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GM Trucks, SUVs Recalled For Defective Steering Column


2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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General Motors is recalling nearly 55,000 2013 model year pickups and SUVs from Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac for a defect in the steering column that may cause the vehicle to roll away without warning.

A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website puts the number of vehicles potentially affected at 54,686. Affected vehicles—the majority from Chevy--were built from November 7, 2012 through December 18, 2012.

2013 GMC Sierra 1500

2013 GMC Sierra 1500

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Documentation from GM (PDF) lists the breakdown of vehicles involved in the recall as follows:

  • 2013 Cadillac Escalade – 845
  • 2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV – 447
  • 2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT – 110
  • 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche – 1,029
  • 2013 Chevrolet Express – 4,231
  • 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty (HD) – 7,339
  • 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Light Duty (LD) – 19,962
  • 2013 Chevrolet Suburban – 2,315
  • 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe – 3,974
  • 2013 GMC Savana – 966
  • 2013 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty (HD) – 3,426
  • 2013 GMC Sierra Light Duty (LD) – 7,206
  • 2013 GMC Yukon – 1,694
  • 2013 GMC Yukon XL – 1,142

2013 Cadillac Escalade

2013 Cadillac Escalade

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Of the estimated 54,686 trucks and SUVs involved in the GM safety recall, 1,402 are from Cadillac, 38,850 from Chevrolet, and 14,434 from GMC.

The problem

According to the NHTSA bulletin, the vehicles “may have been built with a fractured park lock cable or a malformed steering column lock actuator gear in the lock module assembly.” This is a compliance failure with two Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS): No.102, “Transmission Shift Lever Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect”, and No. 114, “Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention.”

As a result, vehicles with this condition may shift from Park when the ignition key is removed or is in the OFF position. Vehicles may also shift into Park when the brake pedal is not applied and the key is in the OFF position.

The danger is that vehicles may roll away unexpectedly after the driver has left the vehicle, resulting in potential crash and/or injuries.

According to the Detroit Free Press and other news outlets, General Motors says that the condition occurs in about one in 1,000 vehicles and that most haven’t been sold yet. GM also said that it is not aware of any crashes or injuries as a result of the problem.

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe

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What GM will do

GM will notify owners of affected vehicles and dealers will inspect and replace the steering column, as necessary. The service will be performed at no charge. The GM safety recall, identified as No. 12331, is expected to begin January 17, 2013.

In the meantime, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign with any questions or concerns may contact Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438, Cadillac at 1-866-982-2339, and GMC at 1-866-996-9463.

Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov.  Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 13V001000.

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