In early May, GM announced the development of a supercomputer data storage center and in-house software that will help the company spot problems before they develop into massive recalls. Ultimately, GM plans to construct two state-of-the-art IT facilities which the company believes will help create computer simulated crash tests to improve safety and investigate problems. Although these two “innovation centers” won’t be complete until 2015, the company expects the changes to limit the size of safety recalls in the future.
Last week, however, GM issued a recall of approximately 27.000 vehicles. On May 23, the company announced the recall of their 2013 Cadillac SRX equipped with 18-inch wheels that were manufactured between January 31, 2012 and March 18, 2013. The recall affects 18,871 vehicles in the United States, 913 vehicles in Canada, and several thousand that were sold outside North America. Owners of recalled vehicles that have not had the wheels of their SRX removed or reinstalled for service purposes may experience problems with loose wheel lug nuts.
According to official documents filed with NHTSA, “[i]f the lug nuts loosen, they may fall off or cause the wheel studs to fracture. Either condition would allow the wheel to separate from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.” Owners of the recalled vehicles may hear a creaking, rattling or grinding noise coming from the wheels, and a steering vibration may also be present. Loose lug nuts that are not fixed may detach, leading to a fracture of the wheel attachment studs and a possible crash.
GM will contact owners of the recalled vehicles by mail beginning June 3, 2013. Dealers will perform a tire rotation at no charge to the owners in order to ensure the lug nuts are properly installed and tightened. If owners have questions or concerns about the recall, they can contact GM at 1-800-521-7300.