NHTSA — Air Bags Problems

1996 Pontiac Grand Am (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
15 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,842 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1996 Pontiac Grand Am seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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1996 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

Sep 062009

Grand Am

  • 140,400 miles


Air bag when off when I was waiting to pull aut off parking lot. Have injury to my shoulder.

- Avenel, NJ, USA

problem #33

Sep 082011

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Driver air bag deployed without warning.

- Avanel, NJ, USA

problem #32

Apr 042014

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
I was leaving my place of employment, had just backed out of my parking spot and put the car in drive. Started moving forward and the driver's side airbag deployed. No bumps, no contact with another vehicle. Just deployed. Steering wheel parts hit my arm, bruised it pretty well. Have since purchased another vehicle.

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #31

May 292013

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was advised to the contact that the sensor was disconnected and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Kansas City , MO, USA

problem #30

Sep 162012

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • 104,203 miles
While driving home from the park, driver side air bag went off, burst of powder and horn blowing, scraped right hand. Was able to pull to side of road and undo fuse to horn. Found out by going online many others have had this happen is there any recourse to this that I can follow up on? note: It seems GMC has known about this and really should have recalled these vehicles or taken them off the road, serious injury or death could have happened if these blow without cause.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #29

Aug 212012

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • 125,299 miles
I had just turned my car on and put it in reverse to back out of a parking spot. I only moved about two inches backwards, not even going over 5 mph, when the air bag randomly deployed without warning. It hit me on the left side of my head/neck, chest, and arm resulting in cuts, burns, and bruises in those areas. My left ear started ringing and I momentarily lost hearing on that side. I did not hit anything with my vehicle nor did something hit me. My car did not even leave the parking spot before this incident occurred. After I gained composure and realized what had just happened, I made my way out of the car and a man who witnessed everything walked me to the fire department near by. My cuts were tended to and I was transported to the hospital by ambulance for further treatment and examining.

- Brockport, NY, USA

problem #28

Nov 022011

Grand Am

  • miles


The contact owns a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated that the front driver side air bag deployed inadvertently while the contact was seated in the front driver side seat. The air bag was on fire and ignited the jacket that the contact was wearing. The contact was able to extinguish the fire and shut the vehicle off. The fire department reported to the scene and a fire report was filed. The fire department taped the air bag into the dashboard in order for the contact to be able to drive the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for diagnostics or repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was unknown.

- New Haven, CT, USA

problem #27

Mar 212011

Grand Am

  • 230,000 miles
The contact owns a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the driver and passenger air bags deployed without warning. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired by a dealer or mechanic. The manufacturer was contacted but the contact was advised to call back the following day. The vehicel was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was approximately 230,000.

- Parkersburg, WV, USA

problem #26

Feb 252011

Grand Am

  • 180,000 miles
TL - the contact owns a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph the air bags deployed without any explanation. He also mentioned that the air bag itself had burn marks. The dealer nor the manufacturer were not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 180,000.

- Benson , MN, USA

problem #25

Aug 072010

Grand Am

  • 145,000 miles
My daughter was driving our 1996 Pontiac Grand Am at approximately 30mph when the airbag suddenly deployed.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #24

Jun 122010

Grand Am

  • 183,000 miles


TL-the contact owns a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. While the vehicle was parked the contact had just put the key in the ignition when the drivers airbag deployed. The contact was then driving at 30mph when the passengers airbag deployed without a crash. The dealer was contacted and they stated that they needed to inspect it. After the inspection was done they told him the wires were corroded which caused the deployment. There have been no repairs to the vehicle and they stated this issue can't be repaired. The failure mileage was 183000 and the current mileage was 185000.cv

- Sinclaire, MI, USA

problem #23

Jun 132008

Grand Am

  • 186,000 miles
I have a 1996 ponitac Grand Am that has water in the passenger compartment. GM sent a letter stating that the air bag module could deploy the air bags with warning while driving without a crash or when the key is turn on. This has many complaints but no one is doing anything. As a auto tech for my own safety as well of others there should be a recall and of the effective years or 96-98 Grand Am. They said injuries have been reported already.

