• blog 2013 05 08 general motors recalls over 42000 vehicles due battery control fire hazard

Last year, General Motors issued a massive recall of every Chevrolet Cruze sedan that was sold in the United States because of a fire risk.  The defective engine shield could trap highly flammable liquids such as hydraulic fluids or engine fluids, potentially resulting in a fire.  Approximately 53,000 vehicles from the 2011 and 2012 model years included in the recall may additionally have a loose fuel tank strap that could leak and pose another fire hazard.

Now, GM has announced another recall of three popular vehicles equipped with the eAssist hybrid system due to a problem that can increase the risk of a fire. The company is recalling approximately 42,904 of the 2012 and 2013 Buick Lacrosse and Regal, in addition to the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco.

The recalled vehicles may have a defective Generator Control Module that could slowly drain the 12-volt battery and cause the malfunction indicator light to turn on.  According to documents filed with NHTSA , if owners continue to drive their cars with the indicator light illuminated, the engine can stall or the vehicle may not start.  In addition, “there may be a burning or melting odor, smoke, and possibly a fire in the trunk.”  The hybrid system’s lithium-ion battery is not affected by the problem.

GM became aware of the issue with overheated circuit boards in the fall of last year, and they issued the recall after they received a report of a trunk fire that occurred in March. Approximately 82 incidents of overheated circuit boards have been reported to the company.

Owners and dealers will be notified about the recall, although GM has not released a notification schedule.  If a recalled vehicle’s malfunction light illuminates, owners should contact their dealer to schedule an appointment for screening, which takes approximately three hours.  GM will replace any defective generator control modules free of charge.  If owners have any questions or concerns, they may contact GM at 1-800-521-7300.