US government investigates Dodge and Chrysler vans’ sliding door issues

Washington, D.C. – July  21, 2021 –  The arm of the U.S. government that regulates vehicle safety is conducting an investigation to determine if Stellantis (NYSE:STLA) will need to recall 233,084 2016 Chrysler Town and Country and the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan vans because of faulty sliding doors. The doors may allegedly become stuck, potentially trapping passengers in the vans in the event of an emergency.

Summary  

The vans in question are equipped with power sliding rear doors that open at the push of a button inside the car or on the key fob. However, 426 drivers complained that they could not get the doors to open, even manually. This prompted the regulator – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – to open an investigation on July 9. 

Consumer complaints

Many of the complaints described “consumers having to remove passengers in the rear of the vehicle through the front doors, the second sliding door (if it was operational), the windows, or the rear hatch of the vehicle.”

Previous issues

Stellantis, Dodge and Chrysler’s parent company, has been aware of the issue since 2016, when they issued a bulletin to dealers instructing mechanics to replace sliding door lock actuators on vans whose doors got stuck. The automaker discovered a defect in the lock actuators that would cause the doors to get stuck, sometimes emitting a loud buzzing noise when the car was locked or unlocked.

It is not clear how big the population affected by this issue was or how many cars were actually repaired at the time.

Risks

Many complaints NHTSA received expressed concern that in an emergency or crash, vehicle occupants could become trapped inside the vehicle.  This represents a grave risk in the event of, for example, vehicle fires, where occupants need to leave a vehicle quickly.  If someone is hurt, first responders may also have a hard time getting to the patient quickly if they cannot open doors from the outside.

More dangers

Through the investigation, NHTSA is set to find out how often these rear door failures, confirm the risks that the complaints are referring to and potentially flesh out any additional dangers.

Next steps

The investigation is currently in the “preliminary evaluation” stage, which NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) usually completes within four months. If the evaluation shows a potential safety defect, the office will conduct an engineering analysis to decide whether to initiate a safety recall. That stage usually takes around a year, as reported.

Will your vehicle be part of a recall?

Over 233,000 vans could be implicated in a future Fiat Chrysler recall or Dodge recall. To see if your van is one of them, bookmark MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool and check back for open recalls in the future.

Rebecca RandUS government investigates Dodge and Chrysler vans’ sliding door issues

General Motors recalls vehicles over collapsing emergency jacks

Warren, MI – July 9, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 135,400 vehicles with potentially defective emergency jacks, which may fracture and collapse under load. This increases the risk of injury for people that are near or under the vehicle. This GM recall includes:

  • 2020 Buick Encore GX 
  • 2021 Buick Encore GX 
  • 2022 Buick Encore GX 
  • 2021 – 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer 

The affected component is “jack assembly,” with multiple part numbers, including 42743996 and 42743997.

Recall summary  

The emergency jack is a tool that is used when changing a punctured tire on the side of the road.  After placing it under the appropriate jacking point, the driver uses a lever on the jack to prop up the vehicle.

On affected vehicles, if the driver positions the jack incorrectly, it may collapse while lifting the vehicle

Warning signs

According to the manufacturer, defective jacks may collapse only ‘if not positioned as directed in the vehicle owner’s manual’. This scenario is, however, likely to happen when the driver is performing a roadside repair, since these are usually less-than-ideal working conditions.  

Safety tips

Roadside repairs are dangerous and should be avoided. Always call a tow truck or try to get to an empty parking lot or somewhere where you are not on the side of the road, if possible.

If you are driving and see a tow truck – or other emergency vehicles – please slow down and move over to the right. Over 30 first responders have been killed just this year due to distracted driving.

Risks

The plastic jack may not be sturdy enough if positioned incorrectly and collapse under unforeseen loads. This may result in injury to people that are close by or under the vehicle.  

