General Motors is recalling 556,399 Chevrolet and GMC light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks due to concerns that the seatbelt pretensioners when deployed to tighten belts in the event of a crash, could lead to a fire. According to Consumer Reports, the hot gases expelled by the pretensioners could travel through a hole in the seatbelt bracket and ignite the cotton material in the carpet.
Details of the Recall
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the driver may see smoke or smell a burning odor after a collision before a fire becomes visible. This particular recall affects certain 2019-2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 as well as 2020 Silverado 2500, Silverado 3500, Sierra 2500 and Sierra 3500 trucks. Models with vinyl flooring are not included in the recall.
A correction was put in place on the assembly line, which is why not all carpeted trucks will be recalled. Dealerships have been notified and vehicle owners will be contacted soon. When the recall begins dealers will seal the hole in the seatbelt bracket at no charge. If you own one of these vehicles, contact customer service at 1-888-988-7267.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Vehicles come with flammable liquids such as gas and oil. So, when there are design defects and faulty parts in an automobile, there is the danger of leaks occurring and triggering dangerous vehicle fires. Victims of car fires could potentially suffer catastrophic burn injuries or smoke inhalation injuries that could become fatal. Treating burn injuries can be painful and costly as well. Victims could also be looking at significant expenses for cosmetic surgery and other types of rehabilitative treatments to repair burn injury scars.
Automakers can be held liable for any damages that their defective vehicles have caused. Victims of defective cars would be well advised to contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who has a successful track record of fighting against large automakers. In cases involving defective parts or mechanical malfunctions, compensation may be available for medical bills, lost wages, permanent injuries, cost of surgeries, pain and suffering, and other related damages. It would also be a good idea for victims and their families to preserve the vehicle in its current condition, unaltered, so an expert can examine it thoroughly for defects and malfunctions.