WAMEGO, Kansas (KSNT) — A potential safety hazard could affect hundreds of SUVs and trucks out on the road right now, and at first glance it might appear innocuous.
A dashboard defect is an issue a northeast Kansas man worries could cause serious harm. Large cracks are visible in Ryan Niles’ Chevy Silverado – one by the steering wheel and another by the passenger side air bag.
At first Niles didn’t think anything of it. But as those cracks grew, he wonders, “what’s going to happen to the dash if the airbag goes off? Or will the airbag go off, or will it get cut you know on impact because of the cracks? If a piece of plastic becomes a projectile, it could cause serious injury?”
Niles isn’t the only one with that concern. A Facebook Page called “07-13 GM Cracked Dash Safety Hazard For All Trucks” has more than 3,000 members who have similar or worse cracks in the dashboard of their General Motors Vehicles.
“They’re cracking in the same place on all the vehicles. Particularly over the airbag and over the instrument cluster,” said Niles.
A simple search on SaferCar.gov reveals even more complaints. Despite that, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t issued a recall, and Niles wants to know why.
“It’s very frustrating. Very,” said Niles.
KSNT News contacted the NHTSA to find out why no recall has been issued and received this response from Spokeswoman Kathryn Henry:
The frequency of complaints to NHTSA is not by itself a good indicator of a safety defect under the meaning of our authorizing statute. What is actually more important is the hazard resulting from the alleged defect. In this case, while we appreciate the frustration of the costs associated with this issue, we do not see evidence of a demonstrated safety risk. There is also a long period of warning as well so consumers know the issue exists and need to get it repaired. So basically, it’s up to the consumer to have the dashboard repaired at a cost, since it’s not a safety issue. However, this is an issue of the quality of goods produced by the manufacturer. Those complaints should be considered by GM and their customer service.”
Niles worries that means someone will have to get seriously injured or killed before the problem is taken seriously. As a volunteer firefighter he hopes it doesn’t come to that.
KSNT News also contacted General Motors about the problem and are still waiting on a response.
If you’ve noticed a similar issue in your vehicle and have a concern, you can file a complaint here.