Capping a week that already has seen some massive recalls, General Motors has announced a new service action covering 686,000 midsize crossover-utility vehicles because their rear liftgates could fail.
The latest recall by GM – which has taken major heat for safety problems over the last 18 months – covers Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia CUVs sold during the 2008 through 2012 model-year, 2009 through 2012 model-year Chevrolet Traverses and 2007 through 2010 model-year Saturn Outlooks.
According to a report posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, the affected vehicles are equipped with power liftgates whose gas struts may prematurely wear out. If that happens, the hatches could suddenly and unexpectedly fall.
The maker switched to a new strut design in spring 2012 that is less vulnerable to dirt and wear.
GM and NHTSA have received reports of 56 injuries related to the problem.
Owners will be directly notified in the coming weeks and will be offered free repairs that including replacing the suspect struts and updating the software that controls operation of the liftgates to prevent rapid closing.
Owners can confirm they are covered by the recall by going to the appropriate brand website, or NHTSA’s own site, www.safercar.gov. They also can call the government hotline at 1-800-327-4236, or phone numbers for the individual brands: 1-800-521-7300 for Buick, 1-800-222-1020 for Chevrolet, 1-800-462-8782 for GMC, or 1-800-553-6000 for GMC.
(NHTSA under fire for its handling of numerous safety investigations. Click Herefor more.)
The auto industry set an all-time recall record in 2014, with more than 60 million vehicles impacted in the U.S., about half of them sold by various GM brands.
While it’s unclear if the industry will set another record in 2015 the pace of recalls has remained frenetic. Since just the beginning of the month Hyundai has called back 140,000 Sonatas due to seatbelt issues, Ford has recalled 432,000 vehicles due to body control issues – a move that marked the 17th recall for the current-generation Ford Escape – and GM recalled 2000,000 older Hummer SUVs due to fire problems.
Meanwhile, Honda announced the recall of 4.5 million vehicles due to faulty Takata airbags, none of them sold in the U.S. The largest single safety issue in industry history, potentially deadly Takata airbags have now been involved in the recall of more than 40 million vehicles worldwide.