Other General Motors recalls

Different model years of Buick Encore were recalled in November of last year because of a potential fluid leak.  Both Buick Encore GX and Chevrolet Trailblazer were part of a separate recall in September of the same year because of potential loss of electronic brake assist. The 2021 Buick Encore has not been subject to any recalls.

The repair

To fix the issue, General Motors dealers will replace the plastic emergency jack with a more robust, metal jack. The repair is free of charge. Notifications will be sent to owners around July 26.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

These Buick recalls and Chevrolet recalls include more than 135,000 SUVs. To see if your vehicle is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicGeneral Motors recalls vehicles over collapsing emergency jacks

GM recalls multiple models for faulty airbag warning light

Warren, MI – July 1, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has issued a recall for 285,622 cars and SUVs over a concern that the airbag malfunction indicator may fail to warn the driver if there is a problem with the airbag, increasing the risk of an injury in a crash. The models that are part of the recall are:

  • 2021 Buick Envision
  • 2021 Cadillac CT4
  • 2021 Cadillac CT5
  • 2021 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2021 Chevrolet Corvette 
  • 2021 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2021 GMC Yukon
  • 2021 GMC Yukon XL

The affected part is the Serial Data Gateway Module (SDM) – a gateway that handles the multiple networks in a vehicle – with part number 13542878. It is not clear if the 2021 Corvette Stingray is part of this recall.

Recall summary

The root of the problem is with the GM SDM Programming; specifically, a software issue that causes the airbag sensor to inconsistently illuminate the airbag malfunction indicator light. As a result, the driver may think his or her airbag is working properly when it is not and this could result in inadequate protection in the event of a collision.

Risks

An airbag is meant to protect the occupant from an upper-body injury and frontal airbags have saved over 50,000 lives in the last 30 years. An airbag that does not deploy in the event of a crash can result in serious injury or even death.

Related complaints

In April 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation over reports concerning airbag malfunctions in General Motor vehicles. Some of the models that are part of this recall were also investigated.

Of 15 complaints submitted to the NHTSA, six mentioned serious crashes where the airbags failed to deploy. Some also mentioned that the warning lights came on “every two to three minutes when driving.”

GM has not commented on whether this recall is a consequence of the investigation.

Other GM recalls

Back in December 2020, General Motors was ordered to recall 5.9 million cars with Takata airbags that may rupture when deployed.  

Other Chevrolet and Buick recalls in the recent past include the January 2021 recall for mid-size sedans over a potential suspension issue.

The repair

The software issue can be resolved with an over-the-air (OTA) update at a dealership. Affected customers will be notified on July 19, 2021.

Is your vehicle part of the recall?

To find out if your vehicle is a part of this GM recall, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Vishal VenugopalGM recalls multiple models for faulty airbag warning light

GM recalls pickups for power steering problem

Warren, MI – April 30, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 60,678 pickup trucks that may lose power steering on “startup or while driving,” increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2015 Chevrolet Colorado pickups
  • 2015 GMC Canyon pickups

The component in question is the “electric power steering rack,” with multiple part numbers, including 23228020 and 23228019.

Recall summary  

Power steering is a feature that makes it easier to turn or maneuver the vehicle.

The recall is an expansion of a previous recall conducted in 2016. It stems from an issue with the trucks’ power steering gears, which translate the turning of the steering wheel into the turning of the tires.  

Because of certain electrical connections being corroded or damaged within the gears, the  gears may lose power and shut off the power steering.

Warning signs

If the power steering is deactivated, the driver will hear chimes and see the malfunction indicator light (MIL) come on.

Risks

With a heavy car like a pickup truck, losing power steering can make it difficult to maneuver the car, especially at lower speeds. This augments the risk of an accident.

Read more about what to do if you lose power steering in this article about a similar Mercedes-Benz GLC recall.

The repair

Dealers will replace the faulty part with an improved model, free of charge. Drivers who repaired this issue on their own dime before May 10 are eligible for reimbursement. GM also said “courtesy transportation is available for customers whose vehicles are involved in this recall and are within the warranty coverage period for the warranty which is associated with this recall.”

