General Motors has nixed an optional hot-spray windshield washer system called HotShot from all of its cars and trucks after an electrical short in the systems caused the recall of 944,000 vehicles. GM told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that a short on the circuit board of the fluid heater could overheat the control-circuit ground wire. The problem has resulted in 34 warranty claims so far and three reports of fires may have been caused by the system. To fix the problem, dealers will add a wiring harness with an inline fuse, and all GM retail outlets should have the required parts to fix the problem free of charge by November 1. Vehicles affected include the Buick Lucerne and Enclave, the Cadillac DTS and Escalade, the GMC Yukon, Sierra and Acadia, the Saturn Outlook, the Hummer H2, and the Chevy Silverado, Avalanche, Tahoe, and Suburban.

GM blames the system's suburban Detroit supplier, Microheat, for the problem, and the small company has reportedly shrunk in size in preparation of forever closing its doors. The General wants Microheat to pay for the recall, which is estimated to cost between $20 and $25 million, and the small supplier has countered by reminding the automaker that it's still owed $3.7 million for parts and tooling. The whole affair is a shame, as heated windshield washer fluid is a nice luxury that makes de-icing and de-bugging your windshield a hands-off affair. As far as we know, Microheat is the only supplier offering this technology, so when it goes, so does the option altogether.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]