April 4, 2003

GM recalls 1997 Blazer, Jimmy, and Bravadas to replace seat belt buckle

Detroit, Michigan – General Motors is recalling about 341,000 model year 1997 Chevrolet Blazer, GMC Jimmy, and Oldsmobile Bravada midsize SUVs to replace a driver seat belt buckle assembly with a new buckle assembly. Of the total, about 313,000 of the vehicles are in the U.S. and approximately 19,000 are in Canada. The rest are outside the U.S. and Canada.

The midsize SUVs involved in this recall are not the new Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, and Oldsmobile Bravada SUVs that went on the market in 2001.

Beginning in July, GM will notify owners of the affected vehicles, instructing them to bring them into their Chevrolet, GMC, and Oldsmobile dealers. Dealers will install a new seat belt buckle assembly that does not contain an energy-absorbing loop. The repairs will be performed at no cost to the customers.

The driver’s buckle design used in the 1997 midsize SUVs incorporated an energy-absorbing loop where stitching separates and webbing extends under certain frontal collision conditions. This energy-absorbing feature enabled the occupant restraint system for the driver to meet or exceed GM and federal head injury criteria (HIC) values measured in lab testing.

GM is recalling these vehicles because there may be reduced driver restraint if the energy-absorbing loop fully deploys during severe rollover conditions. Rollovers comprise a small percentage of the total crash events that occur in the field, however, GM is taking this action in the interest of safety of our customers. Overall, the driver’s seat belt is a safe belt and helps provide protection in many types of crash events. Additionally, energby absorbing loops are widely used in the industry and help provided effective restraint.

Blazer, Jimmy and Bravada models can meet GM and federal government standards with new seat belt buckle assembly that does not contain an energy-absorbing loop.

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