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Fire-prone wiper-fluid gear sparks GM recall

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Fire-prone wiper-fluid gear sparks GM recall

BY JUSTIN HYDE

FREE PRESS WASHINGTON STAFF

WASHINGTON – General Motors said today it was recalling 1.5 million vehicles worldwide to disable a heated windshield washer fluid system linked to fires, saying owners would get $100 in compensation.

GM said the system had been linked to five fires with no reports of injuries or crashes. The same system had been previously recalled in August 2008 for fires, with GM telling dealers to install new wiring.

The automaker said it had kept monitoring the HotShot system made by supplier Micro-Heat since the first recall, and received a report in June 2009 of smoke from the units. GM withheld payments from Micro-Heat after the first recall to cover its costs, and the company was forced to file for bankruptcy and liquidate.

GM said because Micro-Heat no longer existed, it could not provide an improved design again. For the new recall, dealers will remove the fluid heater and reroute some hoses.

The $100 “is for the loss of the feature, not the recall,” said Jeff Boyer, executive director of safety for GM.

The recall affects the 2006-2009 model year Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS, Hummer H2; the 2008-2009 model year Buick Enclave and Cadillac CTS; the 2007-2009 model year Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT, Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Acadia, Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL, Saturn Outlook and the 2009 model year Chevrolet Traverse.

Of the 1.5 million vehicles covered, GM said 1,365,070 are in the United States, with 98,794 in Canada, 26,228 in Mexico and 38,093 exports.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100608/BUSINESS0101/100608018/1210/BUSINESS01/Fire-prone-wiper-fluid-gear-sparks-GM-recall

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Fire risk: GM recalls 1.5 million cars, trucks with heated wiper fluid

10:58 AM

General Motors is recalling about 1.5 million vehicles worldwide for a problem with a heated windshield wiper fluid system that could lead to a fire. The recall affects a number of 2006- to 2009-model pickups, SUVs and cars sold under the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer and Saturn brands. GM conducted a similar recall in 2008 but has had new reports of fires in vehicles that were supposedly fixed.

GM plans to disable the washer fluid heating module and will pay owners/leasers $100 for losing the feature. GM says it is aware of five fires, but no injuries or crashes.

Nearly 1.4 million vehicles are in the U.S. More than 100,000 vehicles are in Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.

Here is a list of vehicles and a summary of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's posting:

BUICK / ENCLAVE 2008-2009

BUICK / LUCERNE 2006-2009

CADILLAC / CTS 2008-2009

CADILLAC / DTS 2006-2009

CADILLAC / ESCALADE 2007-2009

CADILLAC / ESCALADE ESV 2007-2009

CADILLAC / ESCALADE EXT 2007-2009

CHEVROLET / AVALANCHE 2007-2009

CHEVROLET / SILVERADO 3500 2007-2009

CHEVROLET / SUBURBAN 2007-2009

CHEVROLET / TAHOE 2007-2009

CHEVROLET / TRAVERSE 2009

GMC / ACADIA 2007-2009

GMC / SIERRA 2007-2009

GMC / YUKON 2007-2009

GMC / YUKON XL 2007-2009

HUMMER / H2 2006-2009

SATURN / OUTLOOK 2007-2009

Manufacturer: GENERAL MOTORS CORP. Mfr's Report Date: JUN 04, 2010

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 10V240000 N/A

NHTSA Action Number: N/A

Component: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Potential Number of Units Affected: 1365070

Summary: GM is recalling certain model year 2006-2009 vehicles equipped with a heated washer fluid system (HWFS). A recall was implemented in 2008 to add a fuse to the control circuit harness to address the potential consequences of a printed circuit board electrical short. However, there have been new reports of thermal incidents on HWFS modules after this improvement was installed. These incidents resulted from a new failure mode attributed to the device's thermal protection feature. The significance varies from minor distortion to considerable melting of the plastic around the HWFS fluid chamber.

Consequence: It is possible for the heated washer module to ignite and a fire may occur.

