For the second time in two years, General Motors has investigated faulty seat belts in Chevrolet Impalas and this time the examination has resulted in a recall of more than 300,000 of the longstanding vehicle.
The automaker said that in 2009 and 2010 Impalas, the front safety belt straps may not be not secured to the lap belt anchor pretensioner that is mounted on the side of the doors. Thus, passengers may not be properly protected.
GM also said straps can separate from the anchor in a crash, no longer restraining the passenger. No injuries or deaths have been reported, GM said.
Introduced in 1958 as Chevrolet’s most expensive car, the Impala is named as southern African antelope. Competing and the Ford Galaxie 500 and Plymouth Fury, it became the best selling automobile in the United States.
The Impala continued as Chevrolet’s most popular full-size model through the mid-eighties, discontinued for a short while and reintroduced for the 1994 model year.
GM dealers will mail notifications to customers by Oct. 25 to bring in their 2009 or 2010 models for inspection. If necessary, dealers will reinstall the seat belt anchors for free.
In June 2009, GM investigated nine reports of seat belt warranty repairs that noted the separation. GM initially believed that the condition was confined to models built between July 2008 and September 2008.
But after receiving additional reports, GM assigned a product investigation engineer to review the issue in July 2010. As of mid-August, the company had received 32 reports of seat belt straps separating from the anchors during vehicle use.
Article Last Updated: September 5, 2013.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.