March 20, 2014: It’s official, General Motors has come down with “March Madness”. Earlier this month they recalled over 1 million vehicles for an ignition switch defect that can disable the airbags during a crash. The problem has resulted in at least 13 deaths and as it turns out GM has known about the defect for over a decade. You’ve probably seen this story mentioned in the news along with the words “terrible”, “dangerous”, “criminal” and “jerk-wad executives who care more about money than public safety.” OK, that last one was probably just me but you get the point.
Now GM has announced a new series of recalls affecting 1.5 million additional vehicles. It’d be pretty hard to tarnish their image any further, so they probably figure they can just sneak these recalls in now.
If you listen really closely I think you can hear the entire GM PR team weeping.
Most of the vehicles in this latest recall have – wait for it – defective airbags that can fail in a crash. This defect, however, isn’t related to the ignition switch (as if that’s supposed to provide you with any relief). Instead, a faulty wiring harness in the following vehicles can disable the side airbags:
GM dealers will replace the affected harness connections with soldered connections. They just haven’t announced when yet. Concerned owners can contact GM (contact information below) and reference recall number 14030.
Another 303,000 vehicles are being recalled because passengers not wearing their seat belts could be injured by hitting the instrument panel above where the airbag is located. This only happens in low speed crashes where it’s important to note that the airbag isn’t supposed to deploy. And, to be fair to GM, if you don’t wear your seat belt you kind of deserve it. Buckle up, kids.
GM says the panel might not be padded enough to absorb the impact, but they haven’t announced how they will fix the problem. I keep suggesting a giant bag of packing peanuts, but every time I call GM headquarters I get cut off. Must be a bad connection or something.
Whether you want to live on the seatbelt-free wild side or not, you should get your vehicle fixed if you own a:
You can contact GM (contact info below) and reference recall 14082.
Here’s a GM recall that has absolutely nothing to do with an airbag. I probably should have had you sit down before telling you that. It’s shocking, I know.
At least 64,000 2013-14 Cadillac XTS vehicles have a cavity plug that can come loose on the brake booster pump. That can cause corrosion which melts the pump connector and when things start melting the possibility of fire exists.
We all loved “Hot Wheels” growing up, right? Well if you don’t get this fixed your grown up hot wheels aren’t going to be nearly as much fun. Trust me.
To fix the problem, GM dealers will apply sealant to the connector cavity plugs, re-route the vacuum pump vent hose and replace the front body wiring harness. Once again, they’re just not sure when yet.
Owners can contact Cadillac (contact info below) and refer to recall number 14062.
For most of these recalls, GM doesn’t have a clue when they’ll start. I guess they’re a little busy with government questions, class-action lawsuits and criminal investigations.
You should get a recall notice in the mail eventually, but in the meantime concerned owners can call GM and ask for updates or just yell at them for a while (don’t feel bad, they kind of deserve it). Here are the numbers you can use: