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Old 10-03-2012, 09:24 PM   #1
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Wonder when the 1LE pops it air bags if GM will cover it

Had an issue a few weekends ago where my side curtains popped while cornering on the track. Opened a case with GM and was told yesterday basically too bad you modified the car and had damage to the front end. The "damage" was grass that caught on my front splitter as I drove off the track into the grass to avoid being run over. (I told all this to the Raytheon engineer that examined my car.)

So I asked the customer rep if the air bag system in the ZL1 and 1LE is the same as the SS. She had no clue what I was even talking about. Basically a waste of time. So you guys ordering a 1LE think you're getting a "track" car. Yeah I would be careful with that one. First time you aggressively drive the car and your air bags pop, GM will tell you sorry the car was doing what it was supposed to. I was told basically the car thought a rollover was eminent and it did what it was designed to do. After doing web searches for air bag problems I encountered a statement by GM. "In May, GM recalled 4,304 2013 Chevrolet Malibus to reprogram the airbag sensing and diagnostic module, which detects whether crash forces are sufficient to deploy the airbags. In the recall, which began in June, GM said that after hard braking, the module can "reset itself" and cause the curtain airbags to deploy "during an aggressive turning maneuver."


I have driven this particular corner over 100 times. Likely my problem was the hard braking before the turn. The way you're supposed to drive on a track. I'll accept the fact my car's suspension is modded, and maybe that contributed to it so. I accept that I eat the repairs. Thing is other than being lower than a 1LE, I have a similar setup, i.e. tire width, stiffer bushings, etc. So time will tell what happens once these cars hit the track. So don't try to sell a "track" car unless you're willing to back it up GM. BTW, this was during an HPDE event with a Shelby club. Have yet to see a Mustang exhibit this problem. They were having a field day ripping on GM that day.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:43 PM   #2
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I have never heard of any car doing this. That is crazy right there. How much did the car jar when you hitnthe grass and how fadt were you going?
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
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Me going into the grass was irrelevant. The air bags deployed at the apex of the curve on the track. I went off the track after they popped.

Google Camaro air bags. I'm not the only one.

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Old 10-03-2012, 10:03 PM   #4
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I estimate between 50-60 mph. Turn 6 at Black Hawk Farms in South Beloit IL.

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Old 10-03-2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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You're not the first person this has happened to. Deep inside Camaro 5 there is a thread somewhere of this happening and a youtube video. I would suspect that the engineers took the high G capability of the 1LE in account when programming the airbag sensors, but haven't heard anything. Im wonder if any ZL1 guys have had a problem. This is something that it would be nice to hear from GM on.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:23 AM   #6
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You're not the first person this has happened to. Deep inside Camaro 5 there is a thread somewhere of this happening and a youtube video. I would suspect that the engineers took the high G capability of the 1LE in account when programming the airbag sensors, but haven't heard anything. Im wonder if any ZL1 guys have had a problem. This is something that it would be nice to hear from GM on.
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=164403

I don't know .... the track videos on the 1LE don't show this egregious amount of smoking tires when on the track. I'm not saying the airbags should have deployed but isn't this video a corner (no pun intended) case?
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:35 AM   #7
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It happened at Camaro5fest in Arizona on one of the Bondurant Camaros that was doing hot laps...A CTS V doing autocross at the Hot Rod Power Tour this year had all the side air bags deploy on the passenger side...so it does happen on occasion...
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:36 PM   #8
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I would think this would be covered under warranty for false deployment.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:29 PM   #9
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I wonder if it's possible to disable the airbags via fuse/relay pulls prior to going out on track.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:05 PM   #10
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I would think this would be covered under warranty for false deployment.
No, already went this route with GM Customer Service. They are covering their asses and divulging nothing of what caused it. They have an engineering report on the data gathered from the car, but refuse to let me see it unless I subpoena it. Their standard answer is the car thought a rollover was eminent and the air bags deployed. I'm sure if I got a lawyer and spend $$$ I might get an answer. But the end result would likely still be a refusal to pay up. So cutting my losses and paying for it myself

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I wonder if it's possible to disable the airbags via fuse/relay pulls prior to going out on track.
I stopped by the dealer today to get the ball rolling on repair. I asked the service rep if there is a way to disable the system while using the car on the track. He talked with the Corvette expert who also works on the Camaros and told me there is. Of course, it will be unofficial and he'll deny they ever said anything. Obviously they are not going to tell people how to do this and have some idiot drive on the street with it disabled and get into an accident.

My whole point in starting this thread is to warn you guys about driving the Camaro on the track. While GM may be advertising the 1LE as a track car, the definition of what a track car is in their eyes needs to be clarified. I know how aggressive I drive and how aggressive the Ford guys I drove with are. They don't seem to have any problems. It's not like I was drifting my car or hit something, or went off the track when this happened. I learned a lesson the hard way and that's the Camaro SS is not a track car for even occasional road course. The air bag system on the Camaro is like running a foot race with a rope tied around your ankles. If you run too fast, you're gonna trip.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #11
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Anybody remember this??

