The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted on its website Friday that the air bag positioned near the right head area won't inflate in a crash if no one is in the front seat.
As a result, a passenger sitting on the right back seat may not be protected and could get injured in a front or side crash, the agency said. GM said no injuries have been reported.
Air bag sensors in the 2011 SRX are programmed to turn off the passenger side air bags if no one is sitting in the right front seat. However, the owner's manual states that the air bags will inflate regardless whether the front seat is occupied. The agency says this mismatch of information means the vehicle is not compliant.
The recall affects SRX vehicles made between Feb. 2, 2010 and April 29, 2011 and sold in North America. Dealers will reprogram the air bag sensors to fix the problem free of charge. GM was set to notify owners by mail starting Friday.
GM said the recall also affects about 3,000 SRX models sold in Mexico and Canada.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.