- Mounds View, MN, USA

problem #22

May 052009

Grand Am

  • 100,608 miles
My airbag deployed under normal driving conditions (no impact/crash, no damage, etc.) after doing some research, I learned that it could be due to the fact that my car was wet (not flooded.) I suffered brush burns up my forearms. I received a letter from Pontiac stating that they are aware of this problem, however, there is no recall and it is up to the owner to fix it (at the owner's expense.) if Pontiac is aware of the problem, and sent out millions of letters, they should issue a recall. At the very least, they should pay for the damages/repairs.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #21

Apr 282009

Grand Am

  • miles
The contact owns a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. While driving 35 mph, the air bag deployed in the contact's face. There was no impact or crash at the time of the deployment. She lost control of the vehicle, but managed to pull over to the side of the road. The contact was the only occupant in the vehicle and she was wearing her seat belt at the time. She suffered severe chemical burns all over her face and was transported to the emergency room for her injuries. The contact has not yet notified Pontiac. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Conneaut, OH, USA

problem #20

Apr 272009

Grand Am

  • miles
The contact owns a 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. While driving approximately 35 mph, the front driver's side air bag deployed without warning. There were no injuries. The vehicle has not been inspected to determine the cause of the failure. The failure and current mileages were unknown.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #19

Mar 032008

Grand Am

  • 172,000 miles
1996 Pontiac Grand Am air bags deployed with no contact or collision. Vehicle had to be sold to salvage co. Due to local codes. Vehicle damage too costly to repair. Driver sustained injury.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #18

Sep 011996

Grand Am

  • 11,700 miles
06/05 water under the dash made me think the windshield was leaking-an auto glass dealer determined it was not leaking and agreed to take out the carpet-he discovered the firewall was not sealed properly from the factory- I paid him to seal it & dry & replace the carpet...09/07 I had problems with the all the alarm lights on the dash coming on---after turning off &restarting the car--the only light left on was the air bag light----06/17/08 I received an 'owner manual supplement' to add to my owners manual telling me the "air bag controller" may or may not deploy in a crash or even without warning....this is a design defect...there are 1000's of the these time bombs going down the same highways we are traveling-GM needs to issue a recall & replace these---GM is not able to notify every owner of this problem after 12 years-people are driving these vehicles 60 and 70 miles an hour down the highways & their air bag may deploy without warning--the potential for horrific accidents even deaths of innocent people are inevitable-please force GM to take recall not print inserts for the owners manuals.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #17

Apr 052008

Grand Am

  • 101,197 miles
Air bag light stays on after you start the car due to air bag controller getting wet. It is under the passenger seat.

- Jeannette, PA, USA

problem #16

Jun 162008

Grand Am

  • miles
There is water on all four floors of my car (front driver and passenger/back seat two both passenger sides). The rear left floor has particularly heavy water saturation. My air bag light has also stayed on for the last two weeks. Yesterday, I received a letter from GM indicating that the air bag controller on the 1996 Pontiac Grand Am is mounted above the floor pan beneath the front passenger seat, and that if the vehicle is exposed to significant water entering the interior and soaking the carpet, the air bag controller can be soaked and damaged. The damaged controller can make the air bags deflate, even without impact or crash. Conversely, the air bags may not deploy at all because of the controller damage. This letter was sent by GM as an owner manual supplement and they will not be responsible for what is clearly a problem. At this point, no recall has been issued. Because I am unemployed, I have no money to repair the car, and am scared to drive it. Hence, I now have no transportation as well as no money or job. GM should be responsible for this. If they are aware enough of a problem as to notify owners of this car, they should be paying for repairs to a car that is saturated with water.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #15

Mar 172008

Grand Am

  • 180,000 miles
Air bags deployed while driving the car ( no crash).

- Bath, NY, USA

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