GM SUV window switch recall urges owners to park vehicles outsideThu, 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."
This is GM's third campaign related to this issue in some of these vehicles. It started as an investigation into fires, then a recall covering about 250,000 examples in certain cold-weather states and another nationwide for about 193,000 units in 2013. According to the latest NHTSA document for this one, "vehicles whose modules were modified but not replaced as part of the previous recall remedy must have their vehicles remedied again under this campaign."
GM spokesperson Alan Adler spoke about the situation to Autoblog. The previous recall included a cover over the part to protect it, but the automaker found that it wasn't working. Its decision this time was to "just replace the door modules." According to him, the recommendation not to park in the garage "was always in place," from the earlier campaigns. He didn't know why it wasn't included in the press release.
The company will send notification to owners in late August and will notify them again when the parts are ready to install. Scroll down to read the full announcement.
RECALL Subject : Driver's Master Power Window Switch may Short
Report Receipt Date: JUL 02, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V404000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 184,611
All Products Associated with this Recall
Vehicle MakeModelModel Year(s)
BUICK RAINIER 2006-2007
CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER 2006-2007
CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER EXT 2006
GMC ENVOY 2006-2007
GMC ENVOY XL 2006
ISUZU ASCENDER 2006-2007
SAAB 9-7X 2005-2007
Manufacturer: General Motors LLC
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2005-2007 SAAB 9-7x; 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL; and 2006-2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier and Isuzu Ascender vehicles. Fluid may enter the driver's door master power window switch module, causing corrosion that could result in a short in the circuit board. A short may cause the power door lock and power window switches to function intermittently or become inoperative. The short may also cause overheating, which could melt components of the door module, producing odor, smoke, or a fire.
A short in the circuit board could lead to a fire, increasing the risk of personal injury. 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.
GM will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the part number on the door module, and install a new door module if necessary, free of charge. Parts for the remedy are not currently available. GM will send an interim letter to owners in late August 2014. A second owner letter will be mailed when parts are available. Owners may contact GM customer service at 1-800-521-7300 (Buick), 1-800-222-1020 (Chevrolet), 1-800-462-8782 (GMC), 1-800-955-9007 (SAAB), and 1-800-255-6727 (Isuzu). GM's number for this recall is 14309. NOTE: This recall provides a new remedy for all vehicles covered by recall 13V-248. Vehicles whose modules were modified but not replaced as part of the previous recall remedy must have their vehicles remedied again under this campaign.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
By Chris Bruce
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