Cars

GM Recalls 258,000 SUVs Due to Fire Hazard

Source: Discontinued 2012 Chevrolet TrailBlazer | Official Website

General Motors is recalling a family of SUVs, which includes Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Saab 9-7x, Buick Rainer, and Isuzu Ascender due to fire hazard risks. The vehicle were sold and registered in 20 U.S. states, Washington DC, and Canada, where salt and other chemicals were used to melt ice.

Fire Hazard on GM SUVs

Prior to this, 28 fires were reported due to short circuits in the power window and locks. Although fires have reportedly caused serious damage to a number of affected vehicles, no related injuries were reported.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started the investigation in February, after receiving a dozen complaints of fires. On one complaint filed last October 2008, a woman reported that an alarm sounded while her 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer was parked in the driveway. After looking outside, she saw that her SUV is on fire.

Firefighters put out the blaze and reported that it started on the driver’s door. The car owner wrote in the complaint that “the fire burned the entire driver’s side of the vehicle, a portion of the seat passenger and roof.”

The TrailBlazer is the biggest seller among the SUVs, which helped the truck-based models to become popular in the United States. It was phased out in 2009 and was replaced by more-efficient crossovers, such as Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, and GMC Arcadia.

According to NHTSA, the danger is greater in cold states, wherein salt and other chemicals are used to melt ice. It was reported that fluid containing road-clearing chemicals can get inside the driver’s door through wiring. It could then cause corrosion in the power-window and door-switch circuit boards, which could result to fire.

Remedy and Replacement

Although a remedy plan is yet to be formulated and a notification is yet to be announced, concerned owners can call NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236. They can also call the customer service number of their respective SUV manufacturer.

NHTSA reported that SUV dealers will replace the power-window switch for free. Owners will receive a notification that will tell them when to schedule their appointments. The car manufacturer’s spokesman Alan Adler also added that GM will repair SUVs owned by people not living in the state covered by the recall at no cost.

The recalled SUVs are from model years 2006 and 2007. GM estimates that 258,000 of its vehicles in the United States and Canada will need repair.

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