General Motors is starting 2013 the same way that it closed out 2012 – by announcing a major recall due to a violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Previously, GM recalled approximately 119,000 Chevrolet and GMC trucks because of a manufacturing error regarding the hood latch system, as these popular pickups may have been manufactured without secondary hood latches, which could cause the hoods to suddenly open and distract drivers during vehicle operation. This week, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, GM is recalling another 54,686 vehicles because of concerns over unexpected rollaway.
Included in this recall are 2013 models of the popular GM sports utility vehicles and trucks – Cadillac Escalade (ESV and EXT models included), Chevy Avalanche, Chevy Express, Chevy Silverado, Chevy Suburban, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Savana, GMC Sierra, and GMC Yukon (XL model included). The key problem that has caused this recall is a potentially “fractured park lock cable or a malformed steering column lock actuator gear in the lock module assembly” that could cause the vehicle to suddenly begin moving, even when the car has been placed in park and the key removed. This could obviously lead to accidents and injuries for drivers, passengers and pedestrians, as well as property damage.
This specific manufacturing defect means that these vehicles are in violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 102, “Transmission Shift Lever Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect,” as well as FMVSS No. 114, “Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention.” GM will begin this recall on January 17 by notifying owners of these potential issues. Additionally, GM officials will inspect and repair any affected vehicles free of charge. In the meantime, owners can contact Chevrolet at (800) 630-2438, Cadillac at (866) 982-2339 and GMC at (866) 996-9463 for additional information.
This recall brings to mind Honda’s similar December recall, which involved more than 807,000 minivans and SUVs being recalled for a defective key lock mechanism that could potentially cause these vehicles to roll despite being in park. Honda cited one report of a person who experienced a broken fibula as the result of a vehicle rollaway.