GM issues third recall on SUVs that can catch fire

Auto giant is telling customers to park vehicles outdoors until they are repaired because they could catch fire when left unattended
Associated Press
Aug 8, 2014


General Motors' troubles with safety recalls has surfaced in another case, this time with the company 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.

Those vehicles will be left outside for a while. Parts won't be ready until October at the earliest, according to GM. The automaker also has ordered its dealers to stop selling the SUVs as used cars until they are fixed.

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. The company has issued a record 60 recalls this year covering nearly 29 million vehicles.

Before this year, GM had been reluctant to issue recalls, at times opting for lower-cost fixes for safety problems. It's been fined $35 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for lapses in reporting the ignition switch problems, which it blames for at least 13 deaths.

After the ignition switch debacle, GM did a companywide safety review, appointed a new global safety chief and pledged to recall cars quickly.

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 telling them that water can find its way into the switches, causing rust that can result in short circuits, overheating and possibly fires. The campaign, which wasn't a recall, extended the warranty and offered service only to vehicles that exhibited the problems. It was limited to 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear roads in the winter.

But in August of 2012, under government pressure, GM recalled 278,000 of the SUVs in the cold-weather states and offered extended warranties to the rest of the country. NHTSA kept investigating, and 10 months later, GM expanded the recall nationwide.

By then, NHTSA and GM had received 242 complaints, including 28 about fires. There were no injuries.

In one complaint filed with NHTSA from October of 2008, a woman reported that the alarm sounded while her 2006 TrailBlazer was parked in her driveway. When she looked outside, it was in flames. Firefighters put out the blaze and told her it started in the driver's door.

"The fire burned the entire driver's side of the vehicle, a portion of the front passenger seat and the roof," she wrote. People filing complaints are not identified by the agency.

The fix used by GM last year was to put a protective coating around the window switch circuit boards, which is less costly than replacing the switches. 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.

"We are recalling them because the fix that we put in did not work," spokesman Alan Adler said Thursday. "We're taking care of it. We're doing the right thing."

Initially GM tried the service campaign because number of incidents was low, he said. It was limited to the cold-weather states because salty water made the switches corrode quickly and incidents were few in warmer states, Adler said.

Letters notifying owners about the SUV recall should be mailed soon. Owners will get a second letter sometime from October to December telling them when parts are available to fix the vehicles.



Can I just return both of my GM vehicles?


Wow! How GM continues to sell cars is beyond me. Turning off, catching on fire. What is next? Blowing up?


Government Motors


Actually, the government is out of it. The largest shareholder is the UAW.


The unions are literally killing people.

The Big Dog's back

Not as much as you right wingnuts done again.


If it weren't for the gov sticking it's nose in it may be a better GM instead of what it is, whatever that is. Aside from the fact that they have NOT paid back the entire loan. Google it.


The government lost money on the deal. They ( we) were paid in stock. The government sold all the stock and is no longer an owner.
Believe it or not, this is one thing we agree on.
The government should have let the normal bankruptcy process take place. As it was, the hurried government run bankruptcy screwed over a lot more people. Obama wanted to placate the UAW at the expense of basically everyone else.

The Big Dog's back

Who is everyone else?

Dr. Information

Tax payers Pig Dog, don't worry, its not you.


Creditors, bond holders in particular, smaller unions, salary workers, tax payers

The Big Dog's back

The smaller unions and companies all stayed open because of this. Tax payers got paid back 1st by GM, 2nd by all the people who kept their jobs that ARE paying taxes. Creditors and Bond holders are always at risk no matter who they loan to. Salary workers have very few laws to protect them. They knew this or should have known when they took the job.

Saving 1.5 million jobs was more important.


Big Dog....I am glad GM is surviving. But, the truth of the matter is the smaller unions that represented workers at GM got screwed. Initially, the only union that got preferential treatment was the UAW. They were one of the few unions that would still represent workers. The IUE and smaller unions were originally cast aside and did not get the preferential treatment the UAW received. It was only after political pressure from the UAW to the Obama Auto Task force did they capitulate. Even then not all the small unions got "taken care of". The government was afraid of the UAW. There are documents that state the above. The UAW is too big a political force.......thankfully for their members. The UAW received 100% of their pensions and continued their health care when the workers from smaller unions and the salary workers who worked alongside the UAW members lost up to 50% of their pensions and all of their health care. Double standards......yes! Political motivation by the government.....yes! Even the UAW President at the time stated that the smaller unions and salary retirees got screwed over.

The Big Dog's back

It's not just GM, it's a lot of suppliers, union and non-union that survived. And the only place I could find anything like you were refering to is on right leaning sites. hertiage, forbes, wsj, etc., all organizations known for hating unions and Obama too. Delphi salary workers believe they got hosed, but they are salary workers and knew the risks of taking a salary job. You can't take a salary job and when something goes south all of a sudden you want to be treated like the union. One or the other.


Guess we'll have to agree to disagree. The government didn't cause the problem, but absolutely needed to step in to prevent GM from going bankrupt. Hundreds of thousands of Americans would have lost their jobs, less than a year after we had lost 6 million jobs during the final Bush years. Saving jobs was Obama's motivation, and I think we have all noticed that the hundreds of thousands of Chevy workers did, indeed, keep their jobs. Of COURSE it cost money to fix the problem. Nothing comes free.

Were you prepared to fund unemployment for those hundreds of thousands of workers, If the auto bailout hadn't taken place? If you're looking for a scapegoat, I suggest you focus on the President who caused the Recession, not the one who had to clean up the mess.


It is the union you would pay them if they were shooting children in the head as long as they were feeding your party with donations. Face it you would support the union no matter what they did or what the government did. You are a simple minded stooge that will stand for anything Goebbels wants you to stand for.
A mouthpiece for the political blowhards to blow on, Isn't that right Coaster? (Bet you stand on the corner screaming blow me tards blow me...)

The Big Dog's back

done again, you should really seek psychiatric help.


Mr. Coasterfan says "The government didn't cause the problem, but absolutely needed to step in to prevent GM from going bankrupt.

I have some breaking news for you coaster On June 1, 2009 General Motors filed for bankruptcy.

If GM did not come back the hundred of thousands of Americans you alluded to losing their jobs would have only happened if every person that would have bought a GM car decided not to ever buy a car because if they did decide that they needed an auto and bought from another company then the other companies would have had to increase production ergo creating more jobs.

With Bush and a Republican controlled congress the economy was very good for 6 years then the lower IQ Americans decided they needed a change in congress and voted in a Democratic congress and the economy tumbled. Yes I did allude to the lower IQ persons voting Democratic because in one of my past issues of the "Mensa Research Journal " an article did advise that their research concluded that persons with higher IQ's tend to vote Republican.


Your nuttier than a fruit cake. I have always been a Republican. But Bush messed this country up big time. I have yet to vote Democrate but I have to give whats his name a little credit.


Re: "But Bush messed this country up big time."

Caca de vaca. It was the Republicrats.

Good thing that Mr. Obama wasn't POTUS when computers started replacing typewriters or he mighta subsidized that industry with taxpayer and borrowed money.

The Big Dog's back

Gee, who set up internet connections? How about broadband? Once again you speak of something you know little about.


Good thing that Pres. Obama wasn't around when Gutenberg invented the printing press or he mighta used taxpayer and borrowed money to subsidize employment of the scribes.

Bailout of GM & Chrysler: Good examples of crony capitalism (fascism).

Mussolini woulda been proud of the Incompetent-in-Chief.

The Big Dog's back

Keep moving the goalposts mr. know nothing.

The Big Dog's back

“Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”
Until recently this wouldn’t have been a controversial statement. Everyone in the tech world knows that the Internet got its start in the 1960s, when a team of computing pioneers at the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency designed and deployed ARPANET, the first computer network that used “packet switching”—a communications system that splits up data and sends it across multiple paths toward its destination, which is the basic design of today’s Internet. According to most accounts, researchers working on ARPANET created many of the Internet’s defining features, including TCP/IP, the protocol on which today’s network operates. In the 1980s, they strung together various government and university networks together using TCP/IP—thus creating a single worldwide network, the Internet.


Good info Big Dog, all along I thought Al Gore invented the internet. I guess I was lied to :)


Re: "Government research created the Internet"



BS, they could have restructured. You believe what ever they tell you don't you?


Re: "Were you prepared to fund unemployment for those hundreds of thousands of workers,"

BOTH GM & Chrysler went bankrupt and the cos. labor forces WERE downsized.

GM's corp. culture remains a problem.

FYI: GM China was the ONLY profitable division. Why was that?


Dang it Sugar...we agree again. Lol. In restructuring GM would have porked their creditors and dropped their liabilities ( quick and dirty version ). The pressure by the largest union, and giant politicall ally of Obama, was for a government takeover. If GM would have gone through the regular bankruptcy process the largest union would have lost a lot more than they did.....retirees pension decimated, retirees losing health care, active workers reducing and losing some benefits, active workers getting large wage cuts, etcetera. GM would still be making cars but probably at a reduced rate.

2cents's picture

Leave it at what? I saw the website. I think I know what you are trying to say, but not sure.

Delphi (part of GM at one time) closed or moved MOST of its manufacturing out of the US to Mexico and China. Most of Delphi had unions other than the UAW.

I know a person who works for Delphi. He lives in Texas (has to move there from Michigan) and he commutes every day to the Delphi plant in Mexico. He is told to never ride alone, do not stop, and get home before dark.

2cents's picture

They are all in bed together to save a buck. Changing a part without a rev change is a violation of the law, ask anyone in any quality department manufacturing under ISO!

"In 2006 GM authorized a change in the ignition switch but didn't change the part number. As a supplier, is it a common practice for Delphi to allow a manufacturer to change a part and not change the part number?"


Why do GM sales remain strong?

"GM unit gets subpoena over subprime auto loans"

Yea, subprime loans worked out really great for the housing mkt. didn't they?

Perkins Resident

GM is using more and more inferior offshore parts in their vehicles. Just ask anyone that works at KBI. KBI lost a lot of GM business to offshore manufacturers. Wheel bearings are a significant part of the vehicle and I won't buy a GM vehicle for that reason. Also, the interior materials are cheap plastic garbage. I don't see why anyone would ever by a GM product.


And you think Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda don't buy some bearings from overseas?

Perkins Resident

Here I thought thus article was about GM.


It is.

lunchtime 175

its good that they are trying to fix all the problems. I am sure its costing them billions of dollars to do that.

lunchtime 175

I have a older GMC vehicle and I like it very much, no problems with it and great gas mileage on the 4.2 engine.