Although Chevrolet sales in Malaysia stopped in 2018 after Naza Quest ended its association with the brand, there is still an obligation to provide certain aftersales support where safety is concerned. In the case of Chevrolet, there is an urgent need to replace the Takata airbag inflator module which can break up when inflating and cause serious injuries or even death to the front occupants of the vehicle.
GM, as with many other carmakers, has been announcing recalls of vehicles globally for this matter. Even though the Takata issue surfaced some 20 years ago, there are still millions of vehicles around the world which have not had their inflator modules replaced.
As Chevrolet has not been active locally, the recall campaign for 3,275 vehicles has not been highlighted strongly since being announced last June. The exercise is handled by Chevrolet Sales Thailand, which is responsible for the recall campaign in the Southeast Asian region.
It has now issued a reminder to owners in Malaysia of the following models:
● Chevrolet Cruze (2010–2015)
● Chevrolet Orlando (2013–2015)
● Chevrolet Sonic (2013–2014)
● Chevrolet TRAX (2017)
Additionally, the SAAB 9-3 (2007) model is also on the list, and GM is recalling it as the Swedish brand was in the GM group back then. However, in Malaysia, it was not sold by the NAZA Group.
Low response rate in Malaysia
According to a spokesperson for Chevrolet Sales Thailand, the response rate in Malaysia has been below expectations. “We hope Malaysian motorists will help spread the alert, or forward it to friends and loved ones who may own an affected Chevrolet vehicle. Affected Chevrolet owners who did not receive alerts or calls due to outdated data are encouraged to contact our call team or log on to the recall campaign microsite for more details. For the safety of you and your loved ones, it is ideal to have the airbag replaced before holiday travels begin,” the spokesperson said.
According to Chevrolet, since the affected vehicles are not new, it has been difficult to trace existing owners due to outdated customer data. This is not unusual as owners will change over time, but it is usually only the first owner whose data is available. After that, unless subsequent owners bother to inform the local distributor, there is no way of knowing who they are and how to contact them with such recall notices.
The matter is further compounded by the lack of an official Chevrolet representative nor aftersales agents in Malaysia. Nevertheless, the company has arranged with Honda Malaysia to use its authorized service centres (selected locations) to carry out the work on affected Chevrolet vehicles. Although the warranty has expired, the labour cost and parts for the replacement of airbag inflator module will not have to be paid by the owner.
The choice of Honda Malaysia could be that General Motors, Chevrolet’s parent company, has a close relationship with Honda. The two companies have already signed agreements to work together to develop, build and sell affordable electric vehicles during the second half of this decade. So it may be that there was a request from GM and Honda’s headquarters asked Honda Malaysia to assist.
“While the deadline for the collaboration has not been announced, affected owners are encouraged to take advantage of this convenience as soon as possible, as it will be very difficult to access recall repairs once the collaboration with Honda Malaysia ends,” said the spokesperson.
How to get a replacement
Full information, including the list of designated Honda service centres, can be found at this website concerning the Chevrolet recall. A call team has also been set up to assist customers who may have difficulty connecting to the internet. To reach this team, call 011 3129 9963 or 011 3129 9965 during working hours (9 am to 6 pm) daily, except Saturdays, Sundays and national public holidays. The number is only for the Takata airbag recall and not for any other matters related to Chevrolet or SAAB vehicles or services.
Before visiting a designated Honda service centre, the owner must first obtain the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN which is somewhere on the vehicle. Once the number is noted, it has to be provided to the service centre for verification and if the vehicle is on the recall list, then an appointment can be set to make the replacement. It should be noted that the service centres will not entertain walk-ins, so you will need to call or send e-mail first.