Although they're no longer officially selling new vehicles in the United States (they have not exhausted their current inventory as of this writing), the newly-christened Suzuki Motor of America is still susceptible to recalls (just ask Coda). Suzuki announced that they will be recalling two of their vehicles for an airbag issue. In all, over 190,000 2006-2011 Grand Vitara sport utility vehicles, as well as the 2007-2011 SX4 compact vehicles.
The issue concerns the passenger airbag sensor, which normally is able to distinguish between the size of a normal child, and an normal-sized adult. However, it has been determined that since the sensor is unable to determine the difference, then the airbag may not deploy in the event of an accident, thus increasing the risk of injury to the front passenger occupant.
Suzuki had received reports of the malfunction as early as 2007, however, instead of issuing a recall, it decided to offer an extended warranty on the affected vehicles. Under federal law, once an automaker is aware of a safety problem, it must notify the safety agency within five business days of their plan to issue a recall, or run the risk of being issued a civil fine. In June of this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an investigation after they received 128 complaints concerning an illuminated airbag warning light.
The latest Suzuki recall with have registered owners taking their vehicles to authorized service centers to inspect and repair the issue, at no charge. Although the recall is expected to commence immediately by notification via U.S. Mail, owners can contact their local authorized service center for more information, or to schedule an appointment.
Source: New York Times