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Old 10-04-2012, 03:16 PM   #12
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So the $1m question is...what's this going to cost you? What parts get wrecked?
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:47 PM   #13
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So the $1m question is...what's this going to cost you? What parts get wrecked?
I'll know in a day or two. Initial guess is between $5 and $8k. The dealer had recently fixed a Suburban with blown side curtains. His cost was 8k. There's a lot of labor involved in getting to all the parts needing to be replaced.

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Old 10-04-2012, 03:59 PM   #14
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My buddy has this happen on is 08 Chev 1500 and it was 6500$ to fix. Went around a corner, was icy hit the curb, no damage to truck other then his rim (24") and side curtains came down even tho no damage to the truck was done.


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Old 10-04-2012, 03:59 PM   #15
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I wonder if there is a fuse one could pull to disable this.... ?
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:09 PM   #16
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Disable your air bags? You first.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:23 PM   #17
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Disable your air bags? You first.
I wouldn't do it on the street.

However on the track an inadvertent air bag depolyment could CAUSE a crash. In the OP's case if I'm reading it right the air bag deployment caused him to go off track. He's lucky he just mowed some grass. He could have ended up in a wall.

If inadvertent air bag deployment is a risk I think I'd rather take my chances with just the seat belt.

Also, if its just the side curtains that are the problem, perhaps there would be a way to only disable those.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:45 PM   #18
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So the $1m question is...what's this going to cost you? What parts get wrecked?
I know if all airbags deploy in the Camaro they cost $10k to replace. Not sure on just side airbags.

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I wonder if there is a fuse one could pull to disable this.... ?
Yes there is. It is located in the fuse box on the drivers side of the dash.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:52 PM   #19
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:56 PM   #20
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I know if all airbags deploy in the Camaro they cost $10k to replace. Not sure on just side airbags.



Yes there is. It is located in the fuse box on the drivers side of the dash.
But be cautious with even doing that. Some control modules maintain power even after the power is pulled, in case you were to have a crash and all electrical power cut out. Just not sure how long that is. I read this in one of GM's tech brochures they use to teach techs about general air bag operations. Once I get the answer from the technician who likely is the guy who is fixing mine, I'll confirm what has to be done. Not the Camaro, but another Chevy model.

WARNING: SDM maintains sufficient voltage to cause air bag deployment for up to 10
minutes after ignition switch is turned OFF, battery is disconnected, or
fuse powering SDM is removed. In order to begin servicing immediately,
inflator modules must be removed from deployment loop.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:02 PM   #21
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1st Mistake was admitting to being at the track. Should have towed it home cleaned off the grass and called your insurance company...
It would be a safe bet that the sensitivity levels are set differently on ZL-1s and 1LE's
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:12 PM   #22
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So the $1m question is...what's this going to cost you? What parts get wrecked?
To fix everything, $3987 parts and labor. I know this is MSRP on the parts based on what he told me the headliner cost and what I can get it for. I have a buddy who's tight with the service manager so I'll see if he can help me out. I have gotten other parts from this dealer heavily discounted through my buddy's business.

Breakdown was about $2100 in parts, rest is labor. And they are considered special order parts.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:16 PM   #23
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To fix everything, $3987 parts and labor. I know this is MSRP on the parts based on what he told me the headliner cost and what I can get it for. I have a buddy who's tight with the service manager so I'll see if he can help me out. I have gotten other parts from this dealer heavily discounted through my buddy's business.

Breakdown was about $2100 in parts, rest is labor. And they are considered special order parts.
Is it possible to just fix the headliner cosmetically and not replace the bags? They can't inavertently deploy if you don't replace them.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:23 PM   #24
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You can pull a fuse.

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showth...=airbag&page=3
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:37 PM   #25
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Is it possible to just fix the headliner cosmetically and not replace the bags? They can't inavertently deploy if you don't replace them.
Headliner is wrinkled, no fixing it. Imagine it's like a piece of foam board you buy for kid's school projects. It flexes to a point and go to far it snaps. Now you have these crinkles that can't be removed.

As for not putting in air bags, the thought crossed my mind. Place the resistors to fool the module and button it up. However, I would never be able to sell the car now that this mishap is on the record of the car and not be able to prove it was fully repaired. I do not want the liability of someone getting hurt or killed and blaming me for not putting the car back together properly and safely. If I was 100% sure I was keeping this car I would take all the air bags out and replace it with a roll cage. I am hooked on road racing, and if the Camaro isn't a capable enough car then I'll buy one that is. I need to get past this problem first before deciding.
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