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Software Bug Causes Recall Of Millions Of GM Vehicles

By September 30, 2016March 2nd, 2023Blog, Technology News

softwarexbugGM has given the world a first: a recall of up to four million of the vehicles it has manufactured. Of course, recalls are nothing new, especially in the auto industry. However, what makes this one unique is that the recall is being issued because of a bug in the software of GM vehicles that causes the air bag deployment system to enter diagnostic mode, and, as a result, fail to deploy.

The bug has been responsible for at least one death, and as a response, the company is recalling all vehicles that bear software containing the bug.

Security researchers have been quick to point out the glaring flaw in GM’s deployment. The company currently has no way to update the software that resides in its vehicles remotely. As a result, people have no choice but to take their cars back to the dealership to get the software updated.

Unfortunately for GM, this tactical error on their part (no automatic update system) will likely wind up being an expensive mistake that they could have avoided entirely if they’d had one in place.

Although this is the first such instance we’ve seen reported, it certainly won’t be the last. Cars are increasingly filled with electronics that are managed by increasingly complex software, and as anyone who writes or works with software knows, bugs are inevitable. They are a fact of life, and as we come to rely increasingly on computerized monitoring of various aspects and components inside our vehicles, problems like these will only become more commonplace.

Of course, to a certain extent, GM can be forgiven for this mistake. They are not, after all, a technology company, and as such, they have limited experience in dealing with software and the problems that can creep in.

On the other hand, software is a fairly well understood industry at this point, and the potential problems that can arise as a consequence of any software development are pretty well understood. Kudos to GM for being highly responsive, but shame on them for not being more responsible on the front end.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.