GM Recalls 2014 Silverado and Sierra Trucks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on June 29, 2017 that General Motors is recalling 2014 Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. According to NHTSA, 690,685 vehicles in the United States are involved.  The problem with these vehicles is that the electric power steering assist can fail increasing the risk of a crash.  At this time, neither NHTSA or General Motors is providing any details about the specific problem.  NHTSA has also indicated that GM has not yet scheduled a date when notification letters to owners would be mailed.  For additional information, owners can contact General Motors customer service by calling 1-800-222-1020.  Similarly, GMC owners can call 1-800-432-8782 for answers to their questions.  In both cases, owners will need to reference GM recall # 17276.

Duramax 2.8L Diesel Engine

General Motors has announced that it has incorporated the Duramax 2.8 liter turbo diesel engine in to its 2016 Chevrolet and GMC Canyon trucks.  In addition, General Motors has announced that the EPA has certified the trucks for getting 31 mpg on the highway.  On November 17, Engineering News Record reported that the engine is a four cylinder diesel and generates 181 horsepower and 369 foot pounds of torque.  In addition, two wheel drive vehicles equipped with six speed transmissions will get EPA estimated mileage rates of 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg in combined driving.  For those interested in four wheel drive vehicles, the mileage rates are 20 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in combined driving.

Duramax was created in 1998 as a result of a joint venture between General Motors and Isuzu to manufacture diesel engines.  Specifically, the goal was to manufacture the first high pressure, common rail, direct injection engine.  Prior to the Duramax engine, GM used an engine that was made entirely of iron in a V-8 configuration, was of the indirect injection type, took up 6.5 liter, rated at 215 horsepower and 440 foot pounds of torque.  For the most part, GM began installing 6.6 liter diesel engines in some of the full size pickups back in 2001.  As the demand evolved, so did the engine.  From 2001 until the present, there have been 5 variations until now when the 2.8 liter engine has been introduced into the midsize truck range.

Vehicle Recalls

Recently, some major manufacturers have recalled some of their vehicles for some serious defects. First, General Motors has recalled 1.4 million of its vehicles for an oil leak that can result in an engine fire. This particular recall is also part of a series of recalls for this same problem; that were initiated in 2008. At one time, the problem was thought to have been caused by leaky valve cover gaskets. Currently, GM is saying that drops of oil can be deposited on a hot exhaust manifold and ignite. But, GM is not saying what the source of the oil is; only that they are working on a repair. The vehicles that are involved in this recall are:

1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix

2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala

1998-1999 Chevrolet Lumina

1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

1998-1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue

1997-2004 Buick Regal

All of the above vehicles are equipped with 3.8 liter, V6 engines. Owners should take their vehicles to their GM dealerships for repair. For additional information, owners can contact GM by calling 1-800-222-1020 for Chevrolet vehicles, 1-800-762-2737 for Pontiac, and 1-800-521-7300 for Buick.

Second, GM isn’t the only car maker with problems. Nissan is recalling 46,846 model year 2013-2016 Altimas and 2016 Maximas. This is in addition to the already recalled 5,500 model year 2016 Maximas. These vehicles are all equipped with 3.5 liter, V6 engines. The problem with these vehicles is that an O-ring installed between the fuel tank and fuel sending unit was improperly installed and can leak in the event of a crash. Fuel in the presence of an ignition source can result in a fire. Nissan has already begun notifying owners. Owners should take their vehicles to a Nissan dealer for a free repair. For additional information, owners can contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.

Third, BMW is recalling approximately 86,000 Mini hatchbacks for a steering problem. The vehicles that are involved are 2002-2005 Mini Cooper, Cooper S, and 2005 Cooper and Cooper S convertibles. These vehicles can lose their electro-hydraulic power steering assist and as a result, drivers can find it more difficult to control the vehicle. It is possible for a crash to occur if the driver cannot apply the extra effort required to steer the vehicle and maintain control. Mini will begin notifying owners on or about December 1, 2015. Mini dealers will also inspect and replace components as necessary free of charge. For additional information, owners can contact MINI customer service by calling 1-866-825-1525.

 

 

Sudden/Unintended Accelerration

The problem of sudden or unintended acceleration has been around for over ten years now, mostly associated with Jeeps. But,  recently another of Toyota’s problems. Since about 2006, most vehicles have been equipped with something called an event data recorder (EDR) or a crash data recorder (CDR), otherwise known as a “blackbox”. These devices are programmed to record certain events just prior to and during a crash event. In order to access the recorded data, special equipment must be used. It is understood that the readers that are used are commercially available but, only from a limited source and are very expensive. It should also be noted that manufacturer’s dealers do not have these instruments (or at least are not publicly advertised). Vehicle manufacturers want to be able  to control the data in case it reveals a defect within their vehicle. As a result, if an EDR or CDR is to be read, it has to be removed from the vehicle and sent to the manufacturer unless an individual party with access to a reader can be located. If the problem of sudden acceleration is to be properly addressed, manufacturers have to come clean. If there is a problem with a vehicle, the manufacturer should take over the problem, fix it and stop trying to hide it in order to keep from being sued. The problem has been around long enough that all American manufacturers are aware of it. So much so that a little research will produce articles about GM, Ford and Chrysler making their own deals to have data recorders made and  programmed  for their vehicles. There are those that feel that the problem is the result of driver error. That is, driver’s inadvertenly step on the accelerator instead of  the brake pedal or step on both pedals at the same time. If this is what is happening, then how is that driver’s are confusing the pedals? Have manufacturer’s compacted the floor space so much that pedal location is confusing drivers? If so, isn’t this a manufacturing defect that should be addressed by the manufacturers?

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