GM, Isuzu recall nearly 250k mid-size SUVs over door fire concerns

The recall stems from the NHTSA door fire probe, which was launched in February 2012.

General Motors Co. and Isuzu have announced the recall of 249,260 mid-size SUVs in 20 states and the District of Columbia over power door lock issues that may lead to fires. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, unwanted fluid may enter the driver’s door module, leading to corrosion. This corrosion may result in a short in the circuit board, which may cause power window and door lock failure. In worst-case scenarios, the short may melt electrical components, creating odor, smoke, and a possible fire.

Fires have been reported in door modules, but no fires have spread beyond the vehicle interior, according to GM. Despite the fires, no crashes or injuries have been linked to the defect. There have been 167 reports and 698 warranty claims issued in regard to the problem, says GM. Additionally, the NHTSA specifies that it has received 83 complaints, 66 of which claim the door module melted, and 17 that indicate the window switches malfunctioned. Most disconcerting is that 28 reports point out that the issue led to driver door fires, some even happening when the vehicle was not in operation.

The recall affects multiple GM mid size SUV models including certain 2006-2007 Chevrolet Trailblazers, 2006-2007 GMC Envoys, 2006-2007 Buick Rainiers, 2006-2007 Saab 9-7X vehicles, and also includes 2006-2007 Isuzu Ascenders. The recall only affects vehicles sold or registered in “salt belt states” like Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Unfortunately for owners, the remedy plan is still being hashed out. A safety recall notification schedule should be expecting in the near future. In the meantime, Buick owners may contact the owner center at 1-800-521-7300, Chevrolet owners at 1-866-694-6546, and GMC owners at 1-866-996-9463. Saab owners can contact Saab customer service at 1-855-880-0808. Isuzu owners will be contacted by Isuzu Motors.

Concerned customers may also contact the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov. The GM campaign ID number is 12180.

The genesis of the recall dates back to February 2012 when the NHTSA first launched an investigation into door fire concerns pertaining to 2006-2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer models. The probe was originally opening into more than 309,000 vehicles, but was expanded to include over 341,786 SUVs in June. Interestingly, GM no longer makes any of the potentially affected vehicles.

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