General Motors is recalling more than 3,000 pickups and SUVs from the 2014 and 2015 model years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of those vehicles may have an ignition switch problem that could cause the vehicles to lose power without warning, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.
This is similar to, but not exactly the same sort of problem that affected 12.3 million GM vehicles during last year's "Switchgate" fiasco. In that situation, GM's ignition switch appeared to be slightly too "loose"; a bump of the driver's knee or the swinging of keys on a key ring could switch the vehicle off.
In this case, however, the ignition switch appears to be a little too "sticky" (our word, not GM's). As NHTSA reports:
In the affected vehicles, the ignition lock actuator may bind, making turning the key difficult or causing the ignition to get stuck in the "Start" position.... If stuck in the "Start" position, the ignition may suddenly snap back into the "Accessory" position, causing a loss of engine, steering, and braking power, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash. If the vehicle is in a crash, the air bags may not deploy, increasing the risk of occupant injury.
In other words, the underlying causes of the two recalls are slightly different, but the results are nearly identical.
Thankfully, this recall is nowhere near as large as last year's. It includes:
- 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado trucks built from January 24, 2014 to February 26, 2014
- 2014-2015 GMC Sierra trucks built from January 24, 2014 to February 26, 2014
- 2015 Chevrolet Suburban SUVs built on February 12, 2014
- 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs built from February 6, 2014 to February 13, 2014
All told, the recall affects 3,073 vehicles registered in the U.S.
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GM will send recall notices to owners of these vehicles by mail. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their vehicles to a dealer, who will replace the ignition lock housing at no charge.
If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact Chevrolet customer service at 800-222-1020 or GMC customer service at 800-462-8782 and ask about recall #15573. You can also call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #15V640000.