General Motors Co. announced Friday that is recalling over 69,000 new SUVs, pickups and vans due to a dangerous roll away risk. The recall affects the 2013 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT; Chevrolet Avalanche, Express, Silverado HD, Silverado LD, Suburban and Tahoe; and GMC Savana, Sierra HD, Sierra LD, Yukon and Yukon XL. All vehicles were manufactured from November 7, 2012 through December 18, 2012. The recall covers 54,686 vehicles in the United States, 6,310 in Canada and 710 in Mexico. Another 7,038 vehicles overseas are also affected, according to GM spokesman Alan Adler.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the affected vehicles do not meet a federal requirement requiring transmission shift interlocks. Specifically, GM vehicles may have been built with a broken park lock cable or a misshapen steering column lock actuator gear in the lock module assembly.
Consequently, affected vehicles may shift from Park with the ignition key removed or the ignition key in the OFF position. There’s also a chance that the vehicle may shift out of Park without the application of the brake pedal with the key off. Either way, the vehicle may roll away after the owner has exited the vehicle, thus increasing the risk of a crash and/or injury.
The Detroit automaker discovered the problem at its Arlington Assembly plant on Dec. 14. GM says that there have been no injuries reported in association with the problem.
GM will begin notifying customers and dealers of the recall on January 17, 2013. Dealers will inspect and replace the steering column on affected vehicles, free of charge. Chevrolet dealers may call 1-800-630-2438. Cadillac owners may call 1-866-982-2339. GMC owners may call 1-866-996-9463. Concerned customers can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov. General Motors’ recall number is 12331.
Roll away recalls have been a major problem for automakers lately. Just last month, Honda recalled over 870,000 minivans and SUVs worldwide due to similar roll away flaw. The recall, which affected 277,000 model-year 2003 and 2004 Honda Pilot SUVs and 347,000 Honda Odyssey minivans, as well as 247,000 2003 through 2006 Acura MDX SUVs.
In October, BMW recalled certain model-year 2005-2008 BMW 7-Series luxury vehicles due to a transmission defect, which posed a roll away risk. Unlike the GM safety recall, BMW’s transmission control problem was due to the vehicle’s engine start/stop button. The recall affected more than 45,000 cars.