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Holden-built Chevrolets recalled

That again: Chevrolet has recalled its SS and Caprice PPV sedans in North America over a pretensioner wiring glitch similar to a problem that affected Holden’s related VF Commodore and Caprice in 2014.

Pretensioner wiring glitch forces sales halt and recall of Aussie-built Chevrolets

Holden logo31 Aug 2016

By RON HAMMERTON

TWO months after issuing a stop-sale order on its Australian-built Chevrolet SS and Caprice PPV (Police Pursuit Vehicle) sedans in the United States, Chevrolet has announced a safety recall on the vehicles to fix a potential seatbelt pretensioner problem.

The company halted sales from dealerships while it awaited delivery of parts to fix the problem of wear and tear on an electrical cable connected to the pretensioner – the explosive device that tightens the seatbelt in a crash – causing the safety device to fail to fire.

Now Chevrolet has told the official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it is preparing to recall 15,486 of the cars built by Holden since May 2013.

According to GM’s statement published on the NHTSA website, the pretensioner cable can be repeatedly bent over part of the seat structure as the driver enters and exits the vehicle, causing the wire to fatigue and separate.

“If the tensioner cable separates, the driver may not be properly restrained in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury,” it says.

The fix involves replacing any worn cables and fitting a cable guide, along with a new seat trim with a redesigned opening for the cable routing.

According to US news reports, no accidents or injuries have been reported.

The problem is similar to a pretensioner wiring fault on Holden’s Australian-model VF Commodore and WN Caprice – the models on which the two Chevrolets are based – that triggered a safety recall of almost 42,000 cars in Australia on May 26, 2014.

In that case, the pretensioner wiring harness was said to be prone to rubbing on a bolt at the base of the seatbelt assembly, prematurely wearing the wiring.

Again, the result could be pretension failure in a crash, posing a hazard to occupants.

In this case, cars affected by the problem were built between March 2013 and May 2014.

A Holden spokesman said the pretensioner wiring arrangement on the left-hand-drive models in the US was different to that on the right-hand drive Australian variants, meaning the Chevrolet recall would not apply locally.

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