The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: INAPPROPRIATE AIR BAG DEPLOYMENT

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA96023

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 27, 1996
    • Date Closed: February 13, 1998
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Air Bags

    Summary: The failure rate (1.25/100K) on this issue is low.a safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further use of the Agency resources does not appear to be warranted.the closing of this investigation does not constiture a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists.ODI will continue to closely monitor this issue.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.an engineering analysis closing report is included in the public file.

  2. INVESTIGATION: DEGRADED BRAKING PERFORMANCE

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA98019

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 31, 1998
    • Date Closed: December 13, 2001
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

  3. INVESTIGATION: DEGRADED BRAKING PERFORMANCE

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE98023

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic

    Summary:

  4. INVESTIGATION: POWER RACK AND PINION STEERING FAILURE

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA03019

    Component(s): Steering
    Steering:Rack And Pinion

    Summary: GM's letter to NHTSA dated December 11, 2003, expands its original recall (NHTSA 02V286) to include certain w-body vehicles: 96-97 olds cutlass supreme; 98 olds intrigue; 97-98 olds cutlass; 97-98 Chevy lumina, Monte Carlo and Malibu; 96 Pontiac Grand Prix; and 96-98 Buick regal.the number of vehicles recalled is 750,283.GM determined that failure of the rack and pinion is related to damage of the lower pinion bearing and the level of the pinion bearing pre-load spring force.GM states, "higher rack pre-load spring force (133 lb.) is the design characteristic most closely associated with higher bearing damage rates in most of the vehicle applications that used the general bearing company (gbc) bearing."all of the vehicles covered in the expanded recall have the 133 lb spring force.the 96 lumina/Monte Carlo and 97-98 century w-body vehicles included in this investigation utilize a lower spring force and are not included in the recall.

  5. INVESTIGATION: POWER RACK AND PINION STEERING FAILURE

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ03001

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: January 02, 2003
    • Date Closed: September 15, 2003
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Steering
    Steering:Rack And Pinion

    Summary: GM conducted a safety recall (NHTSA # 02V286) to address a steering defect pertaining to a lower pinion bearing (lpb) within the rack and pinion steering gear (R&P). The recall covered 1,159,156 model year 1997-1998 Pontiac Grand Prix vehicles built between March 1, 1996 and October 31, 1997, 1996-1998 Pontiac trans sport, Chevrolet lumina apv, Chevrolet Venture, Oldsmobile Silhouette minivans, and Chevrolet cavalier and Pontiac sunfire sedans built between January 1, 1996 and October 31, 1997.ODI opened this rq after receiving reports that other vehicles were exhibiting the same symptoms as the recalled vehicles.based on ODI's review of technical and complaint data collected during the rq, the w-cars are associated with either a higher steering complaint rate or a higher lpb failure rate than the other vehicles investigated under the rq and are above or near the rates for the recalled vehicles.thus, ODI will further examine the w-cars (1996-1997 Oldsmobile cutlass supreme, 1996-1998 Buick regal, Chevrolet lumina, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1997-1998 Buick century, and 1998 Oldsmobile intrigue) under a new investigation, engineering analysis (ea)03-019.