General Motors has voluntarily recalled 1.5 million of its 2006-2009 model cars and truck to remove a faulty electrical component that could malfunction and cause an underhood fire. The module in question is part of a heated windshield washer system that was installed on various GM vehicles during that period, and had already been the subject of an August 2008 recall. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), five fires have subsequently been attributed to the faulty module which can short circuit and overheat, although GM reports that none of the incidences have resulted in any injuries or crashes.
About 1.4 million of the vehicles in question were sold in the U.S. with the remainder in Canada, Mexico and other world markets. They include the 2006-2009 Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS and Hummer H2; 2008-2009 Buick Enclave and Cadillac CTS; 2007-2009 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT, the Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe, the GMC Acadia, Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL and the Saturn Outlook as well as the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse.
In order to correct the problem, dealers will remove the heated washer fluid module and reroute washer fluid hoses. By way of compensation, GM also plans to give each owner or lessee a $100 payment. According to Jeff Boyer, GM's executive director of Safety, "This was a unique technology available from only one supplier, and that supplier has stopped manufacturing, which left no opportunity to collaborate on an improved design." Boyer said. "We want to be clear that the voluntary payment to customers is for the loss of the feature, not the recall."
Boyer indicated that customers will begin receiving recall letters this month, but they can contact their dealer at any time to make an appointment to have the heated washer system removed.