General Motors Company will issue an auto defect recall for 370,000 full-size pickup trucks for fire risks after eight fires were reported. According to an article in The Detroit News, GM has stated that it will recall 2014 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras to reprogram software that could lead to overheating of exhaust components potentially causing engine compartment fires.
When a truck idles, typically, it should only use only two cylinders. But because of a software glitch, the recalled trucks idle with most of the cylinders. This causes the vehicles to overheat and leads to the fires, officials say. All vehicles that have reported fires are trucks that have V-8 engines. The fire danger is signaled by a continuous yellow “check engine” light and an “engine power reduced” message in the driver information center.
The automaker is urging owners not to leave their trucks unattended while idling. Recall letters are expected to go out to consumers this week. Repairs will be made at no cost to vehicle owners. Trucks produced starting this week will have the software upgrade. The recalled trucks have 4.3-liter V-6 and 5.3-liter V-8 engines and include about 303,000 in the U.S. and 67,000 in Canada and Mexico. GM confirmed that eight fires caused by the software flaw, three of which were on customer-owned vehicles, but said nobody was injured.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Fire hazards in vehicles, in addition to resulting in serious property damage, can also cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately one in seven fires responded to by fire departments across the nation is a vehicle fire. The numbers show 86 percent of vehicle fires occurred in passenger vehicles and 61 percent of vehicle fires originated in the engine, running gear or wheel area of the vehicle. The leading factor contributing to the ignition of vehicle fires was mechanical failure (44 percent). Toyota recalled over seven million vehicles for fire hazards.
If a defective auto causes a vehicle fire, injured victims can seek compensation for damages by filing an auto product liability claim. Families of deceased victims can also seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs and lost future income, by filing a wrongful death claim. An experienced auto product liability lawyer will be able to analyze all aspects of the case and ensure that victims and their families receive just compensation for their losses.