Remedy: Dealers will permanently disable and remove the heated washer fluid module. An updated page for the owner manual will be provided and inserted in the owner manual to document that the feature has been permanently disabled and removed from the vehicle. The safety recall is expected to begin on or before June 14, 2010. Owners may contact Buick at 1-866-608-8080, Cadillac at 1-866-982-2339, Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438, Saturn at 1-800-972-8876, GMC at 1-866-996-9463 and Hummer at 1-800-732-5493 or at the owner center at WWW.GMOWNERCENTER.COM.

Notes: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .

link:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/06/gm-recalls-15-million-cars-suvs-pickups----fire-hazard-with-heated-wiper-fluid/1

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GM to recall 1.5 million vehicles for fire risk

Neil Roland

Automotive News -- June 8, 2010 - 10:57 am ET

WASHINGTON -- General Motors Co. said it is recalling 1.5 million vehicles with heated washer-fluid systems following engine fires that occurred even after a 2008 fix on many of the same cars for similar problems.

The recalls, to begin by June 14, will affect 18 models of 2006-2009 Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, GMCs, Hummers and Saturns, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its Web site today.

In August 2008, GM recalled about 858,000 cars and trucks following reports of fires resulting from shorts in the system that heats windshield-washer fluid. Dealers installed a wire harness that contained a fuse.

However, the module's internal thermal-protection device, or solder cup, “did not function as designed,” GM said in a June 4 letter to NHTSA that was posted today.

No injuries

GM said it has learned of five fires, including several that occurred while the vehicle was unattended. The company is not aware of any injuries or crashes.

“While our analysis shows the number of incidents is very small compared with the number of vehicles on the road, we want our customers to have complete peace of mind,” said Jeff Boyer, GM's executive director of safety.

The models of cars, trucks and crossovers included in the recall are the 2006-09 Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS and Hummer H2; the 2008-09 Buick Enclave and Cadillac CTS; and the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse.

Also included are the 2007-09 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and EXT; Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, and Tahoe; GMC Acadia, Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL; and Saturn Outlook.

While 1.4 million of the vehicles to be recalled are in the United States, there are others in Canada, Mexico and other countries, GM said in a statement.

Once the heated-washer fluid system is removed, the vehicles will no longer have the winter convenience of warm fluid to clean the frozen windshield, GM spokesman Greg Martin said.

GM said it plans to pay $100 to vehicle owners as compensation for permanently disabling and removing the heated washer fluid system. If all 1.5 million vehicles recalled are brought in, GM would pay out roughly $150 million, plus the cost of the actual fixes. GM, in court documents, projected the cost of the first recall was between $20 million and $25 million.

The heat is off

The original units, called HotShot, were manufactured by a suburban Detroit supplier called Microheat Inc.

Microheat's technology gained praise. In 2006, the company was a finalist for an Automotive News PACE Award given annually for supplier product and process innovation. PACE stands for Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence.

But after GM's problems with HotShot began to emerge in 2008, Microheat ceased production of the units and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Microheat's Web site is no longer active.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100608/RETAIL05/100609884/1147#ixzz0qIPBjjGZ

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GM attempting to catch up to Toyota? They're gonna have to do better than this!

You mean worse.

No people were injured, the data were not hidden for six years or more, and neither did the company brag for saving money on recall.

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GM will recall 1.5M vehicles

Heated windshield washer system on range of 2006-09 models could spark fire

Robert Snell / The Detroit News

General Motors Co. is recalling 1.5 million vehicles worldwide to fix problems with a heated windshield washer system that could cause a fire.

It's the automaker's second such recall in two years.

The recall announced Tuesday covers several crossovers, sport utility vehicles, pickups and passenger cars produced between 2006 and 2009.

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GM is offering to pay vehicle owners and lessees $100 and to remove the heated windshield washer fluid system, according to a safety recall notice.

GM launched a similar recall in 2008 to add a fuse to address a potential electrical short. But there have been new reports of incidents since then. Five fires have been reported, but no injuries or crashes have resulted, GM said.

"While our analysis shows the number of incidents is very small compared with the number of vehicles on the road, we want our customers to have complete peace of mind," Jeff Boyer, GM's executive director of safety, said in a prepared statement.

