Chevrolet Silverado HD Recall: 2nd Fire Risk in Just 18 Months
Today, General Motors announced a recall of 2019 to 2023 Chevrolet Silverado HD trucks. These are the heavy-duty trucks that include the 4500 HD, 5500 HD, and 6500 HD, which are mostly chassis-cab variants. Leaking brake fluid can short out an adjacent electric switch when the engine is off, which can lead to a fire. Owners are not to park trucks in an enclosure or close to other vehicles.
How many Silverado and Sierra trucks are in the recall?
This follows a Stop Sale order in September 2021 for Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD trucks while GM looked into “a potential quality issue.” At the time, GM refused to elaborate on the problem. According to GM Authority, the investigation centered around “a wire chafing problem that could pose a potential fire hazard.” The HD trucks involved in the Stop Sale order were 2021 Silverado and Sierra 2500 and 3500 HD trucks.
In all, 40,000-plus HD trucks are involved in the recall announced today. The issue is a brake sensor leaking brake fluid from a seal. It can leak directly onto a pressure switch. Concern over the fluid shorting the circuit causes heat that can potentially start a fire. Through investigation, GM discovered that zinc nickel plating adjacent to the sealant can cause delamination of the sealant.
How long has GM investigated the problem?
GM was first aware of a potential fire problem back in August 2022. A warranty claim from a 2019 Silverado MD that involved a fire of unknown cause started the investigation. The “MD” is the replacement for the former Kodiac, which Navistar, formerly known as International, co-developed.
By January 2023, a GM warranty return of a brake sensor and wiring harness with heat damage helped determine the potential cause of the earlier warranty fire. Navistar became aware last month of a similar occurrence in the field. None of these incidents and warranty-related fixes involved injury or accidents.
When will owners receive information about the recall?
GM will replace the brake pressure sensor for free under warranty. If any expenses related to earlier repairs of the sensor will be refunded. The recall also says that dealer techs should inspect the wiring harness and that if the damage is apparent they will also be replaced under warranty.
Navistar began producing an improved brake pressure sensor starting March 21, 2023. Unfortunately for owners, it is not able to produce enough of the new sensors to cover all of the trucks involved in this recall. As of now, it is unclear how GM will disseminate the sensors as they become available.
Owners will begin to be notified of the recall by the end of May. If you have questions or concerns about your Chevrolet Silverado HD or GMC Sierra HD trucks, you can contact GM’s recall center or the National Highway Traffic Administration. Be sure to have your truck’s VIN number for reference.