GM recalls vehicles with defective passenger presence systems

 

Warren, Mich. – July 13, 2018 – General Motors has recalled more than five dozen vehicles potentially equipped with defective passenger presence systems, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The campaign affects 2016-2018 Chevrolet Malibu sedans produced between Nov. 20, 2015, and Sept. 8, 2017. The American automaker suspects all of the vehicles involved in the action contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected models contain replacement PPS assemblies that were installed as part of an earlier service initiative. However, these features, which are designed to detect seated passengers and signal the air bags to deploy in the event of an accident, contain miscalibrated parts.

These flawed components may cause the PPS software to misclassify children or smaller adults, inhibiting air bag functionality during collisions. The defect therefore poses a serious safety hazard to passengers. That said, GM has yet to receive reports connecting the problematic PPS assemblies to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Feb. 8, 2018, a GM engineer managing the PPS replacement initiative noticed that the part numbers for a number of the substitute PPS assemblies installed in 2016-2018 Chevrolet Malibu sedans were incorrect. This error indicated that some dealers may have installed the wrong replacement parts in some vehicles – specifically, PPS software not calibrated to the correct vehicle seat position.

Five days later, the design release engineer who discovered the issue notified the GM corporate office via the company’s Speak Up For Safety program. The engineer then began releasing work orders in an effort to address the issue proactively and did so until March 14, 2018.

On March 16, 2018, GM launched an official internal investigation. The automaker found that the GM engineering team had released two replacement PPS assemblies as part of the earlier repair initiative: one made for vehicles with vented seats and another made for vehicles with non-vented seats. Due to a part numbering mishap, these two components were mislabeled, meaning a number of dealers had likely installed incompatible parts in numerous 2016-2018 Chevrolet Malibu sedans and had unknowingly created a serious safety hazard.

GM evaluated the issue May 25, 2018, and decided that a voluntary safety recall was necessary.

The automaker informed dealers June 14, 2018.

The Solution

GM has directed dealers to replace the front PPS assemblies in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. However, the car manufacturer has yet to release an owner notification timetable.

Owners in need of assistance can speak with GM customer service personnel by calling (800) 222-1020. Callers should use the internal recall identification number 18208. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesGM recalls vehicles with defective passenger presence systems

GM recalls vehicles over software update error

 

Warren, Mich. – June 29, 2018 – General Motors has recalled an estimated 3,233 vehicles after a recent update to the Hybrid Powertrain Control Module 2 could potentially disable the cell balancing function and result in a low-voltage condition. The recall affects select 2013 Chevrolet Volts, according to documents from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The estimated figure of cars with this particular defect is 2 percent.

The Defect

Vehicles that received a software updated in a service procedure from a dealer may contain an error in the software update that could prevent the batteries from balancing the voltage in singular battery cells. Under certain circumstances, this may result in a low-voltage condition in one or multiple battery cells. The vehicle will notify drivers if the battery cells fall below a certain level and if the driver continues on the road after entering reduced power mode, the vehicle may lose propulsion. This incident may increase the risk of crash and injury.

Timeline of Events

A GM engineer sent in a Speak Up For Safety report on May 11 after finding that a software update used on select 2013 model-year Chevrolet Volt vehicles contained an error that could potentially prevent batteries in some of these vehicles from effectively balancing the voltage among individual battery cells, according to internal reports. Following this report’s submission, GM launched an investigation, where the investigator reviewed field data, which demonstrated elevated rates of the condition in the field for vehicles with this update.

Afterward, GM’s Open Investigation Review board reviewed the investigation June 6, and the GM’s Safety and Field Action Decision Authority ultimately decided further action was necessary and issued a safety recall for these vehicles on June 7.

GM notified dealers of this safety recall June 14 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration June 20. Owners will receive recall details and dates will available.

