GM to fix unexpected airbag deployment problem on Colorado ZR2 trucks

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We wrote about the side impact airbags deploying unexpectedly on Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 models a couple of months back, and now Chevy has an answer for us: It’s fixing the problem.

A Chevy spokesperson sent us a statement regarding its plan of action:

“Today, we notified Chevrolet dealers of a customer-satisfaction initiative to recalibrate the thresholds for the roof mounted side air bags for ZR2 owners. The updated calibration is available as of today, and will be installed free of charge the next time the customers take their ZR2 to a Chevrolet dealer.”

Owners of ZR2s were complaining about the threshold Chevy mentions. The side airbags would go off when there was virtually no reason during off-road maneuvers, according to videos of specific instances. Chevy says it has 11 reports from owners whose roof-mounted side airbags deployed while off-roading. We’re told that Chevy is going to reimburse any owners for repair costs related to the event, “provided the event data was available to confirm the incident.” This means Chevy will be pulling data from your truck to make sure you actually did experience an unnecessary airbag deployment.

We asked how Chevy is going about the work being done here. Engineers reportedly pulled data from actual customer vehicles, then used that as a guide for changes to the system. Hopefully, the data lead them to the right sensitivity levels — Chevy tells us the side impact airbags are the only ones triggered by a predictive system, rather than impact sensors. It’s still rather surprising how the issue didn’t crop up in GM’s testing of the off-road truck, though. This beast is way too fun not to push the limits with it, and those airbag limits seem shockingly low.

Airbag problems with non-ZR2 Colorados don’t appear to be anywhere near as plentiful, and Chevy says the fix is limited to ZR2s only. For those wondering, Chevy is not defining this as a recall. Rather, it’s billed as a “customer satisfaction campaign.” Owners aren’t technically required to take the trucks in to a dealer, but if they do, Chevy plans on performing the fix.

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