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 60,000 vehicles are included in this General Motors recall. Want to do a GM recall check? Use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to check for open Chevrolet recalls and GMC recalls.

Rebecca RandGM recalls pickups for power steering problem

General Motors under investigation for airbag failures

Washington, D.C. – April 19, 2021 – The U.S. government’s highway safety regulator is investigating General Motors (NYSE:GM) over reports of airbag malfunction. The investigation cites 15 complaints and covers the following vehicles:

  • 2020 – 2021 Cadillac CT4
  • 2020 – 2021 Cadillac CT5
  • 2020 – 2021 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2020 – 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2020 – 2021 Cadillac XT5
  • 2020 – 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2020 – 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
  • 2020 – 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
  • 2020-2021 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2020 – 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2020 – 2021 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2020 – 2021 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2020 – 2021 GMC Sierra 3500
  • 2020 – 2021 GMC Yukon
  • 2020 – 2021 GMC Yukon XL
  • 2020 GMC Sierra Denali
  • 2021 Chevrolet Suburban 1500
  • 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 4500HD
  • 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 5500HD
  • 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 6500HD

Complaints  

Of the 15 complaints consumers submitted to the regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), six mention serious crashes where the airbags failed to deploy, while eight highlight injuries that occurred in connection with the problem.

One complaint from Dayton, Ohio graphically describes the consequences when one driver’s airbag failed to deploy in an accident, resulting in a serious head injury. During the accident, “something hit [the driver’s] face while the “steering wheel airbag” failed to deploy. The driver remembers crawling out of their overturned Cadillac Escalade and being taken to the hospital. Upon being discharged, the person experienced “loss of taste and smell” except for the “smell of brain matter” from “fluid” dripping down their nasal cavity.

Other complaints describe the airbags failing to deploy despite the driver hitting several trees

Cause of the problem

The administration’s investigation points to a bulletin GM posted for dealers and repair shops in March, addressing problems with the airbag warning light. The bulletin blames the problem on “rust particles in the connection terminal interface of the driver airbag inflator.”

However, according a statement obtained by the Associated Press (AP), GM said it was unaware of any airbags failing to deploy due to this problem, adding that its own analysis of the issue found that airbags would still deploy in a crash even if the malfunction light was on.

Warning signs

Some of the complaints describe the airbag and “service safety restraint system” warning lights coming on as often as “every two to three minutes when driving.”

Other GM airbag recalls

GM has recently recalled close to 6 million cars because of potentially lethal Takata airbags that may rupture when deployed. Separately, in April NHTSA launched another investigation after multiple car manufacturers – including GM – recalled airbags that were improperly folded during the installation process and could fail to deploy. The airbags were manufactured by Joyson, a successor of Takata.

It is not clear who produced the GM airbags at the center of the current investigation.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 749,000 vehicles could be recalled as a result of NHTSA’s investigation. To do a GM recall check, bookmark MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool and come back to the site when more details become available.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors under investigation for airbag failures

GM recalls Chevrolet and GMC vans for fire risk

Warren, MI – April 13,  2021 –General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 10,154 cargo and passenger vans whose batteries may short-circuit, which could cause a fire under the hood. The recall includes:

  • 2021 Chevrolet Express vans
  • 2021 GMC Savana vans

The affected part is the positive battery cable, with multiple part numbers, including 84911210  and 84911211.

Recall summary  

The recall centers around the vans’ battery cable terminals, which connect the car’s electrical system to its battery. Certain tabs on the terminals could touch other parts of the car, causing the battery to short out. If that happens, drivers may get a  “low battery voltage warning or experience a dead battery.” It can also lead to a fire.

The affected cars are equipped with 6.6-liter gasoline engines.

Risks

Car fires can pose a serious risk to drivers, passengers and nearby people and structures. GM has received at least three reports of fires related to this issue. To read more about the risks of vehicle fires, check out this article about  a recent Kia Stinger recall.

