SUVs Catching Fire Causes Third GM Recall

GM Window Switch Recall

Power Window Problems Plague GM SUVs

GM vehicle defects have once again reared their ugly head. Power window switches, which are causing fire hazards, have forced the company to recall these cars for a third time.

This mess dates back to 2012, when GM decided to send letters to the owners at risk instead of issuing a recall. The communication explained that fires could happen when the driver's door switch comes into contact with liquid, which may then lead to rusting, short circuits, and eventually fires. Due to mounting complaints from both their customers and the government, GM was soon after forced to recall 278,000 SUVs. Last year, the recall was made nationwide.

GM's first attempt at a repair involved applying protective coating around the circuit boards, which was less costly to the corporation because it did not require replacing the switches. Earlier this year, however, reports surfaced about malfunctions in cars with these modified switches.

This led to their third recall in June. The switches will now be completely replaced, but the parts won't be available until at least October. In the meantime, GM is telling all affected customers to leave their cars outdoors. The vehicles affected are mostly 2006 and 2007 sport-utility SUVs:

  • Buick Rainier (‘06 and ‘07)
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer (‘06 and '07)
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT ('07)
  • GMC Envoy (‘06 and '07)
  • GMC Envoy XL ('06),
  • SAAB 9-7X ('05, '06, and '07)
  • Isuzu Ascender (‘06 and '07)

GM is also in the midst of another massive safety crisis, this one due to faulty ignition switches. An ongoing issue for which they have been heavily fined, the defective switches can turn the engine's power off and disable the air bags while the car is in motion.

The corporation has started a compensation program for the ignition glitch, and has already received 65 death claims. This amount greatly surpasses the 13 deaths that have thus far been attributed to the ignition defect. Those with the highest payout eligibility have a recalled vehicle for which the air-bag failed to deploy, a key sign that there was a problem with the ignition switch.

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“GM Issues Third Recall on SUVS That Can Catch Fire.” ABC News. August 8, 2014.
“GM victim fund receives 65 death claims.” CBS News. August 11, 2014.