GM Recalls 1.5 Million Vehicles for Issue with
Heated Windshield Wiper Fluid Module
June 9, 2010
|The 2009 Chevrolet Silverado is one of several
models included in the recall.
General Motors Corp. (GM) has issued a recall of nearly 1.5 million
vehicles that are equipped with heated windshield wiper fluid systems.The
company says there is a possibility that in rare circumstances the
heated washer module could cause a fire, and has received reports
of at least four fires occurring due to the issue, according to
information from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration
(NHTSA). Three of these occurred in unattended vehicles.
This is the second recall related to the systems; the first was
implemented in 2008 to add a fuse to the control circuit harness
to address the potential consequences of an electrical short, which
was thought to be causing possible fires. However, even after this
was added, GM says it has received new reports of the plastic around
the fluid chamber melting, leading to the fire concerns.
"In June 2009, GM found evidence that indicated during the
[printed circuit board] short or soon after, one of the two heater
relays was activated and overheated the fluid chamber because the
module's internal thermal protection device (solder cup) did not
function as designed," writes the company in its notification
The company received its first report of an unattended fire occurring
in a vehicle to which the fuse had been added in February 2010,
and shortly after learned of the three others. GM is attributing
the fires to "the failure of the solder cup."
The recall potentially could affect 1,365,070 vehicles equipped
with heated windshield washer fluid systems, including the 2006-2009
Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS and Hummer H2; the 2008-2009 Buick Enclave
and Cadillac CTS; the 2007-2009 Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac Escalade
ESV, Cadillac Escalade EXT, Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Silverado,
Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Acadia, GMC Sierra, GMC
Yukon, GMC Yukon XL and Saturn Outlook; and the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse.
GM issued the official NHTSA recall on June 4 and is encouraging
vehicle owners to bring the vehicles back to dealers, to have the
heated washer fluid system permanently disabled and removed from
the vehicles. In addition, customers will receive a "customer
satisfaction payment" of $100 since the system will be disabled,
according to documentation GM provided to NHTSA.
This was a unique technology available from only one supplier,
and that supplier has stopped manufacturing, which left no opportunity
to collaborate on an improved design, says Jeff Boyer, executive
director of safety.
HERE for more information from NHTSA.
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