Windshield Wiper Module Issues Lead to GM Recall

Warren, Mich. — Oct. 14, 2016 — In the latest GM recall news, the manufacturer will address hundreds of thousands of its vehicles with windshield wiper system issues. According to official documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall includes two 2013 vehicle models: the GMC Terrain and the Chevrolet Equinox.

Production periods for each of these affected models began on the same date, April 17, 2012. The Terrain production time range ended Aug. 13, 2013, while the Equinox production range ended Aug. 15. of the same year.

Though the original Part 573 Safety Recall Report did not list the exact number of vehicles, a later updated version listed the number as 367,808 potentially involved autos. All 100 percent of the recalled population is thought to be affected and have the defect.

This source said that the ball joints on some wiper modules could wear down and possibly detach from their sockets and separate entirely. Doing so could disable at least one wiper, making it more difficult for drivers to see during inclement weather.

GM first received report of the possible problems Dec. 15, 2015 through one of its staff members in Canada. The official investigation began Mar. 9, 2016, and the decision to finally conduct the recall came later, in August. The root cause of the ball joint corrosion issues was unidentified as of Aug. 18. The report did list the component supplier, Mitsuba, and noted that it is based in Monroeville, Indiana.

An Aug. 2 dealer-facing notice said that the remedy is still forthcoming and will appear in a later bulletin. However, the source did state that an update to the Global Warranty Management system’s Investigate Vehicle History would help dealers prepare by identifying the affected vehicles.

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Claims Dismissed as Aftermath of GM Ignition Switch Recalls Continues [Video]

New York City, N.Y. — September 05, 2016 — The repercussions of the GM ignition switch recall continue. Fortune recently reported on new rulings that leave the door open to further legal action.

The source said that the recall is associated with two hundred and seventy-five injuries, as well as one hundred and twenty-four deaths. It has also led to two billion dollars in payments and more than two and a half million recalled vehicles. The original problem involved switches that could suddenly shut off vehicle engines.

Even though a new owner bought GM about five years ago, an appeals court ruled that related lawsuits may still apply.

For the latest news on the GM ignition switch recalls, be sure to follow our blog. Thanks for watching.

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In Recalled GM Vehicles, Key Could Be Removed in Wrong Gear

Warren, Mich. — August 11, 2016 — According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents, a new GM recall addresses ignition concerns in some vehicles. The Part 573 Safety Recall Report said that approximately 2 percent of 7,620 vehicles are estimated to have this defect.

Altogether, the impacted model years encompass a wide range, from 2010 to 2017. The earliest collective production date is September 28, 2009 and the latest is May 27, 2016. The latter of these applies to the latest recalled model, the 2017 Buick Verano. Buick, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles are all included in the recall.

In these vehicles, the ignition system could allow users to remove the keys. This not only represents a possible Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard violation, but it also could put the car and any occupants in danger if the driver removes the key without first engaging the parking brake or putting the vehicle in park.

Unlike with many recalls, the Part 573 Report said that this outcome is also one of the ways to identify that the issue is present: If the key can be taken out while a different gear is in use, the recall may apply. This problem seems to stem from Electronic Park Lock damage in some steering column assemblies.

According to the report, dealers will inspect and replace the lock housing. A July 2016 bulletin updated the original response method, which includes nine steps. Three of these involve a repeated testing of the ignition key and transmission. This is supposed to help dealers see whether or not they can remove the key in gears aside from park. If the vehicle contains the defect, dealers are instructed to hold it and keep it from further sale.

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Latest GM Recalls Add Numbers to Impact of Takata Inflators

Washington, D.C. — July 01, 2016 — In yet another expansion of the previous Takata air bag inflator recall, General Motors is updating the amount of vehicles affected by this action. The GM recalls are among the largest in the new group, accounting for around 1.9 million vehicles out of a total closer to 16 million.

As The Wall Street Journal described, there appears to be no end in sight to the continuing recall actions. For GM, affected vehicle model years range from 2007 to 2011, and include various models associated with the Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brands.

In a statement cited by the source, the manufacturer listed the latest steps taken to address Takata inflator-related issues and the future actions the manufacturer will perform. These include a conditioning study to test inflators, a part-return program and continued monitoring for existing GM vehicles that use the suspected units.

Depending on the environment, some inflators can rupture, posing a safety risk to occupants and possibly deploying metal. GM emphasized that its recall is “preliminary” in the press release and that the inflators in its vehicles were intended just for these specific models. As such, they are “packaged in the instrument panel in such a way as to minimize exposure to moisture from the climate control system.”

This statement also promoted GM’s agreement to work with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to accomplish recall goals. This includes abiding by an amended consent order from the agency and providing it with appropriate data as it works toward full recall completion.

As of May 4, the official NHTSA Takata recall page stated that GM has completed .16 percent of the total necessary air bag repairs. Only passenger-side air bags were listed.

