A software problem that can cause engine fires has prompted a voluntary recall of GM’s recently introduced Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Eight fires with no reported injuries have occurred, prompting the company’s action. It appears that the overheating of the exhaust system on these trucks is linked to very cold weather conditions. Owners are advised to not leave their trucks to idle unattended.
The recall affects all of the 2014 vehicles — about 370,000 units — with 4.3L and 5.3 L engines. They are built at GM plants in Silao, Mexico and Ft.Wayne, IN.
In some cases, the problem is indicated by a continuous yellow ‘check engine’ light and an ‘engine power reduced’ message in the driver information center. Ironically, the reprogramming of the software by the dealer takes only 20 minutes to resolve.
This recall is especially tough on GM since the complete redesign of the the pickups was the first in seven years; and the introduction and acceptance of the vehicles has been been picture perfect otherwise. The Silverado was just named 2014 Truck of the Year by Four Wheeler magazine and is a finalist for Truck of the Year status at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday. It has also been recognized by Consumer Reports and other rating agencies.
While GM will send letters to owners on January 16, advising them to schedule a repair appointment with the dealership, owners can contact their dealers prior to that time.
Recalls directed at software issues are becoming more common as electronic systems have taken over many things that were previously mechanical.