Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chevrolet Trailblazers Investigated for Electrical Fires

Automaker's letter details issues with power master switch

GM’s line of SUVs is being checked for fire-related issues. (GMC)
Federal investigators are upgrading an investigation into more than 340,000 Chevrolet Trailblazer SUVs over electrical fires sparked in driver doors.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it is upgrading its investigation into the General Motors Co. vehicles over the driver's-side power master switch. NHTSA has reports of 28 door fires linked to the problem.
Some of the fires allegedly happened when the vehicle was not running and unattended. NHTSA said, "The vehicle models and production dates of affected vehicles will be evaluated," and it will also look at other GM vehicles from the same GMT 360 mid-size SUV platform, including the GMC Envoy.
GM said it was cooperating and is looking at the Trailblazer's sister models.
"We are looking at 2006-2007 Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainer, Saab 9-7x and Isuzu Ascender — all of the versions of the GMT360 for the 2006-07 model years," GM spokesman Alan Adler said Friday.
NHTSA said GM has received 167 reports and 698 warranty claims that allege the driver's-door module has melted and burned.
NHTSA has received 83 complaints, 66 alleging the door module had melted or burned, and the remaining 17 stating that the window switches acted erratically or were inoperative.
In a letter to NHTSA, GM said the predominant warranty issues were inoperative switches rather than a fire. GM says the power windows, door locks, window lockouts and optional heated switches may begin to function erratically and then become inoperative because of a short circuit.
In some cases, the driver's-side switch plastic could continue to heat and smoke may be produced, GM acknowledged.
"In exceptionally rare circumstances, heating could continue until the plastic ignites," GM said in an April 20 letter to NHTSA.

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