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Vehicles in GM Recalls May Not Warn Drivers When Key is in Ignition

Warren, Mich. — June 20, 2016 — An important alarm feature may not work properly in some Chevrolet vehicles, as a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently stated. General Motors is taking measures to address a security fault that could allow drivers to leave their keys in the ignition slots for several vehicles with model years ranging from 2013 to 2016.

Three Chevrolet models, (the Sonic, Spark and Trax vehicles) are part of this action, which extends to 317,572 units. The relatively subtle flaw may go undetected by motorists but could still fail Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 114, the report stated, leaving the vehicle vulnerable to theft.

The source said that the warning chime that should play when a driver leaves the key in the ignition may not do so, depending on how and when he or she opens the door. This only applies to vehicles with the Bring Your Own Media feature: In affected vehicles, the radio isn’t able to receive the command to exit sleep mode and prompt the proper alert.

Taking proper action
Though there is no official recall schedule yet, the report stated that dealers can update the included radio software to function correctly and execute the right key chime. The software in Sonic and Trax vehicles built after this April 13 and April 17, respectively, are already fixed, and the radio has been discontinued in Spark models altogether.

In addition, Autoblog’s article on this recall advised owners to take extra care to bring car keys when exiting a vehicle and not rely on the chime, in case it doesn’t work. The report lists two specific circumstances in which the chime could fail: if the driver takes more than 10 minutes to open the door after turning the vehicle off and leaving the key in the ignition, or the driver takes more than 20 seconds to open the door a second time after closing it.

The latter case could prove especially tricky, since the owner might hear a noise, but only a shortened version of the one he or she should. This is still possible evidence of the defect.

Calibration specifics
Since the official recall submission, the NHTSA has posted a pair of safety bulletins describing the necessary measures for reprogramming the systems. This notice specifically warned dealers not to program the affected control module without instruction or an updated programming tool. Other necessary precautions include reducing battery voltage fluctuations and putting the ignition switch in the correct position, as described by the Service Programming System.

Using a USB device and the vehicle’s own “infotainment display”, staff will update the necessary software and wait the required time for the changes to take effect. This same bulletin requires dealers to address all vehicles that arrive in their facility, ensuring completion for any models that might appear in dealer inventory.

FMVSS 114: A closer look
The text of this standard involves language that makes this recall a serious concern. As of 2016, FMVSS 114, which addresses “Theft protection and rollaway prevention,” requires a starting system to respond if the key is removed.

The subsections of this document allow for different possible deterrents, but removing the key must prevent the engine or motor from being activated as well as the vehicle’s steering and/or forward mobility.

While there are some exceptions, vehicles must, under this standard, feature “an audible warning” to alert the driver whenever the nearest door opens while the key is still left in the ignition. The audio alert does not need to play in certain situations, such as if the key cannot turn from its position within the starting system, though this just applies to mechanical systems.

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Control Arm Issues Initiate GM Recall

Warren, MI — May 31, 2016 — A group of eight vehicle models, including Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC names, are subject to a new overarching recall concerning suspension front control arms. After the manufacturer’s report date of April 27, 4,789 potential units are part of this action and may leave drivers in danger of a sudden loss of control while steering.

This is a relatively recent recall, with the official vehicle chronology only dating back to April 5. According to the Part 573 Safety Recall Report, available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, the manufacturer noticed a “deformed” upper control arm in a GMC Yukon XL Denali, caused by incomplete welding within the vehicle. The control arm failure can occur no matter which speed the affected cars are driving, and may also be set off by “jarring road inputs.”

The issue traces back further to the component’s supplier, Multimatic Inmetmatic. The planned dealer notification date was listed as April 27, and after this, dealers were instructed to fix the vehicle alignment of these models and replace both the right and left front upper control arms. Since April 8, the supplier has improved its manufacturing process to reduce possible dangers and make these cars more compliant with General Motors regulations.

No specific owner notification date was listed in this report, though it did state that the manufacturer will reveal the official mail date when it becomes available. All of the affected vehicles carry either the 2016 or 2017 model years.

The models themselves include the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Suburban and Tahoe, and the GMC Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL. The manufacturer urges owners to contact the individual companies involved in each of these GM recalls for more information.

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GM Recalls Pickup Trucks for Seatbelt Problems

Detroit, MI — May 11, 2016 — A new General Motors recall will include hundreds of thousands of domestic pickup trucks. A press release published by Autoblog detailed the seat belt structure issues that could exist in 895,232 trucks, including thousands of newer vehicles that need to be stopped on their lots. The international recall will account for slightly more than 1 million vehicles in countries across multiple continents, including Latin America and the Middle East.

The problem in these vehicles comes from weak cables in the bodies that could eventually sever over time. Drivers can cause wear to the cable as they move in and out of the front seat. Dealers will solve the problem by inspecting and fixing the tensioner. This will require them to either add a pusher bracket or replace the tensioner assembly altogether, as need be.

