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Auto blogThu, 07 Aug 2014 13:30:00 EST
It's not unusual for there to be a lag between an automaker announcing a recall and the official documentation showing up on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. So it's no surprise that a recent GM campaign took about a month to appear in its official capacity. However, there appears to be some big differences between the two reports with potential safety implications.
In late June, GM announced that it needed to recall 181,984 examples of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7x from the 2005-2007 model years, plus the 2006 Chevy Trailblazer EXT and 2006 GMC Envoy XL. The new documents paint a slightly different picture with 184,611 needing repaired and different model years listed.
The reason for the fix is still the same, though. It's possible for fluid to contact the master power window switch module in the driver's door, which can corrode the part. Eventually this could cause a short circuit, leaving the buttons inoperable and potentially leading to a fire. But the new NHTSA documents add an important note: "A fire could occur even while the vehicle is not in use. As a precaution, owners are advised to park outside until the remedy has been made."
General Motors is recalling 843 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Crew Cab pickups, due to a fault with the vehicle's airbags. According to GM, the airbags may not inflate properly in the event of a crash. There haven't been any crashes or injuries associated with this recall, which is always good. Naturally, repairs will be free of charge, and GM will begin contacting affected owners soon.
GM has a lot hanging on the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Not only is it banking over $12,000 per vehicle on these trucks, as reported by Automotive News, but GM is counting on the Sierra and Silverado to take the fight to cross-town rivals Ford and Ram. The F-150 and Ram 1500 have been on a tear over the past few years, with fresh updates, advanced powertrains, and plenty of solid press while the GM trucks have been waiting for the 2014-model-year upgrades.
It's still entirely too early to judge the Sierra and Silverado, particularly as those 843 recalled trucks make up barely two percent of the over 40,000 units moved so far. But, as AN rightly states, these trucks are the most important vehicles to come out of GM since bankruptcy, with about 60 percent of global profits relating to pickups and SUVs. Starting an introduction of such a big product with a recall, however small, is not the preferred way to do things.
Aside from the new General Motors offerings, there's not a whole lot of action going on in the fullsize SUV segment. That doesn't seem to be stopping GM from pushing the envelope in the market as Automotive News is reporting that the automaker is looking to introduce some new powertrain options into the Chevy Tahoe (and Suburban), GMC Yukon (and Yukon XL) and the Cadillac Escalade - all have been redesigned for the 2015 model year.
Now, we already know that GM and Ford are collaborating on nine- and ten-speed transmissions for a broad range of applications (including the big SUVs), but this new report says that GM is also considering other options as a way to one-up the competition and, of course, to optimize fuel economy. AN quotes Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for GM trucks, as saying that "interesting powertrain technologies" are coming including a return of a hybrid SUV and possibly even a diesel engine. Although it sounds like the latter could come down to how customers respond to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel.