GM Issues Third Recall on SUVs for Fire Risk

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IHS Global Insight

August 8, 2014

Copyright 2014 IHS Global Insight. All Rights Reserved

General Motors (GM) has issued a third recall on some sport utility vehicles (SUV) over power-window switches at risk of catching fire, reports the Associated Press (AP).

The recall affects about 189,000 vehicles in North America of 2006 and 2007 model years, including the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X. The problem first appeared in 2012, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating consumer complaints of fires in the driver's door switches that control the windows.

Initially, GM addressed the issue with a service campaign, informing owners by letter that water could find its way into switches, causing rust that can result in short circuits, overheating and possibly fires. That campaign extended the warranty and offered to service vehicles that displayed the problem, limited to cold-weather winter states where there is high use of road salt.

In August 2012, GM recalled the SUVs, also in cold-weather states and offered extended warranties to the rest of the country. In 2013, GM put a protective coating around the window switch circuit boards; however, with more complaints coming in 2014, a third recall came in June to replace all switches.

A GM spokesperson told the AP that GM initially chose a service campaign following a small number of incidents, limited to cold-weather states because salty water made the switches corrode quickly. GM is now asking owners to park their SUVs outside.

GM will not have the required parts until October and will contact owners between October and December to let them know when the parts will be available.

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