General Motors has issued two recalls for the Chevrolet Malibu -- one for the 2013 model, another for the 2014 model. Together, the unrelated actions affect over 60,000 vehicles in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
2014 CHEVROLET MALIBU
The recall of the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu stems from a problem with the vehicle's heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system, or HVAC. According to a statement from GM, the controls for the HVAC may not operate properly, which could prevent drivers from carrying out important tasks like defrosting the windshield.
The problem appears to stem from a software glitch in the HVAC control module. If the glitch occurs, GM says that "the system will revert to the setting selected when the vehicle was last driven. If that setting was not defrost mode, it cannot be selected and the driver may be unable to clear the windshield, which could lead to decreased visibility".
The problem affects 44,406 vehicles, most of which were sold in the U.S., with 1,034 in Canada and 676 in Mexico.
GM hasn't indicated when it plans to notify motorists of the recall, but when it does, owners will be able to take their vehicles to a Chevrolet dealer, who will reprogram the HVAC module free of charge.
2013 CHEVROLET MALIBU
GM is also recalling the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu -- specifically, those models equipped with the eight-way power seat for drivers and front-seat passengers. In those vehicles, GM says that the wiring harness could wear against the seat frame, rubbing through the insulation and exposing a circuit on the harness. If that happens, the circuit could short out, which "may result in an open circuit breaker, unintended movement of the seat, sparking, flickering lights, melted wiring, smoke, or a fire in an unattended vehicle".
And that outcome isn't purely theoretical. GM knows of two fires that broke out in unattended vehicles, though thankfully, each was extinguished on its own, and no crashes or injuries have been associated with the problem. All told, 14,930 Malibu vehicles are affected by this recall: most were sold in the U.S., with 13 in Canada and seven in Mexico.
As with the 2014 Malibu, GM hasn't given a timeline for this recall. However, the automaker says that when owners receive the official recall notice, they'll be able to take their vehicles to a Chevrolet dealer, who will inspect the wiring harness and repair it if necessary, at no charge.
If you own one of the affected vehicles and have further questions, we encourage you to contact Chevrolet Customer Service at 800-950-CHEV, or 800-263-3777 if you're in Canada. (French speakers can ring 800-263-7854.)