Chevrolet to stop Colorado ZR2 airbags from randomly deploy off-road

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Chevrolet is looking at fixing a problem with the Colorado ZR2 that causes the airbags to deploy when the vehicle is taken even slightly off-road.

However, GM is working around calling the defect-correction a “recall” by instead referring to it as a “customer-satisfaction initiative.”

Jalopnik reported back in September that seven different owners of the ZR2 complained about their roof-rail airbags going off after taking their truck through easy off-road trails, something the ZR2 was marketed to do from the get-go.

Now thanks to a ZR2 Facebook group posting, we’ve learned about Chevrolet’s “Unwanted Roof-Rail Air Bag Deployments While Off-Roading” program, which aims to fix the issue for 2017 through 2019 model year vehicles.

To prevent the airbags from deploying, GM will reprogram a sensing and diagnostic module with new software; as for vehicles that have already had the airbags deploy, Chevy will reimburse those customers for the repair costs. A GM representative clarified the statement that this was not a recall.

“A safety recall is a regulatory requirement, issued when there is a defect that results in an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety,” the spokesperson said. “Customer satisfaction campaigns are issued to fix quality concerns that don’t rise to that threshold, but that we still want to fix for the benefit of the customer.”

Roof-rail airbags do not work like regular airbags: they do not require an impact to be deployed, and instead work via vehicle motion sensors to detect sudden movements, something common while off-roading. Recalibrating the sensors should allow a greater tolerance for movement.

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