In this study, a steady state and isothermal 2D-PEM fuel cell model is presented. By simulation of a single cell along the channel and in through-plane direction, its behaviour under hydrogen starvation due to nitrogen dilution is analysed. Under these conditions, carbon corrosion and water electrolysis are observed on the cathode side. This phenomenon, causing severe cell degradation, is known as reverse current decay mechanism in literature. Butler-Volmer equations are used to model the electrochemical reactions. In addition, we account for permeation of gases through the membrane and for the local water content within the membrane. The results show that the membrane potential locally drops in areas starved from hydrogen. This leads to potential gradients >1.2 V between electrode and membrane on the cathode side resulting in significant carbon corrosion and electrolysis reaction rates. The model enables the analysis of sub-stoichiometric states occurring during anode gas recirculation or load transients.