Safety tips

Just like in the recent Chrysler and Hyudai recalls, the manufacturer and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend to NOT park the car close to structures and “flammable materials” – such as houses, garages and “vegetation” – until the issue is resolved. If you do not feel comfortable driving the car and it is still within warranty, contact your dealer to arrange for courtesy transportation.

Other GM recalls

2018-2021 Chevrolet Express vans are part of a recent recall concerning tires that were left to “cure” for too long, making them brittle and prone to breakage.

The repair

GM dealers will trim away part of the tab on the battery cable terminal so that it is no longer at risk of touching other parts of the car. However, if the tab has been trimmed down too much in a prior repair, the whole battery cable will be replaced. Both of these services are free of charge. Recall notifications with more details about when and how to seek repairs will be sent out to owners starting May 3.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 10,000 vehicles are included in this Chevrolet/GMC recall. To see if your van is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGM recalls Chevrolet and GMC vans for fire risk

General Motors recalls over 94,000 SUVs for damaged seat belts

Warren, MI – April 7, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 94,641 vehicles whose seat belts may become damaged or trapped, increasing the risk of injury. The recall includes the following SUVs:

  • 2021 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2021 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2021 GMC Yukon
  • 2021 GMC Yukon XL

Recall summary

The third-row seat and third-row seat belts in these vehicles may have been installed incorrectly. Therefore, they may become “entrapped” or damaged, making them difficult to use or latch. 

Risks

In the event of a crash, the seatbelt might break, amplifying the risk of injury. As stated in this  article about  a recent General Motors recall, seat belts saved about 15,000 lives in 2017 alone.  

Other General Motors recalls

In December 2020 General Motors recalled over 600,000 vehicles, including the 2021 Yukon XL, due to the seat belts being “loose or detached from the seat frame.” In 2021, Chevrolet Tahoe was part of a 33,000-strong  recall due to defective Continental tires.

Repair

GM dealers will inspect and replace damaged seat belts for free. Owners will be contacted about this recall on May 3.

Is your vehicle part of the recall?

Approximately 95,000 vehicles are part of this General Motors recall. To perform a General Motors recall check, use Motor Safety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Aleksandra SnesarevaGeneral Motors recalls over 94,000 SUVs for damaged seat belts

General Motors recalls over 33,000 cars over risk of flat tires

Warren, MI – March 11, 2021 – General Motors  (NYSE:GM) has recalled 33,838 vehicles whose tires may rupture out on the road. The recall includes the following models:

  • 2020 Buick Enclave
  • 2020 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2020 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2020 Cadillac XT4
  • 2020 Cadillac XT5
  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet Blazer
  • 2018-2021 Chevrolet Express
  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2020 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2019-2020 GMC Acadia
  • 2018-2021 GMC Savana
  • 2019-2020 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2020 GMC Yukon
  • 2020 GMC Yukon XL

Recall summary  

Before being placed in service, tires are “cured,” or given final shape, using a mold and a rubber “bladder.” The tires in question were accidentally cured for longer than necessary, making them prone to rupture and failure.

While the tires are being recalled by GM, they are part of a larger problem with Continental brand tires. This recall expands an earlier GM recall in November 2020 and includes more models that may be equipped with defective tires.

In its turn, Mercedes-Benz has also just announced that it would inspect over 2,500 cars due to the same issue. To read about warning signs that may indicate that the tires are defective, please see the recent article we wrote about that recall.

Risks

The defective tires may suddenly go flat. Additionally, the outer tread – which is the part that touches the road –  could separate from the rest of the tire. Both conditions could cause the driver to lose control of the car and crash.

The repair

GM dealers will inspect and, if necessary,  replace vehicles’ tires for free. Notifications with more information will be sent to owners around April 12.

Recent Chevrolet recalls, GMC recalls

GM recalled nearly 6 million vehicles equipped with potentially dangerous Takata airbags in February. The airbags’ inflators may break apart after a crash and kill or injure the occupants of the car with sharp metal fragments.

