GM announces recall of 1.4 million cars due to fire risk

General Motors has announced a recall of 1.4 million vehicles to fix a defect that has caused around 1,200 auto fires and includes cars more than ten years old, according to usatoday.com.

The problem occurs when drops of oil are deposited on the hot exhaust manifold after hard braking catching fire, allowing flames to spread to a plastic spark plug wire channel, and ultimately result in a engine compartment fire.  The company said customers have reported 19 minor injuries resulting from incidents occurring after the most recent recall.

The recall affects autos with the 3.8-liter, six-cylinder 3800 engine, and includes models Pontiac Grand Prix from 1991-2004, Chevrolet Impala from 2000-2004, Chevrolet Lumina from 1998-1999, Chevrolet Monte Carlo from 1998-2004, Oldsmobile Intrigue from 1998-1999, and Buick Regal from 1997-2004.

The latest recall will include some 1.28 million vehicles in the United States, one million of which were fixed in two earlier recalls for the same issue.

GM, in earlier recalls, cautioned owners to park their vehicles outside until the free repairs could be made.  Most of the fires occurred about five to fifteen minutes after the engines were shut down, according to documents from the National Highway Safety Administration.  The company said it was still developing the fix for the problem.

Several of the models included in the latest recall have been discontinued from production, such as the Grand Prix, Lumina, Monte Carlo and the Intrigue.  In addition, the Regal and Impala have been completely re-designed.

This will be the third recall in the last seven years for the same problem and a GM spokesman said the company had not decided on a remedy.  The first recall in 2008 was for around 200,000 U.S cars with supercharged engines.  One year later, GM expanded the recall to more than 1.4 million cars that did not have the supercharged engines.

The company plans to use the same databases used in the previous recalls to contact the owners of the vehicles and send them a notification by mail.

GM spokesman Alan Adler said in a report from AP, “Since we have not decided on the remedy, we do not know whether the cost will result in a material charge to earnings.”

 

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