For immediate release
October 19, 2007
Transport Canada advises the owners of older Pontiac Grand Am vehicles that certain conditions can cause a malfunction in the vehicle air bag computer, resulting in the sudden deployment of either the driver's, passenger's or both frontal air bags. A sudden deployment of an air bag, without a crash, may cause injury or a loss of vehicle control.
In a number of occurrences, substantial amounts of water entering the vehicle has resulted in damage to the air bag computer located on the vehicle floor pan. Typically the red air bag warning light will come "ON", indicating that a system fault is present.
Should you be the owner of a 1996 – 1997 Pontiac Grand Am, it is recommended that you have the interior vehicle floor examined for the presence of water and have the air bag computer examined for signs of corrosion. Also, if you notice or have noticed that the air bag warning light stays "ON", you should NOT drive the vehicle. Have the vehicle towed to a repair facility for inspection.
In 2003, General Motors of Canada issued a Notice of Defect, meeting the requirements of section 10 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, informing owners of the concern at that time.
It appears that a number of current owners are not aware of the concern, and water may have entered the vehicle damaging the air bag computer and other vehicle components.
It is important for vehicle users to recognize that as vehicles age in our Canadian environment, corrosion takes place and can influence vehicle operation and safety.
A Vehicle Safety Advisory was issued by Transport Canada on October 17, 2007. Further information can be found on Transport Canada's website at: www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/tp/tp14665/v200702/menu.htm
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