The NHTSA has opened a new investigation into the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain's wiper blades. The government agency will probe both vehicles after a previous recall in 2016 addressed wiper failure, Reuters reported Tuesday.
If the NHTSA finds new evidence of wiper failure, GM will be forced to recall an additional 1.7 million crossovers. In the original recall, GM cited warranty data that showed "higher-than-expected" failure rates for the windshield wipers. The faulty windshield wiper module could malfunction and leave drivers impaired in inclement weather. Originally, GM recalled 367,800 2013 GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox crossover SUVs over the issue.
But the government agency has since received 249 new complaints about similar problems for 2010-2016 model year Equinox and Terrains models. The NHTSA will now investigate and look into whether the recall needs to be expanded to include the 1.7 million other vehicles.
GM said it's fully cooperating with the NHTSA in the investigation, but the automaker added it's continued to monitor data on other vehicles since the first recall.
The recall came to light after a quality manager at GM's Canadian operations reported the safety defect as part of the company's "Speak Up For Safety" program, instituted in the wake of GM's ignition switch recall fiasco. Data showed high rates of failure in parts of Canada where road salt is used more often. Canadian models were first recalled, but in the next two months, GM expanded the recall to include 2013 model year Equinox and Terrain vehicles in the U.S.
Should GM be required to expand the recall again, dealers will install a front-wiper module with a water deflector. Technicians may also fill the current water management hole and drill a new one if necessary.