NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - General Motors is recalling 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S. to fix a problem in which fires can be caused by a heated windshield washer fluid system.
GM recalled 944,000 vehicles for this same problem in 2008, but now says the fixes it made aren't stopping new fires. Now GM dealers will simply disable the system altogether.
- 2006 - 2009 Buick Lucerne
- 2006 - 2009 Cadillac DTS
- 2006 - 2009 Hummer H2
- 2008 - 2009 Buick Enclave
- 2008 - 2009 Cadillac CTS
- 2007 - 2009 Cadillac Escalade
- 2007 - 2009 Escalade EXT
- 2007 - 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe
- 2007 - 2009 GMC Acadia, Sierra, Yukon
- 2007 - 2009 Saturn Outlook
- 2009 Chevrolet Traverse
The system is designed to heat windshield washer fluid in order to better clear the vehicles' windshield on cold days.
In a recall action announced in August 2008, GM dealers installed a fuse to shut off the system in the event of a short circuit.
A short circuit in the circuit board that controls the system caused a grounding wire to overheat. That led to smoke and the malfunctioning of other electrical components.
There have new reports of "thermal incidents," including five fires, in vehicles that have had the repair, according to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The problem in the current recall is unrelated to the one involved in the first recall. In this case, the overheating is not being stopped by the fuse, GM spokesman Alan Adler said.
"While our analysis shows the number of incidents is very small compared with the number of vehicles on the road, we want our customers to have complete peace of mind," Jeff Boyer, GM's executive director of safety, said in a statement.
There have been no reports of accidents or injuries as a result of the problem, GM said.
The vehicles affected by the recall are the Buick Enclave and Lucerne; Cadillac CTS, DTS and Escalade; Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe and Traverse; GMC Acadia, Sierra and Yukon; Hummer H2; and Saturn Outlook.
All the vehicles are from 2006 to 2009 model years. Owners will receive $100 from GM to compensate them for loss of the feature.