"Two weld studs that mount the front-and-rear side-impact airbag assemblies to the seat frames may fracture and separate during airbag deployment," GM said in an e-mailed statement. "If the vehicle is in a crash necessitating side airbag deployment, and both weld studs fracture, the inflated cushion may not remain in its intended position and may separate from the seat, increasing the risk of injury to occupants.
There are no reports of injuries or crashes linked to the recall.
Another 105 affected Malibus are being recalled in Canada.
The problem was found during routine testing, GM said.
It also noted that the recall is not part of the ongoing Takata recall for defective airbag inflators.
GM said the side-impact airbag assembly is supplied by Takata, but uses an inflator from supplier ARC Automotive.
"The condition relates to the integrity of the studs that hold the assembly to the seat frame, not the performance or safety of the inflator," GM said.
No information has been posted about the recall on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees vehicle safety in the U.S.
Edmunds says: Owners of these vehicles should wait for their official recall notice and then schedule a service appointment with their dealer. If you have an immediate concern, it's best to contact your dealer now.