I'm just back from GM Goodwrench for an airbag recall. The part in question is as you see in the picture.


It looks like a fresh break, and the repair required pealing the carpet partly back, but I cannot prove that they did this break during this repair. My near certainty only comes from having rarely needed any maintenance on the car, and, aside from another factory recall (about ten years ago, for unsecured side windows), I always went to a mechanic who let me hang around and watch.

I find it particularly nasty that the mechanic at Goodwrench wouldn't tell me that it's broken (I noticed it later). I went back to talk to him because he had left another plug nearby unattached with the carpet loose. If he just handed me the plug and the broken plastic part, I could use some glue and put it back together. I like to treat my car nicely, and, even if it advances in age, would like to keep it intact.

So I'm wondering. Is this sort of thing normal at a mechanic (and the official one no less) and I should just keep my fingers crossed that replacing the airbag ECM and inflator (the subjects of the recall) have actually been completed properly?

  • 1
    That looks deliberately cut away to me. It is possible that was intended by the recall procedure. I'd ask the service manager for a copy of the written procedure. (I presume this is for a passenger side Takata front airbag?)
    – zipzit
    May 12, 2016 at 0:55
  • IIRC the SRS module is under the shifter trim and that part shouldn't of had to of been removed. Unless they tried sliding it out the side.
    – Ben
    May 12, 2016 at 0:58
  • @Moab. Pass side airbag. Absolutely yes that's an area they'd have to touch. To replace an airbag you have to unbolt the entire instrument panel slide it aft 12 inches then work thru the open car door. HVAC unit stays mounted to steel dash panel.
    – zipzit
    May 12, 2016 at 0:59
  • @zipzit re your 1st comment: Good point. I guess it's conceivable. Stupid of GM to "fix" something this way. But conceivable. It's indeed for a passenger side air bag inflator as well as for a supplemental restraint system electronic control module.
    – Calaf
    May 12, 2016 at 1:20
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the question revolves around subjective advice about a business relationship. May 14, 2016 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


I think the damage was intentional, I see pliers marks on the plastic, have seen this type of marking many times. They are the parallel lines in the image below, made by the plier jaws.

Not sure if they had to do it or were taking a shortcut at your expense.

What you can do about it?

Talk to the service manager about it, if they blow you off or don't get a satisfactory answer, move up the chain to the General Manager, then the Owner if needed, lastly contact GM corporate offices, yes Corporate does care what people think about their warranty service.

enter image description here

  • You know, unless there is a procedure from GM describing a tab removal, ask them to schedule the car for service so they can replace the entire heating ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit. Ask them what the price is for that repair. (Note: Its not a repair I'd actually do, I'd just threaten it. You don't want to trust this dealership with that repair. They can screw up a whole bunch of stuff when they do that...)
    – zipzit
    May 13, 2016 at 22:32
  • +1 for talking to the Service Manager and on up the line as needed. They are getting paid to do a job and F'd it up. The reason is, GM paid for this, not the dealership. GM does not want a bad reputation, thus the recall in the first place. Do what you have to do, but make sure there is plenty of foot stomping (figuratively) and get your point across. If GM sees this as a systemic issue, the dealership can lose their Goodwrench license (to advertise and repair as Goodwrench) which will kill their business. Don't fear this; embrace it ... with both feet if necessary. May 14, 2016 at 0:28

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