Chevy Impala not Recalled for Exploding Intake Manifold and Engine Fire

During the late 1990s, a problem developed with some General Motors vehicles that were recalled for engine backfire and subsequent damage to plastic intake manifolds. All of the vehicles that were involved were equipped with defective fuel pressure regulators. The defective regulators allowed combustible mixtures of air and fuel to accumulate in the intake manifold. When an engine backfired, the mixture ignited producing a pressure that caused the plastic manifold to burst. Since General Motors was aware of the problem in the late 90s, recalls were issued for 98-99 Buick Park Avenue, Buick LaSabre, Oldsmobile 88, and Pontiac Bonneville vehicles. Although various vehicle models manufactured between 1995 and 2002 were supposed to have been monitored, the Chevrolet Impala escaped notice. As a result, we recently investigated a 2001 Chevrolet Impala engine fire that was caused by the sequence of events described above. It should be noted that GM vehicles in the model year range previously stated are still on the road and could be potential fire hazards. If you feel that your vehicle might be a fire hazard, have it inspected. Remember that the sequence of events that leads to an engine fire occurs as follows: attempt to start in cold weather and then a loud popping sound followed by smoke and the appearance of flames from beneath the hood. Damage to one recently investigated instance is shown in the photographs shown below.

Cracked intake manifold cover

Cracked intake manifold cover

Damage to intake manifold and surrounding wiring

Damage to intake manifold and surrounding wiring

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