WASHINGTON — General Motors is recalling 289,254 2009-'10 Chevrolet Impala sedans because of an electrical system problem that may affect certain safety features, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"The front-passenger seat frame may contact and damage the wires of the passenger-presence sensor module," NHTSA said in its recall summary. "If the wires are damaged, the passenger-presence sensory system may fail to recognize that the passenger seat is occupied, disabling the airbag.
"Damage may also cause the airbag fuse to short, resulting in a loss of all airbags and seatbelt pretentions. Both conditions increase the risk of injury during a crash."
GM spokesman Tom Wilksinson said the company is "aware of two accidents and two injuries that may be related to the defect."
There are at least three warnings to alert the customer that the wires of the PPS module may be damaged.
The passenger airbag status indicator will indicate that the passenger airbag is off even when a passenger is sitting in the front passenger seat; the service airbag message will be displayed in the instrument cluster; and the airbag telltale light may be illuminated.
The affected Impalas were built from April 25, 2008 through February 16, 2010.
Chevrolet dealers will double wrap the wires with anti-abrasion tape and replace damaged wires as necessary.
A date has not been set for the recall. Owners can contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-521-7300.
Edmunds says: Owners will want to schedule a service appointment as soon as they receive their official recall notice. But if you have an immediate concern, it's best to contact your dealer now.