The Solution

According to an internal communication, GM will notify drivers, while dealers will reprogram the Vehicle Interface Control Module module at no cost to the cars’ owners. A notification schedule has not yet been provided, but customers who own this vehicle will be notified by mail or can check their Vehicle Identification Number on GM’s website. Owners who want further information can contact Chevrolet customer service at (800)-222-1020. They can also call the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888)-327-4236.

Sean ReyesGM recalls vehicles over software update error

GM recalls vehicles with defective fuel system parts

 

Warren, Mich. – June 27, 2018 – General Motors has recalled almost 850 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuel system components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects vehicles across multiple brands, including:

  • 2018 Buick LaCrosse sedans produced March 27, 2018, and April 20, 2018.
  • 2018 Cadillac ATS sedans produced March 20, 2018.
  • 2018 Chevrolet Equinox sport utility vehicles produced between March 26, 2018, and April 20, 2018.
  • 2018 Chevrolet Colorado pickup trucks produced March 22, 2018, and April 27, 2018.
  • 2018 Chevrolet Malibu sedans produced between April 19, 2018, and April 27, 2018.
  • 2018 GMC Arcadia sport utility vehicles produced between April 5, 2018, and April 23, 2018.
  • 2018 GMC Canyon pickup trucks produced between March 23, 2018, and April 24, 2018.

GM suspects all of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective components.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain high-pressure fuel pump’s whose housings are not properly welded nearby flanges. These faulty welds could crack over time, resulting in fuel pump flange separation. Should this occur, the pump may oscillate within the engine compartment, leading to fuel leakage and, in some cases, fire. This defect therefore poses a serious risk to owners. However, GM has yet to receive field reports connecting the problematic parts to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On April 25, 2018, Robert Bosch LLC, the vendor that supplied the fuel pumps installed in the recalled vehicles, contacted GM to disclose the potential existence of problematic housing and flange welds. The American automaker opened an official investigation into the issue May 5, 2018. While this inquiry uncovered zero occurrences of fuel leakage, GM determined, via Bosch engineering analysis, that the faulty fuel pump welds could fracture and lay the groundwork for this dangerous outcome.

Members of the GM Safety Field Action Decision Authority conducted a final review May 24, 2018, and determined that a voluntary safety recall was necessary.

GM notified dealers of the impending action May 31, 2018.

The Solution

The car manufacturer has yet to develop a workable solution, according to an FAQ document. There is therefore no timetable for owner notification. However, GM is working with Bosch to create a cost-free fix. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can connect with GM customer service personnel by calling (866) 522-9559. Individuals in possession of recalled vehicles can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesGM recalls vehicles with defective fuel system parts

GM recalls vehicles with defective engine software

 

Warren, Mich. – June 27, 2018 – General Motors has recalled almost 500 vehicles potentially equipped with defective engine software, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 sports cars manufactured between Dec. 8, 2017, and May 31, 2018. The American automakers suspects just 1 percent of the models involved in the action contain the defective software.

The Defect

Affected vehicles come with sensing diagnostic module software that may fail when exposed to hard braking or extreme acceleration. In the event of SDM failure, crash sensing and air bag deployment functionality may be inhibited. This defect therefore poses a serious safety risk to occupants. However, GM has yet to receive field reports connecting the defective software to any accidents or injuries.

Owners in possession of vehicles that have experience SDM failure will not receive airbag readiness or diver information center notifications.

Timeline of Events

GM personnel on April 30, 2018, hosted a media demonstration in Atlanta, during which a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 was subjected to race-like driving conditions. Following the event, GM engineers assessed the vehicle and found that its SDM software was not operating properly. These technical specialists brought the issue to the attention of the automaker May 3, 2018, via an internal Speak Up For Safety report. GM opened an investigation in response May 8, 2018.

During this inquiry, the engineering team at the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan conducted road tests involving hard braking and extreme acceleration. Following these trials, the group reviewed vehicle performance data and concluded that such maneuvers caused SDM overstress, which in turn led to complete software failure.

