General Motors Co. is undergoing a massive recall of 1.5 million 2006-2009 model year vehicles to disable a heated washer fluid system that poses a potential fire risk. The recall, slated to begin on June 14, covers 18 models from the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer and Saturn brands.
The heated washer fluid system was the subject of an August 2008 recall that included many of the same vehicles. Reports were that shorts in the system caused fires; a wire harness, which contained a fuse, was installed as a preventative measure. According to GM, however, the module’s internal thermal-protection device did not function properly and the fire risk remained.
As a result of the continuing fire risk, the automaker will remove the heated washer fluid module and reroute the fluid hoses.
GM said that it has since learned of 5 fires caused by the heated washer fluid system, but is unaware of any injuries or crashes related to the problem. Though there have been a small number of incidents, GM clearly isn’t taking any chances.
"While our analysis shows the number of incidents is very small compared with the number of vehicles on the road, we want our customers to have complete peace of mind," said Jeff Boyer, GM executive director of Safety in a press release.
Vehicles included in the recall are the 2006-2009 model year Buick Lucerne; Cadillac DTS; Hummer H2; 2008-2009 model year Buick Enclave; Cadillac CTS; 2007-2009 model year Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT; Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe; GMC Acadia, Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL; Saturn Outlook; and 2009 model year Chevrolet Traverse.
Approximately 1.4 million of the vehicles under recall are in the United States, but the rest are in Canada, Mexico, and other countries, GM stated.
Because the feature will be disabled, GM has said it will make a voluntary payment of $100 to owners of lessees of recalled vehicles in addition to paying the actual cost of repair.
Owners will begin receiving recall notifications via mail this month, but can contact their dealer at any time for an appointment to have the heated washer fluid system removed.