Older General Motors Pontiac Grand Am Air Bag Safety

Motor Vehicle Safety Directorate

Information: 1-800-333-0371

Vehicle Safety Advisory
V 2007-02 E
October 2007

Older General Motors Pontiac Grand Am Air Bag Safety

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, when substantial amounts of water have entered the vehicle, damage to the air bag computer located on the vehicle floor pan has resulted. Typically the red air bag warning light will come “ON”, indicating that a system fault is present.

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 has entered the vehicle damaging the air bag computer and potentially other vehicle components.

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.

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.

This is an example of a corroded air bag computer. In the interest of safety, air bag computers should only be inspected and repaired by an automotive technician.

A copy of this consumer advisory by Transport Canada on October,16 2007 and further information concerning Defect Investigations and Recalls can be found on Transport Canada's website at: www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety

Media requiring more information:
Jessie Chauhan
Transport Canada
(613) 993-0055

Date modified: