The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration appears to be feeling its oats lately. It recently urged Chrysler to recall some Jeep models over gas tank safety issues, and while the Auburn Hills automaker resisted in very public fashion, the government agency eventually got what it wanted. Now it's turning its gaze upon General Motors, wondering if an existing recall of 8,000 Pontiac G6 models for a brake light issue should have been exponentially larger – some 551,000 vehicles.

GM recalled those 8,000 Pontiac models in 2009 after NHTSA logged some 212 complaints of brake light issues on 2005 and 2006 models. But now, NHTSA has reportedly collected 314 complaints of similar issues in 2005-2008 models, and GM itself admits to receiving 1,104 complaints and about 14,400 "'potentially related warranty claims.'" These expanded findings have triggered an engineering analysis, a situation that The New York Times says is likely to result in a recall, though the outcome is not a certainty.

As NYT points out, this "is the third time this year NHTSA has challenged the adequacy of GM recalls." Back in June, NHTSA cajoled The General into adding nearly 200,000 GMT 360-based SUVs to an existing electrical fire risk recall, and it also announced an investigation into the Chevrolet Camaro, Cruze and Sonic for airbag issues. GM has already recalled 6,900 examples of these vehicles, but NHTSA is looking at around 400,000 units.


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  • 27 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      gregmlr
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a Pontiac, it's supposed to have problems.
      John
      • 1 Year Ago
      Time to rein in the NHTSA.
        Egon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @John
        Are you suggesting that 14,400 "potentially related warranty claims" aren't worthy of at least some regulatory scrutiny? Or is your thoughtful, one-line, partial sentence comment just a knee-jerk "government = bad" reflex? Personally, I don't think it's too much to ask for brake lights to illuminate when the brakes are applied. But whatevs; I'm sure GM will take care of it. Right?
          johnbravo6
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Egon
          "Big business" doesn't regulate itself. The market regulates it. Made impossible by bailouts, and discouraged by alphabet agencies.
          Tiberius1701
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Egon
          In a way I see your point, but just consider the wrong-headedness of the recent NHTSA-Jeep debacle. And add in the recent misdeeds by the above mentioned government authorities. 'Nuff said. And just by-thE-by, if GM had that many warranty claims on the affected part/system, shame on them for not initiating a policy campaign to address the issue.
          Egon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Egon
          I'm not a supporter of Big Government at all, but I'm equally wary of Big Business's ability to regulate itself. Case in point here: There's some 15,000 complaints (1,100 actual complaints + 14,000 warranty claims, aka "my taillights don't work" complaints) and GM is currently doing an 'engineering analysis'. That's certainly not as damning as the notorious 'Pinto memo', but it does seem to be a curious response. As far as a link between the current events at the IRS, for instance, and the actions NHTSA, I would suggest that's a bit of a stretch. Just my opinion though. However, if you're inclined to be critical of the current administration, I'd say there's plenty of other, more legitimate, reasons for complaint.
        Tiberius1701
        • 1 Year Ago
        @John
        ..and EPA, DHS, IRS...and on and on.... might be seeing a pattern here..
        Jerry
        • 1 Year Ago
        @John
        Well, that would certainly pave the way for cheaper, low quality brands in the US! Tats Nanos and Mahidras for everyone! Just do not park them in or new your garage...
          John
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jerry
          Many of the vehicles pass strict UK standards but are not allowed in the US.... WHY?!?!! The NHTSA is overbearing. We don't need standard TPMS sensors. If you can't figure out you have a flat then you shouldn't be driving. We don't need standard backup cameras. If you can't look in your mirrors and be aware of your surroundings then you shouldn't be driving. Its gone to far. Sports cars and enthusiasts cars are watered down. I agree that things like this should be options but requiring them as standard is a bit much.
          Egon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jerry
          No argument here that there are many behind the wheel that shouldn't be driving. Good luck fixing that problem. And you're worried about reining in NHTSA???
      Deneway
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they can't get it right first time. They shouldn't be getting a free rifled at taxpayer expense. Fits the NHTSA
      SloopJohnB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Got to laugh....minor recalls over brake light problems while Audi has historical upper control arm bushing and ball joint failures on the A6 cars since the C4 and C5, probably the C6 and C7 cars beyond the 50K warranty.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well if NHTSA and GM are still receiving complaints for the same problem on other model years they have every right to reopen the investigation in the name of safety. This is not some Jeep fiasco, nor is this some government breathing down the necks of a company. Consumers are filing complaints clearly it needs to be addressed.
      blasds78
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Government questions a government-run organization about poor stewardship" Sounds like this Administration.
      Jacel
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is hilarious to see all these people defending GM. As a previous GM owner I know this was a common GM practice to issue a recall of a small amount of cars to quiet the NHTSA not really to fix the issue. That is how death traps laden with cheap parts like the s10 stayed on the market for over a decade. There was more than one time that the Chevy dealer would not cover my s10 because it had not been included in the recall despite the fact it suffered from the exact problem the recall explained. I actually had to raise hell with GM corporate for them to give me an authorization number for GM to fix it. For those kinds of practices alone GM should not have been bailed out.
        Tom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jacel
        Heads up. All car companies do the same thing.
      nassau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seems like the NHTSA employees are commenting in force, and non one is allowed to question them.
      mchica
      • 1 Year Ago
      GM, fighting hard to be the leader of something, anything at all.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        The video misses out on cleaning the terminals with a spray oxidation solvent and THEN using the dielectric grease. All the grease does is (if you don't clean the corrosion) seal the terminals IF removing and replacing the connector scrapes/reestablishes contacts. It's the removal and replacement of the connector that solves the problem for a short while...the grease hopefully will keep the connections good if they're reestablished. GM should have used a sealer/dielectric grease during assembly.
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