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GM Recall Fails to Fix Fire Hazard

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Nick Slovikoski2 years ago

General Motors policies are being scrutinized as their recall fails fix to prevent engine fires fails. Government and auto experts are calling GM’s policies and recall measures into question.

About the GM Recall Failure

According to the Times Union, more than 1,300 cars have caught fire despite a recall by GM in 2008-2009.

The original problem, affecting 1.4 million vehicles, was oil seeping through valve cover gaskets designed to keep the oil inside the engine. The gaskets can deteriorate over time, and inertia from hard braking can cause oil to drip onto the hot exhaust manifold on the 3.8-liter V6 engines, where it could ignite.

The issue was discovered as early as 2006.

During the recall, only flammable plastic parts near the manifold were replaced which did not address the oil leak issue.

Instead of preventing the leak, GM spokesman Alan Adler said two weeks ago that if any oil dripped and caught fire, it would cause a small “pilot flame” that company tests showed would burn out on its own. Critics say that GM is simply trying to involved the $112 million price tag associated with a proper fix.

GM has reported at least 19 minor injuries and at least 17 structure fires as a result of the oil leak.

Vehicles Affected by the GM Defect

The issue involves the 3.8L V6 version of 1997-2004 model year vehicles, including:

  • Chevrolet Monte Carlo 
  • Pontiac Grand Prix
  • Chevrolet Lumina
  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Buick Regal
  • Oldsmobile Intrigue

It's unclear why NHTSA didn't act sooner or whether GM could be fined for not reporting the post-recall fires faster.


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