The recall affects two different models: the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra 1500. For both, the model years of concern are 2014 and 2015, with these same years also holding true for the related stop-sale notice.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the GMC 1500 is the source of other recent owner complaints from across the country. On April 5, a consumer in Port Byron, Illinois, noted exterior lighting problems that made it difficult to see while driving at night. An earlier issue, observed in Hiram, Georgia, concerned the abnormal vibration in the vehicle’s cabin. This persisted even after the rear suspension and tire were replaced on advice of the dealer.

Both Silverado and Sierra trucks, from the same years as this recall, were involved in a different one launched last October. In that case, the company and the NHTSA noted that the ignition lock actuator could keep keys stuck forward and make it difficult to remove them.

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Test Trials over GM Ignition Switches Ongoing

New York City, NY — April 05, 2016 — It’s been two years since the major ignition switch-related recalls that plagued General Motors, and the manufacturer is still embroiled in courtroom cases. Reuters recently reported on the test trials this month that will bring the manufacturer’s liability into question. This is just one of several cases related to the infamous motor issues, although GM claims that it is not at fault.

In December 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that around 1 million GM vehicles still had ignition switch issues that put airbag use in jeopardy. The manufacturer attempted to respond to increased demand by producing more replacement parts as the NHTSA encouraged completion.

Last August, Automotive News reported that the thousands of claims arrayed against GM for this single defect were reviewed by an attorney. As this source stated, the company had $625 million ready to compensate the 399 people involved in related accidents. Most of these were linked to non-serious injuries, while they were also tied to 124 deaths, each of which was potentially connected to more than $1 million in compensation.

The Associated Press quotes Randall Jackson, representing the plaintiffs in the current bellwether cases. He said that GM knew about the ignition switch issue and tried to address it internally instead of informing the authorities.

“A car is a promise, two tons of steel with an engine, wrapped in a promise: safe transportation,” he said. “The evidence in the case is going to show that GM, the company defending this case, broke that promise.”

Reuters quoted another lawyer for this side of the case, who said that affected vehicles “would have been recalled then” if the government knew about the issues. The source said the GM recalls have so far led to $2 billion in settlements and penalties.”

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Power-steering in Police Vehicles Leads to GM Recalls

Warren, MI — April 04, 2016 — Though no accidents have yet been detected, General Motors will recall 6,280 Chevrolet Caprice Police Pursuit vehicles, with production dates ranging between 2013 and 2014. The official Part 573 Safety Recall Report, submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on March 16, noted that these vehicles could be subject to a power steering assist failure that could leave drivers struggling to properly steer.

This source stated that the components associated with this recall come from the Mando corporation, based in the Republic of Korea. This specific hazard comes as the result of normal police work, as systems within these vehicles are affected during use.

“Subject to the extended idling times and elevated temperatures experienced in typical police applications, these vehicles may experience loss of electric power steering (EPS) assistance while driving or idling as a result of fretting corrosion on the connector between the EPS module and the torque sensor,” the report asserted.

The repair instructions address both those vehicles already in the field and those en route: the latter will get epoxy to support the connector, while dealers replace the steering gear assemblies in the former. The newer gears will better resist corrosion.

The Associated Press mentioned the 20 hour periods that police cars often run in its coverage of this recall. Drivers in affected cars won’t lose control of steering completely, and the NHTSA Report noted that drivers will see a malfunction indicator light and hear a warning chime if the issue is present.

General Motors first detected this issue through complaints submitted as part of the Speak Up for Safety program in 2015. The vehicles were assembled in Holden, Australia, and impacted cars with model years between 2014 and 2016.

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For GM SUVs, Faulty Brake Pedal Means Recall

Warren, MI — February 19, 2016 — According to Reuters, a new recall across North America will target vehicles with potentially loose brake pedal pivot systems. Currently, there are no reports of injuries stemming from this fault, which could be present in Chevrolet Silverado HD and Tahoe vehicles, as well as the GMC Sierra. Dealers will inspect and tighten the loose pivot nuts, using adhesive to keep them in place. This will reduce the chance of a brake pedal failure.

“Recall numbers exceed 473,000 across all of the endangered brands.”

Though the bulk of the recalled units are in the United States, 46,837 of these vehicles are in Canada. As of this writing, there are no reports on these new GM recalls filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In the United States, recall numbers exceed 473,000 across all of the endangered brands. Multiple sources note that the targeted vehicles include those used for police action.

Last month, General Motors issued a statement expressing support for “proactive safety principles” as that organization works with major automakers.

“At GM, we are focused on the customer, and we put safety at the forefront of everything we do,” this release said. “We welcome the opportunity to continue to work with experts in government and industry on the vital issues of automotive safety and cybersecurity.” It also singled out Anthony Foxx of the Department of Transportation and Mark Rosekind of NHTSA for particular praise.

While owners wait for more information, the Associated Press reports that the brake pedal failure could trigger the brake lights to stay on unusually long periods of time, as Canadian regulators note.

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