Supplier urged GM to look into Chevrolet Cobalt crash test anomaly in 2004

Article by Christian A., on July 1, 2014

A congressional committee investigating General Motors has released a report by a supplier which assessed an “anomaly” in a crash test on a pre-production Chevrolet Cobalt. The report said that the supplier -- Siemens VDO Automotive -- has urged GM in 2004 to look closer at the relationship between the ignition system and airbag deployment.

A July 1, 2004, report by the supplier assessed the reasons why frontal and side-impact airbag sensors simultaneously shut down less than two-tenths of a second following the moment of impact. The report was written around a month before the carmaker starting producing the first Cobalts.

The report assessed both the results of the crash test and a series of laboratory simulations conducted by Siemens VDO to see how the airbag sensors would respond to a loss of power.

Siemens engineer Douglas McConnell wrote in the report that the cutoff of the sensors “appeared to be indicative of an ignition cycle.” He recommended that future severe crashes have ignition voltage and [in-vehicle network] messages monitored to find out the root cause of the Power Off issue.

While the report doesn’t tag the faulty ignition switch as responsible for the power loss, it was consider as significant since it shows that a GM-commissioned analysis had flagged a possible relationship between a loss of power and airbags not deploying and recommended that the carmaker determine the root cause – all done even before GM built and rolled out its first production Cobalt.

According to an investigation conducted by former federal prosecutor Anton Valukas, GM’s inability to recognize the connection was the primary reason for its failure to identify the defective ignition switch as a fatal safety flaw.

His report remarked that the connection to airbag non-deployment was not widely understood by GM employees until almost five years after the 2004 crash test. He wrote in his report that GM engineers inexplicably failed to recognize that the loss of power from a key moving into accessory caused the airbag system to shut off. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

The Chinese market will soon be getting the exclusive China-only model, Mercedes-Benz GLC-L, for a premium of 15,000 yuan ($2,300) more than the regular model. The difference is actually quite...
by - January 20, 2018
The Bentley Bentayga is set to participate in the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb that is slated to take place on June 24th in Colorado. The automaker’s motorsport department...
by - January 19, 2018
Infiniti will commence sales of the new 2019 Infiniti QX50 in the spring, with a starting price of $36,550. But before the big launch, Infiniti has introduced a new reservation...
by - January 18, 2018
BMW fans may be surprised with what the car manufacturer’s boss Robert Irlinger said in a recent interview with Autocar during a recent media meeting. And this is the fact...
by - January 18, 2018
Currently, there aren’t any Lexus convertibles out in the market, but it seems like it won’t be too long until we see one again. This is because Toyota’s premium brand...
by - January 18, 2018
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries