Warren, MI – August 14, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM), which owns GMC and Chevrolet brands, has recalled 331,274 pickup trucks over the risk of an engine fire caused by an electrical short in the engine compartment heater. The recall includes the following vehicles that have a Duramax 6.6- liter engine and are equipped with an optional engine heater power cord:
- 2017 – 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
- 2017 – 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
- 2017 – 2019 GMC Sierra 2500
- 2017 – 2019 GMC Sierra 3500
At least some of the above vehicles were previously repaired under a separate recall for the same issue in 2019.
The problem originates with the engine block heater, which helps warm up the engine so it starts more easily in cold climates. The heater plugs into an outlet and uses electricity to warm up coolant around the engine block. This coolant might leak out and come in contact with the heater’s electrical wiring, causing the system to short-circuit. The leak is caused by “contamination of the sealing surface” of the block heater during manufacturing.
Some of the vehicles in this recall have already been repaired under another campaign in 2019 which addressed the same problem with the engine block heating system. However, post-recall and repair, GM received “24 reports of potential fires,” prompting the manufacturer to issue a second recall.
An electrical short can damage the engine and cause a fire in the engine compartment. Read more about what to do in the case of a vehicle fire in this article about a recent Kia recall.
- Smoke or a burning smell
- The engine block heater is not working well
- Tripped circuit breakers or blown vehicle fuses
- Signs of damage to the engine block heater, the heater’s cable or other engine components
- Coolant leaking and pooling under the vehicle
Parts: Engine-block heater power cord, Engine-block heater
Names: CORD ASM-ENG COOL HTR, HEATER ASM-ENG COOL
Part Numbers: 12681380, 12705875, 19419326, 84303149
Manufacturer: Electronics Components International, Canada
GM has not yet developed a permanent solution for this problem. For now, Chevrolet and GMC dealers will disable the engine block heater for free to prevent electrical shorts. In trucks not yet repaired under the 2019 recall, heater cords will be re-routed to prevent chafing and damage. Owners will be notified about the recall on August 16.
When GM has a permanent remedy for this issue, the company will contact owners who had their block heaters disabled and offer a replacement. Owners who already paid for repairs before the recall was announced may be eligible for reimbursement. Courtesy transportation is available to owners whose vehicles are still covered under warranty.
Is your vehicle part of this recall?
Over 330,000 vehicles are included in this GMC and Chevrolet recall. To see if your truck is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.