In early May of this year, General Motors recalled about 42,000 vehicles due to a battery control fire hazard. The recalled vehicles, which include the 2012 and 2013 Buick LaCrosse and Regal and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu models, reportedly had a defective Generator Control Module that could cause a slow loss of battery charge and an illuminated malfunction indicator light. The light could pose a fire risk, and also cause the engine of the vehicles to stall and/or cause the vehicle to have difficulty starting.
Now, the NHTSA is investigating whether the screening process for the recalled vehicles was sufficient following reports of a fire in a repaired vehicle, The Detroit News reports. In a release, the NHTSA stated that “a recall query has been opened to investigate whether or not the service procedure is sufficient in identifying the safety defect in the subject vehicles.”
The NHTSA is investigating GM’s process for screening unsold vehicles, which according to The Detroit News, involved “stressing the module under extreme conditions to identify problems and replacing the module if necessary.” After the report of a vehicle that had undergone the test catching fire was discussed on the GM website, regulators questioned if the procedure could effectively identify a defective Generator Control Module, according to Reuters. Reuters further reports that “[t]he recall query could lead NHTSA to ask GM to replace the control module in the recalled cars that underwent the stress test.”
A GM spokesperson has stated that the automaker is cooperating with the NHTSA by answering any additional questions regarding the service procedure.