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GM To Replace Seatbelt Buckle On 341,000 SUVs

April 3, 2003

General Motors announced Apr. 2 a recall of 341,000 sport utility vehicles to replace a seat belt buckle assembly after a legal claim that the parts increased the chance of injury in a rollover crash, Reuters reported.According to the news agency, GM said the recall involved model year 1997 Chevrolet Blazer, GMC Jimmy and Oldsmobile Bravada SUVs. Of the 341,000, about 313,000 were sold in the United States and 19,000 were sold in Canada.GM told Reuters that the driver's seat belt buckle had an "energy-absorbing loop," which allowed the belt to stretch in certain conditions to improve crash protection. But the automaker said in rollovers, the loop could cause "reduced driver restraint."GM spokesman Jim Schell told Reuters the automaker had been sued over five claims of injuries, including some fatalities, blamed on the seat belt design. GM said it would replace the buckle assembly with a new part.
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