GM recalls 160K pickups in Canada for fire risk; no decision on U.S. recall

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General Motors is recalling 159,240 units of some of its most popular pickups in Canada because the rear defroster circuit could overheat and catch fire, but the automaker doesn’t have an immediate solution to the problem.

The Chevrolet Silverado, Silverado HD, Silverado LD and GMC Sierra, Sierra HD and Sierra LD from a variety of model years between 2014 and 2019 are affected. However, only trucks equipped with a power sliding rear window are being recalled, GM Canada said. 

According to a recall notice on Transport Canada’s website, if the rear defroster circuit overheats, it could cause melting, smoke or, in rare instances, a fire.

The prospect for a similar U.S. recall was unclear. 

GM spokesman Daniel Flores told Automotive News that the automaker is continuing its investigation for similar vehicles sold in the U.S., noting reports of fires stemming from this condition have been rare.

“When investigated, GM has found evidence of smoke and localized melting conditions, but no fire propagation,” Flores said. “Further, the rate of occurrence in the Canadian vehicle population, given the climates and usage patterns, is significantly higher than the rate of occurrence in the U.S.”

The repair procedure in Canada will be provided to dealers when available.

GM said it will notify owners of the recall by mail. As an interim repair, owners will be told to take their truck to a dealer to remove the fuse for the rear window defroster. 

“The final corrective actions for this recall are under development,” Transport Canada said. 

Owners will be sent another notice to let them know when a final repair will be available.

GM sold 56,246 units of the GMC Sierra and 55,097 units of the Chevrolet Silverado in 2018. They were the automaker’s two best-selling vehicles last year.

The Ford F series was the top-selling pickup in Canada in 2018 with 145,694 sold, followed by the Ram at 84,854.

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