After a person was killed in a rollover accident in a 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe in Texas in 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering whether to conduct a deeper investigation into a potential problem with the model's side airbags.

According to the petition filed with the government agency, the SUV's rollover side curtain airbag deployed in the accident, but the design allegedly still allowed some of the occupants in the second- and third-row seats to be ejected from the vehicle. One of them died in the crash. Based on NHTSA's preliminary review, this is the only report of this type of incident happening in a 2007-2015 Tahoe or GMC Yukon.

"GM investigated the complaint that is the basis of the petition and found no defect trend," company spokesperson Alan Adler said to The Detroit News, and said the automaker will cooperate with the feds.

Still, "a defect petition has been opened to evaluate the issue and make a grant or deny decision," according to NHTSA. Depending on the agency's findings, this could lead to a full investigation and possible recall affecting an estimated 58,000 vehicles.
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INVESTIGATION Subject : Rollover Side Curtain Air Bags

Date Investigation Opened: JUN 11, 2015
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: DP15004
Component(s): AIR BAGS
All Products Associated with this Investigation
Vehicle MakeModelModel Year(s)
CHEVROLET TAHOE 2010
CHEVROLET TAHOE HYBRID 2010
Details

Manufacturer: General Motors LLC

SUMMARY:
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received a petition requesting an investigation of alleged defects that can cause occupant ejections during rollover crashes in certain General Motors vehicles. The petition alleges the defects allow second and third row occupants to be ejected despite the deployment of rollover side curtain air bags. The petition cites a 2011 Texas crash involving a model year 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe, which allegedly resulted in multiple occupants to be ejected. One of the ejected occupants was fatally injured.

ODI's preliminary review of its consumer complaint data found no similar reports of occupant ejections on 2007-2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon vehicles. ODI also reviewed Early Warning Reporting data submitted by General Motors.

A defect petition has been opened to evaluate the issue and make a grant or deny decision. The petition document has been added to the public file for this investigation and can be viewed at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues.


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