General Motors Co. is recalling more than 29,000 Chevrolet Cruze compact cars because metal parts in the air bag assemblies can hit the driver and passengers if the bags are inflated.
The cars, from the 2013 and 2014 model years, were built with an incorrect baffle, and that can cause the air bag inflator to rupture if the bags are deployed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. If that happens, metal fragments could hit people in the car, and the air bags may not inflate to protect them.
The air bags were built by Japanese parts supplier Takata Corp., but the problem is different from another air bag issue that’s causing big recalls across the auto industry, the safety agency said Thursday.
GM had ordered dealers to stop selling new Cruzes on Wednesday.
Spokesman Jim Cain said the order for most cars was lifted later in the day when GM determined which cars were affected.
“Dealers can now sell most of the Cruzes they have in stock,” said Jim Cain, a GM spokesman.
The Cruze is GM’s most popular car, and many among the affected sedans have been sold to customers. The issue is potentially a result of a wrong part being used by Takata.
Takata inflators are currently the subject of a recall involving millions of vehicles made by BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota. Those cars’ air bag inflators contain propellant that can explode in certain situations.
GM has had a turbulent year in which it has recalled millions of cars.
Among them have been millions of small cars, including the Chevrolet Cobalt, that have faulty ignition switches that could shut off the engine, disabling the air bags and resulting in a loss of power assist to the steering and brakes. That defect has been linked to 13 deaths.
In the wake of the recalls and investigations, GM has started safety initiatives and changed procedures. On Thursday, GM’s chief executive, Mary Barra, appeared on the “Today” show on NBC and reiterated that the company continued to investigate safety issues and that more recalls might be on the horizon.
“We’re going to continue to look at the data that we get, and we’re going to take the action that we need,” she said. “If we find an issue, we’re going to deal with it.”