GM recalls 800 Grand Prix, government continues investigation into 635,000 others

Thursday, July 26th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal safety officials are investigating whether General Motors Corp. has covered all defective vehicles in its recall of about 800 Pontiac Grand Prix sedans with faulty air bags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's investigation includes 635,965 Montana minivans and Grand Prix from the 1998-2001 model years. GM's recall involves only 1999 models.

A driver of a 1999 Grand Prix was injured when the air bag ruptured during deployment, sending a 2-inch disk-shaped fragment and hot gases into the driver's face and causing numerous injuries.

NHTSA opened the investigation in January and upgraded it to a more intensive level last month.

General Motors spokesman Jim Schell said Thursday that the automaker called all of the affected owners earlier this month to tell them about the air bag problem. Pontiac dealers towed the cars to their shops and provided rental cars while the air bag inflator modules were replaced, all free of charge.

The automaker said the recall covers all the vehicles with defective air bags. Those vehicles were made in September 1998.