Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

GM issues third recall on SUVs that can catch fire

Attached is a photo of the 2013 Cadillac ATS, which was among vehicles recalled by General Motors on Friday. Its front seat belts may not provide enough protection in a collision, the company said. (GM photo)
Attached is a photo of the 2013 Cadillac ATS, which was among vehicles recalled by General Motors on Friday. Its front seat belts may not provide enough protection in a collision, the company said. (GM photo)

General Motors' troubles with safety recalls have surfaced in another case - now, the company is recalling a group of SUVs for a third time to fix power window switches that can catch fire.

The problem, revealed in documents posted by federal safety regulators this week, is so serious that GM is telling customers to park the SUVs outdoors until they are repaired because they could catch fire when left unattended.

The SUV recall was one of six announced by GM on June 30 that covered 7.6 million vehicles. It covers about 189,000 vehicles in North America, mainly from the 2006 and 2007 model years. Models affected include the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Isuzu Ascender, and Saab 97-X.

GM is in the midst of the biggest safety crisis in its history, touched off by the delayed recall of 2.6 million older small cars to fix faulty ignition switches. Six new recalls Friday, totaling 312,000 cars, pushed the company total to a record 66 recalls this year covering 29 million vehicles.

The SUV problem first appeared early in 2012 when NHTSA began investigating consumer complaints of fires in the driver's-door switches that control power windows.

At first, GM tried to address the issue with a "service campaign," where it sent letters to owners, but didn't recall the vehicles.

But in August 2012, under government pressure, GM recalled 278,000 of the SUVs in cold-weather states and offered extended warranties to the rest of the country. Ten months later, GM expanded the recall nationwide.

The fix used by GM last year was to put a protective coating around the window switch circuit boards. But starting this April, GM received complaints that the switches malfunctioned in SUVs that had been repaired. So in June, it decided to do the third recall and replace all of the switches.

Friday's recalls cover certain Saturn Vue SUVs from the 2002 through 2004 model years; Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Trax in Canada, and Buick Encore cars and SUVs from the 2013 model year; Chevrolet Impalas from 2014 and 2015; Cadillac ATS sedans from 2013 and 2014; Chevrolet Spark minicars from 2014, and Chevrolet Aveo subcompacts from 2009 and 2010, 2009 Pontiac G3 subcompacts, and the 2007 Chevrolet Optra in Canada.

Tom Krisher Associated Press
Business Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected