There has to be a better way…or maybe not. General Motors continues to parcel out recall notices with a new bunch (2.42-million vehicles) today and 2.7-million late last week. I suspect there is a strategy here since GM has its new first-ever tsar for global quality, a new head of communications, and — of course — a recently-named CEO, that they are delving into all of their quality reports and handling the recalls in big clusters even though — and this is the way to get them all out of the way with the $200-million write off that was announced this week.
Whether this is a good strategy or not remains to be seen. It is amazing to me that their stock has taken no major hit; the investment community seems to think they are handling it well. I suspect that some vehicle buyers are thinking long and hard about whether to purchase another GM vehicle, especially because a number of their 2014-15 vehicles (in very small numbers) have been part of this process. Whether they will continue to hold off the purchase and then come back or will become some other automaker’s capture isn’t yet clear, but we should see a pattern later this year.
Another recall consideration: Lauren Fix, who covers automotive regularly for Fox News and is both a friend and respected expert, said yesterday that only 1 out of 5 owners are acting upon these recalls. Don’t be one of the other four. My advice:
- Check to see if your vehicle is covered and — if it is — get it fixed. It will cost you nothing.
- If you are purchasing a used vehicle, find out if it has been recalled and fixed. If not, get it fixed. Again, it will cost you nothing.
- If possible, post a copy of the current recall lists at your workplace and encourage your co-workers to see if their vehicle is there. If so, encourage them to get it fixed. It will cost them nothing.
- Give copies of this list to your friends and family. Or, share this column on your email, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media. In your post, tell them that they need to act on these recalls. Oh, yes, also tell them that it will cost them nothing.You pass along all those uplifting quotes, cat and dog videos and pics of your family. Sharing this could save a life.
That said, here is the list of the newest recalls for GM:
- 2004 – 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, 2005-2010 Pontriac G6 and 2007-2010 Saturn Aura vehicles to modify the brake lamp wiring harness. If corrosion has formed in the wiring harness for the body control module it could result in a failure to illumibate when brakes are applied or the lamps can illuminate when brakes are not engaged. Cruise control, traction control, electronic stability control and panic brake assist could also be disabled. There have been several hundred complaints, 13 crashes and 2 injuries as a result of the problem.
- 2005 – 2013 Chevrolet Corvettes for potential loss of low beam headlamp operation. The 2005 – 2007 models are covered by a recall, while the later models are covered under a Customer Satisfaction Program. All of these are no cost repairs. When the engine is warm, the underhood electrical center housing could expand causing the low-beam relay control circuit wire to bend. After it is repeatedly bent, it could fracture and separate, causing the headlamps to not illuminate. There have been several hundred complaints but no crashes, injuries or fatalities.
- 2014 Chevrolet Malibu with the 2.5L engine and stop/start technology. The hydraulic brake boost can disable requiring greater pedal effort and extending stopping distance. This repair requires a reprogramming of the electronic brake module. GM is aware of four crashes but says that it is not clear that these are related to the condition. The problem was found during testing of a future model with similar technology.
- 2013-2014 Cadillac CTS for a problem with the windshield system which may become inoperable after a jump start with wipers active and restricted, such as by ice and snow. Risk of a crash is increased due to decreased visibility.
- 2014 Chevrolet and GMC Sierra light duty pick up trucks, and 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs. The threaded tie rod threaded attachment to the steering gear rack may not be tightened to spec. As a result, the tie rod can separate from the steering rack, and a crash could occur without warning. Owners are being told to park the trucks and have them flatbed delivered to the dealer. There are only a small number of affected trucks and owners were notified in an overnight letter on May 14. The problem was discovered during assembly and corrected.
- 2009 – 2014 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia crossovers and 2009 – 2010 Saturn Outlook. Front safety lap best cables can fatigue and separate causing an increased risk of injury to front seat passengers. Dealers have been told that they cannot sell new or used models of the vehicles until repairs are made.
- 2004 – 2008 Chevrolet Malibu with 4-speed automatic transmission and 2005 – 2008 Pontiac G6 for a shift cable that could wear out resulting in mismatches of the gear position indicated by the shift lever.
- 2015 Cadillac Escalades and Escalade ESV for an insufficiently heated plastic weld that attaches the passenger side airbag to the instrument panel assembly and can result in a partial deployment of the airbag in the event of a crash.
- 2o15 Chevrolet Silverado and 2015 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty pickup trucks because retention clips attaching the generator fuse block to the vehicle body can become loose and lead to a potential fire.
As a quick reminder of the earlier recalls which GM (agreed in an order of consent this week as to a major fine it will pay for concealing this problem rather than handling it on a timely basis), here are the vehicles covered:
- 2003 – 2007 Saturn Ion
- 2002 – 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
- 2007 Pontiac G5
- 2006 – 2010 Pontiac Solstice
- 2007 – 2010 Saturn Sky
- 2006 – 2011 Chevrolet HHR
In these cases, drive with only a single ignition key and no other keys or keyfobs, and contact the dealer or go to www.GMIgnitionUpdate.com to initiate a parts request. GM and Delphi (who supplied the ignition switch are building new parts to replace the faulty ones.
So, there it is.