The GM Open Investigation Review evaluated the the matter May 21, 2018, before sending it to the Safety Field Action Decision Authority. The SFADA ultimately decided that a voluntary recall was necessary and initiated such action May 24, 2018.

GM notified dealers of the forthcoming campaign May 31, 2018.

The Solution

The automaker has directed dealers to reprogram the SDM software in affected models free of charge, according to an internal communication. GM intends to notify owners via first-class mail June 29, 2018. Owners in need of more immediate assistance prior to the start of the recall can contact GM customer service at (866) 522-9559. They can also connect with the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesGM recalls vehicles with defective engine software

GM recalls over 3,000 Volts due to software glitch affecting battery

 

Warren, Mich. – June 25, 2018 – General Motors LLC has recalled several thousand of its Chevrolet Volt models due to a software update flaw that may adversely affect the plug-in vehicle’s battery functionality, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The automaker believes the recall is warranted because affected cars may result in a crash, especially in situations where drivers need to accelerate to keep pace with the flow of traffic.

The Defect

Earlier this month, GM recalled approximately 3,233 Chevrolet Volts – with 2013 model years – after dealers performed a software update of the plug-in hybrid’s on-board battery, specifically its Hybrid Powertrain Control Module 2 or HPCM2. The update was meant to improve the life and sustainability of the HPCM2, but some of the software updates were corrupted, the company believes, potentially resulting in a voltage imbalance situation between the individual cells that give the plug-in hybrid the energy it needs to operate. Should the voltage dip below a certain threshold, the vehicle may enter a reduced power mode, thus preventing motorists from accelerating.

Although General Motors suspects just 2 percent of the 3,200+ Volts are affected, the automaker contends the recall is warranted because motorists operating the Volts with the flaw are at an increased risk for a crash due to a loss of propulsion that impacted vehicles may experience. No known crashes, injuries or deaths have been linked to the improper cell balancing defect.

Timeline of Events

The issue first came to light in May, when a GM engineer discovered the problematic software and informed GM of the issue after filing a Speak Up for Safety report, based on a chronology of events submitted to and published by the NHTSA. GM subsequently launched an investigation, although the automaker was already looking into a similar but unrelated issue relating to low-voltage output. The investigation revealed that the likelihood of Volts losing propulsion seemed to depend upon whether the vehicles had received a software update.

By June 7, GM’s Safety and Field Action Decision Authority determined that a safety recall was appropriate out of an abundance of caution.

The Solution

GM says it will inform owners of 2013 Volts about the software glitch, who can then go to their nearest dealership to have their HPCM2 reprogrammed for free, according to an NHTSA internal briefing document. The reprogramming will entail an update to the Volt’s vehicle interface control modules. However, GM didn’t say when the notifications would be sent out or how motorists will be informed. All of the affected Volts were sold within the continental U.S.

Owners who believe they may be impacted may get in touch with their Chevrolet dealer by dialing the toll free number at 1-800-222-1020. The reference number for this specific recall is 18215.

Alternatively, drivers may also go to NHTSA’s website at www.safercar.gov or call the Department of Transportation Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

Sean ReyesGM recalls over 3,000 Volts due to software glitch affecting battery

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13,000 Chevrolet and GMC Pickups and Vans: Recall Alert

13,000 Chevrolet and GMC Pickups and Vans: Recall Alert – May 16, 2018

Vehicles Affected: Approximately 13,000 model-year 2009-14 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks; model-year 2009-14 GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups; model-year 2009-18 Chevrolet Express vans; and model-year 2009-18 GMC Savana vans equipped with certain plastic-handle fire extinguishers or push-button “Pindicator” fire extinguishers

The Problem: The extinguisher may become clogged, preventing it from discharging as expected or requiring excessive force to activate. Additionally, in certain models, the nozzle may detach from the valve assembly with enough force to render the product inoperable. Both malfunctions can increase the risk of injury in the event of a fire… Read more at PickupTrucks.com

Sean Reyes13,000 Chevrolet and GMC Pickups and Vans: Recall Alert