General Motors is recalling 1.4 million vehicles to fix a problem in
which fires can be caused by a heated windshield-washer fluid system.
The system is designed to heat windshield-washer fluid in order to
better clear the windshield on cold days. A short circuit in the
circuit board that controls the system can cause a grounding wire to
overheat, which can lead to smoke and the malfunctioning of other
Vehicles affected by the recall include the Buick Enclave and
Lucerne; Cadillac CTS, DTS and Escalade; Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado,
Suburban, Tahoe and Traverse; GMC Acadia, Sierra and Yukon; Hummer H2;
and Saturn Outlook.
All the vehicles are from 2006 to 2009 model years. Owners will
receive $100 from GM to compensate them for loss of the feature.
GM recalled 944,000 vehicles for this same problem in 2008, and
the fix was to install a fuse to shut off the system in the event of a
short circuit. There have new reports of “thermal incidents,” including
five fires, in vehicles that have had the repair, according to documents
from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). GM
dealers will now simply disable the system altogether.
GM claims the root problem in the current recall is unrelated to
the one involved in the first recall. In the new cases, the overheating
is not being stopped by the fuse.
Owners who think their vehicle may be involved in this recall can
call NHTSA at (888) 327-4236 or contact GM customer service for their
particular vehicle brand.