Aaron Bragman, an auto analyst at IHS Global Insight, said the recall is unlikely to hurt GM sales or quality perceptions among consumers, who have faced a string of recalls in recent months among major automakers, including Chrysler Group LLC and Toyota Motor Corp.

"It doesn't help by any means, especially if they're trying to tell people they've got much better quality and reliability, and then they issue a recall," Bragman said.

The GM recall was announced four days after Chrysler recalled 34,600 Dodge Calibers and 90 Jeep Compasses.

That recall was prompted by a bad batch of parts that led to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation into sticky pedals.

"It's no longer stunning or shocking when anybody does a recall, considering the magnitude of the ones we've had in the last year," Bragman said.

Most of the affected GM vehicles are in the United States; others are in Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.

Owners of affected vehicles will start receiving letters from GM notifying them of the recall after Friday.

Dealers will remove the heated washer fluid module and reroute washer fluid hoses. The action likely will take more than 20 minutes to complete.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100609/AUTO01/6090321/1148/auto01/GM-will-recall-1.5M-vehicles#ixzz0qMPM4C6v

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Fire-risk Caddies set for NZ recall

Fire fix: An over-heating windcreen washer warmer has forced the recall of 1.5 million GM cars, including the Cadillac CTS.

Cast-off Cadillacs from Australia may be subject of safety recall across the Tasman

9 June 2010

By RON HAMMERTON

AUSTRALIA’S gain might be New Zealand’s pain in the latest round of safety recalls by General Motors.

The recall of 1.5 million GM vehicles is believed to include 89 Cadillac CTS luxury sedans originally imported into Australia by Holden’s GM Premium Brands before being re-exported to New Zealand after the collapse of plans to introduce the iconic American brand here in 2009.

The cars were sold to an independent NZ distributor who has been selling them to well-heeled buyers in NZ since June 2009.

The Cadillac CTS is among 18 models subject to a recall advised by GM after the company learned that a faulty windscreen washer fluid heater – designed to defrost windscreens in super-cold climates – could pose a fire risk.

Most of the 1.5 million vehicles – more than one million – were sold to customers in the United States, with others going to Canada, Mexico and a range of other countries, including New Zealand.

According to Holden, the NZ distributor will liase with GM’s Detroit head office to implement the fix, which simply involves scrapping the heater unit and re-routing the washer pipes.

According to official figures published by the Motor Industry Association NZ, 119 new Cadillacs have been sold to Kiwis since June last year, with almost half of them registered in the first month of CTS sales.

The Cadillac CTS – built on GM’s Sigma II rear-drive platform – was to have paved the way for Cadillac’s reintroduction into Australia in 2008.

After being delayed until the first quarter of 2009 when the global financial crisis struck, the project was postponed indefinitely by Holden’s then chairman and managing director Mark Reuss in January last year, just two weeks before the launch. The plans remain in mothballs.

The shipment of 89 right-hand-drive Cadillac CTS sedans had already arrived for the model's debut, earmarked primarily for dealer demonstrator duties and corporate tasks, such as press and dealer launch roles. Instead, they were sold as a job lot to NZ.

The latest GM recall is the second attempt to fix the heater problem, which GM says has resulted in a number of fires but no crashes or injuries. Last August, GM recalled about 858,000 cars and trucks after reports of fires resulting from a short-circuiting system. Dealers installed a wire harness that contained a fuse.

After five more reports of fires in vehicles, GM has decided to remove the unit altogether and pay each vehicle owner or lessee $US100 compensation.

The latest recall affects 2007-2009 model cars, trucks and crossovers that, apart from the Cadillac CTS, includes the Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS, Hummer H2, Buick Enclave, Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Avalanche, Chev Silverado, Chev Suburban, Chev Tahoe, GMC Acadia, GMC Sierra, GMC Yukon, Saturn Outlook and Chevrolet Traverse.

GM’s executive director of safety, Jeff Boyer, said: “While our analysis shows the number of incidents is very small compared with the number of vehicles on the road, we want our customers to have complete peace of mind.

“We always want to make sure customers can count on the safety and quality of their GM vehicle.”

link:

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/C98C0AB90D9F7AF8CA25773D000C71F8

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