Earlier this week, General Motors issued a recall for about 33,000 Chevrolet Cruze sedans with defective Takata airbags. CNBC is reporting that the recall was triggered by a lawsuit filed after an airbag injured a woman, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Although GM did not specify the lawsuit, CNBC says the lawsuit was filed by Brandi Owens in late April against both GM and Takata. Owens was left blind in one eye after an accident involving the defective airbags. Filings from the lawsuit claim that the airbags in her 2013 Chevy Cruze deployed “with such force that it detached from the steering wheel and struck (her) in the face, causing her left eye to rupture.”
GM told NHTSA that it first learned of the lawsuit on May 1. The automaker then inspected the vehicle four days later and met with NHTSA officials three times between late May and June before finally announcing the recall.
The news is part of the greater scandal surrounding airbags made by Takata. More than 10.5 million vehicles worldwide have been recalled in connection to Takata airbags that could have defective inflators that can send metal fragments flying into vehicles or improperly deploy. Seven automakers announced it would recall more than 1 million vehicles due to concerns about the airbags.
NHTSA opened an investigation after six reports of airbags deploying improperly in humid climates, including Florida and Puerto Rico.
GM has said that while similar, the problem with the Chevrolet Cruze airbags is not directly related to the exploding Takata airbags.