim shield restricts the upward rotation of the seat belt buckle when the seat back is returned to a seating position after being folded flat.
If the buckle makes contact with the seat frame, the buckle may receive cosmetic damage as the seat back is being returned to its upright position. When this occurs, the customer may notice that additional effort is required to return the seat to a seating position.
But if sufficient force is applied, the buckle cover could be pushed down the strap, exposing and partially depressing the red release button. The seat belt release button may not travel as much as designed when depressed. The buckle may not latch or unlatch and may appear to be jammed. In rare instances, the buckle may appear to latch when the latch mechanism is not fully engaged.
''Because of the potential for a false-latch condition, we want customers to return their vehicles to have the recall repair performed as soon as possible,'' said Jeff Boyer, GM executive director of safety.