Laguna Hills, CA – April 26, 2019 – General Motors is recalling certain 2017-2019 Chevrolet Trax vehicles. Improper welding of a joint in one or both of the front lower-control arms may result in the detachment of the arm from the vehicle. This could potentially cause the front wheel to toe outward, impacting the vehicle’s steering and handling and leading to a greater chance of crash. As many as 112,958 vehicles may be affected.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, an improperly welded joint in one or both of the front lower-control arms could fatigue and break, resulting in the vehicle’s lower control arm partially separating from the vehicle. If this were to happen, the front wheel attached to the control arm would toe outward, adversely affecting the vehicle’s steering and potentially causing the tire to rub against the wheel well, increasing the risk of a crash.
Timeline of Events
A GM dealer filed a field product report Nov. 14, 2018 concerning a left front-control arm that partially separated from a 2018 Chevrolet Trax. Based on a visual inspection of photos of the failed control arm, GM found that the weld connecting the arm to the bushing did not match design specifications. In response, GM’s supplier originally stated that the welds on the failed component part and other control arms produced at its facility conformed to design specs.
Following a formal product investigation Jan. 31, 2019, GM’s supplier confirmed on Feb. 28 that the welds on the failed part did not comply with the applicable design specifications, and that the welds were improperly modified because the lower-control arm stampings also did not match specs.
From March through April, the automaker worked with its supplier to identify affected vehicles that may have been manufactured with the defective part and to assess the condition’s impact on vehicle performance. GM engineers at the Milford Proving Grounds conducted drivability testing April 12 on a Chevrolet Trax vehicle with a front lower-control arm that was cut at the affected weld.
GM’s Safety and Field Action Decision Authority consequently decided April 15 to conduct a safety recall. As of that date, only two warranty claims relating to this condition had been reported for cars sold in the U.S., with no evidence of any crashes.
GM has not yet provided a notification schedule for the recall. The automaker will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the left and right front lower-control arms, replacing them as necessary, free of charge.
Owners may contact GM customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM’s number for this recall is A182202370. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V312000.