The recall spanned several GM brands, including Chevrolet and GMC. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 33,000 vehicles are included in this GM recall. To see if your [type of vehicle] is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors recalls over 33,000 cars over risk of flat tires

General Motors begins government-ordered Takata airbag recall

Warren, MI – February 15,  2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has begun a series of recalls of nearly 6 million vehicles built with potentially dangerous Takata airbags. This particular recall covers 1,778,128 vehicles, and includes the following models:

  • 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2007-2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT
  • 2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2007-2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2009-2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
  • 2009-2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2007-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2007-2013 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2009-2014 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2009-2014 GMC Sierra 3500
  • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon
  • 2007-2014 GMC Yukon XL

Recall summary  

The recalled vehicles were built with Takata airbag inflators that, due to damage from moisture, may explode when the airbags are deployed. If the inflator explodes, its metal casing can fragment into shrapnel that could fly into drivers’ and passengers’ bodies, possibly maiming or killing them. This December article explains in more depth why the U.S. government ordered General Motors to recall these vehicles

Repair

Recalled GM vehicles are divided into five priority groups, labeled priority group 6 through priority group 10. Owners of the vehicles in group 6 – whose cars are older and were sold or registered in the hottest parts of the country –  will be notified by mail when repair is available in early March. Consumers in groups 7-10 – that are considered lower risk – will be advised of the recall in late February, but it is not clear when the repair will be available.

However, consumers in both categories may be able to receive a repair earlier by contacting their dealer.

Use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to see if your car is affected and to connect with an authorized dealership.

All repairs will be free of charge.

Risks

Exploding inflators pose a significant danger to vehicle occupants. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that Takata inflators have killed at least 18 people in the U.S. and at least nine more abroad. 

You can find some broad recommendations for owners of affected cars – including a list of cars that should NOT be driven – in this article detailing the background of this GM recall.

Other GM airbag inflator recalls

In December, GM recalled Chevy Silverado 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks, as well as GMC Sierra 2500, 1500 and 3500 pickups whose roof airbag inflators could shoot off an end cap, potentially injuring occupants or distracting them.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 1.7 million vehicles were originally included in this Takata / GM airbag recall. As of April 9, 2021, – the last date information was available – 104,212 airbags had been replaced.  To see if your car still needs to be repaired, use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool.

Note: July 17, 2021

We have noticed a large number of readers are interested in this recall. For that reason, we have updated the number of cars that have been replaced to reflect the most up-to-date information.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors begins government-ordered Takata airbag recall

General Motors recalls Buick and Chevy cars for suspension problem

Warren, MI – January 29, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 213,128 mid-size cars because parts of the suspension called the toe links may break. The recall includes:

  • 2012 – 2013 Buick Regal cars 
  • 2013 Chevrolet Malibu cars
  • 2010 – 2013 Buick Lacrosse cars

Recall summary  

The recall concerns the toe links at the rear underside of the car, which hold the rear wheels straight. The toe links are coated to protect them from road debris and corrosion, but the supplier applied too much coating, paradoxically making the protective layer more likely to chip off

GM has issued the recall in specific states in the “Salt Belt,” where salt is used to de-ice roads in the winter. Without their protective coating, salt can corrode the metal toe links and cause them to break.

The recall will include models that were sold or ever registered in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

Risks

A car with a broken toe link becomes very hard to control and could end up crashing. 

Read more about the risks of a broken toe link in this article about a Ford toe link recall.

Other GM recalls

In December, GM also recalled a host of GMC Sierra 2500, as well Sierra 1500 and 3500 trucks, among others. That GMC Sierra recall was related to the airbag end cap detaching during a crash and potentially hurting the car occupants.

The repair

GM dealers will replace the rear suspension toe links and adjuster fasteners for free. This repair is not yet available. GM is still working on getting enough parts and will offer more details when it starts notifying owners on March 15. 

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 200,000 vehicles are part of this GM recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors recalls Buick and Chevy cars for suspension problem