General Motors issues third Chevrolet Bolt recall following car fires

Warren, MI – September 9, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 52,403 2020 – 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2022 Bolt EUV cars whose batteries may catch fire, increasing the risk of death or injury for the car occupants and people around them.

This recall is a result of an ongoing U.S. government investigation, which so far has resulted in three recalls, including this one, and is an expansion of a previous recall conducted in July. There have been multiple fires and at least one injury associated with this recall.

The recall concerns the “High Voltage Battery Pack” with multiple part numbers, including 24042761, 24044172 and  24044527.

Recall summary  

These Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles contain defective high-voltage LG batteries that may catch fire when they are charged to “charged to full, or very close to full, capacity.” In fact, the recall is being conducted on the back of a recent car fire in the recalled population.

The cause of the fire  is the presence of “two rare manufacturing defects in the same battery cell” but it is not clear what these defects are. 

Previous recalls and an investigation

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which regulates vehicle safety in the U.S., opened an investigation in October after receiving two owner complaints alleging that their vehicles “caught fire under the rear seat while parked and unattended.” The investigation resulted in the first recall which was conducted in November 2020 and included over 50,000 2019, 2018 and 2017 Chevrolet Volt EVs. The cars were outfitted with “diagnostic software” and also received new battery modules. The repair, however, may have been insufficient as the same vehicles were again recalled in July of this year.

Risks

Battery fires are serious: One of the Chevrolet Bolt fires reported to NHTSA took three hours for the fire department to put out, and reportedly caused owners smoke inhalation injuries from the “thick and noxious” fumes it produced. Car battery fires pose a number of risks to vehicle occupants and people nearby, and require specialized firefighting techniques to extinguish. For tips on what to do in the event of a fire, please visit this article about battery fires in BMW hybrids.

Warning signs

Before the Chevy Bolt fire, owners may notice that the battery emits “smoke or heat” or see the battery or “ other vehicle components” melt or become damaged.

The repair

Dealers will eventually replace defective battery modules for free, but this repair is not yet available. 

Safety tips

You can do the following while waiting for the final repair: 

  • Activate the Target Charge Level (referred to as the Hilltop Reserve mode on the 2017-2018 Bolts) feature to limit the battery charge level to 90% full. If you are unable to adjust these settings yourself, visit your dealer for help.
  • Charge the vehicle after each use.
  • Do NOT deplete the battery further than 70 miles of range remaining.
  • Park the vehicle outside and away from structures after charging.
  • Do NOT charge the vehicle overnight.
  • If you own a 2017, 2018 or 2019 model-year,  visit your nearest Chevrolet dealer to get an important software update, which includes a diagnostic check on the health of the Bolt’s battery system. This service is provided free of charge.

Letters with these instructions will be sent out to owners on October 4, 2021. Owners will receive a second letter when the final repair is available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 50,000 vehicles are included in GM’s Chevrolet recall. To do a Chevrolet recall check, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors issues third Chevrolet Bolt recall following car fires

GM recalls Chevrolet and GMC pickups with dangerous airbags

Warren, MIAugust 15, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 410,019 pickup trucks with potentially dangerous airbags embedded in the vehicles’ roof-rails. The airbag inflator might rupture, propelling gas and the inflator’s end-cap into the vehicle at high speeds, which could injure vehicle occupants. 

The recall includes:

  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet  Silverado 2500
  • 2015 – 2016 Chevrolet  Silverado 3500
  • 2015 – 2016 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2015 – 2016 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2015 – 2016 GMC Sierra 3500

The affected component is roof rail airbags with multiple part numbers, including 84487867 and 84487868. The bags were manufactured by a successor of Takata, Joyson Safety Systems, in Mexico.

Recall summary  

The pickup trucks’ roof rail airbags deploy like “curtains” over the windows to protect vehicle occupants’ heads during a crash. Inflators within these bags do what you expect them to do.  

Due to a manufacturing mistake, moisture “was introduced into the [inflator] vessel,” which may result in its corrosion. This may allow compressed gas to escape from the inflator and  result in the parts of the inflator hurling themselves into the car occupants, causing injury.

Background of the recall

Initially, GM recalled a smaller group of approximately 9,000 trucks this past November. The automaker expanded the recall in June after it became aware of three additional roof rail airbag inflator ruptures in Florida and Texas. General Motors noted that “thermal cycling” (i.e. very hot days and cool nights) exacerbate the defect, making the inflator more likely to rupture. 

