General Motors is recalling more than half a million pickups in its redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra lineups due to a potential fire risk, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced last week.
The campaign covers 556,399 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups from model years 2019-2020, including the basic 1500 up to the 3500 HD, that were built with carpeted floor coverings. A gap in the seatbelt bracket can allow hot gases from the pretensioner to ignite the floor carpeting when it is activated in an accident.
"In certain crashes that cause the front seatbelt pretensioners to deploy, the exhaust from the deployed pretensioner may be diverted through an opening in the pretensioner bracket and ignite cotton fibers in the carpet floor near the B-pillar," GM's notice says.
"Following a crash that causes the seatbelt pretensioner to deploy, a fire may develop in the area near the B-pillar, which may increase the risk of injury."
To remedy the issue, service departments will install a plug that will close the gap in the seatbelt bracket, preventing the gases from being routed toward the carpeting in the event of pretensioner deployment.
This is not the first recall for GM's new pickups. Last year, some were recalled for passenger-side airbag modules that were potentially installed incorrectly. Like this latest recall, that issue only presents itself in the event of an accident.
GM has not yet announced a schedule for repairs, but dealers and owners should expect to be notified in the coming months. Dealers will close off the opening in the pretensioner bracket free of charge.