General Motors Co. is recalling hundreds of thousands of medium-duty trucks with diesel engines and holding tens of thousands of unsold trucks at dealerships because of engine block heater cord fires.
The recalled trucks have a Duramax diesel 6.6-liter, eight-cylinder engine and an optional engine-block heater. The cord can short circuit, damage engine components and start a fire in the engine compartment.
Customers may notice smoke or a burning smell; poor block-heater performance; tripped circuit breakers or blown vehicle fuses; damage to the block heater, the heater cable, or engine components; and block-heater coolant pooling under the vehicle.
No injuries or crashes have been linked to the fires, GM said.
MORE THAN 300,000 RECALLED
The 324,226 trucks recalled in the U.S. are the 2017-2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500; the 2019 Silverado 4500HD/5500HD/6500HD and the 2017-2019 GMC Sierra 2500/3500. About 61,418 of the recalled trucks were being held at dealerships until they could be fixed.
An additional 40,319 trucks were recalled in Canada.
A quality engineer submitted a report to the company’s Speak Up for Safety program in December 2018. GM began investigating in February. By mid-April, 19 fire claims were discovered.
Ford Motor Co. last month recalled 327,000 medium-duty trucks for a second time to deal with engine block heater cable fires. The causes of the fires appear to be different, according to GM’s filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
AVOID HEATER USE
Both automakers urged customers to avoid using the engine block heater until it is fixed. GM and Ford are disabling the engine block heater cords in unsold vehicles.
GM said it would mail letters to customers when it has a fix. Repairs will be done for free. The NHTSA recall number is 19V-328.