Risks

If the airbag inflator ruptures and the inflator’s end cap or other parts go flying into the cabin, they could hit vehicle occupants at high speeds, potentially injuring them. 

This defect is different from the infamous Takata airbag defect. Takata airbag inflators do not randomly explode. Rather, they deploy “too hard” during a crash, blowing the inflator to pieces that can impale vehicle occupants. The recalled cars’ inflators, on the other hand, explode because the container holding the compressed gas becomes too weak to hold it. This can occur at any time–not just when the airbags are triggered during a crash. Both are dangerous and should be repaired as soon as possible.

The repair

Chevrolet and GMC dealers will inspect and, if needed, replace the right- and left-side roof rail airbags for free. Owners will be warned about the recall by mail around August 16 and will receive a second letter once recall repairs become available.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 410,000 vehicles are included in this Chevrolet and GMC recall. To see if your truck is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGM recalls Chevrolet and GMC pickups with dangerous airbags

GM issues second recall for Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras over fire risk

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.

Recall summary  

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.

Previous recall

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.

Risks

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.

Warning signs

Warning signs for this recall include:

  • 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 affected

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

The repair

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.

Rebecca RandGM issues second recall for Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras over fire risk

General Motors recalls multiple SUVs over power steering failure

Warren, MI – August 3, 2021 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has issued a recall for 26,847 SUVs over a potential loss in power steering assist, which could increase steering effort and result in a crash. This GM recall includes:

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

The affected part is the power steering motor control module with multiple part numbers – 84893520, 84876238, 84846488.

Recall summary

The power steering assist makes it easier to steer a vehicle. A software issue in the power steering control module may result in the loss of the feature, increasing the effort needed to steer and the risk of a crash. 

An affected vehicle will still have manual steering control. 

Warning signs

Drivers will be warned of a loss in power steering functionality by a malfunction indicator light (MIL) on the dashboard and with a chime sound.  More effort will also be required to steer but the issue may be remedied if the car is restarted.

Risks

Losing the power steering can make maneuvering quite difficult, particularly with larger vehicles, like the ones that are a part of this recall. The effort required is greater at slower speeds and increases the risk of the driver losing control and crashing.

Related complaints

Back in May, a 2021 GMC Yukon owner experienced a similar loss in power steering functionality.  

Other GM recalls

Another recent Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac recall was for a failing airbag malfunction warning light.

The repair

The software issue can be resolved with an over-the-air (OTA) update without having to bring the vehicle to a dealership. The owner can also schedule to have the dealer perform the update. Some vehicles will require a new steering gear motor kit in order to download the software update, in which case the car will have to visit the dealer. In all cases the repair will be free of charge. Affected customers were set to be notified on August 2, 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 VenugopalGeneral Motors recalls multiple SUVs over power steering failure

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

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

Isuzu Recalling 1,138 Vehicles Due To Seat Belt Complications

re: NHTSA Campaign 20V025000

Laguna Hills, California – January 23, 2020 – Isuzu is recalling certain 2019 and 2020 vehicles equipped with a dual mode belt locking mechanism that will not lock in the event of a vehicle crash.

The estimated total of affected vehicles is 1,138.

The defect

Isuzu is recalling certain Isuzu and Chevrolet vehicles equipped with a faulty seat belt webbing locking mechanism. The potential affected number of vehicles is 1,138.

Vehicles equipped with the dual mode belt locking mechanism may not properly restrain the occupant as intended in the event of a collision. So far, zero deaths have been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Affected Vehicles Include:

  • 2020 Isuzu NPR HD, NPR XD, NQR and NRR
  • Chevrolet 4500HD, 4500XD, 5500HD and 5500XD 
  • 2019 Isuzu NPR HD GAS, NPR GAS
  • Chevrolet 4500 and Chevrolet 3500

The solution

Isuzu will notify owners by February 28, 2020 when the official recall is expected to begin. Authorized Isuzu and Chevrolet dealerships will inspect and replace the seat belt assembly, as necessary and free of charge.

To find out if your vehicle is part of this recall, visit www.motorsafety.org.

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Marshall EarleyIsuzu Recalling 1,138 Vehicles Due To Seat Belt Complications