General Motors announced January 10 it is recalling 303,000 models of its 2014 Chevy Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra in the U.S. due to fire risks. Though GM noted the recall includes only “certain” 2014 pickups, it encompasses every 4.3-liter and 5.3-liter engine model in volumes that exceed the sales of the GM pickups for five months. These numbers indicate the recall involves the overwhelming majority of redesigned 2014 GM pickups in the hands of customers.
In addition to the 303,000 Sierra and Silverado trucks from the 2014 model year that GM will recall in the U.S., the automaker is recalling 67,000 in Mexico and Canada to address the issue. According to a company statement, the exhaust system may overheat in the trucks, which has caused fires in eight known cases thus far. Three of the cases were incidents involving GM customers.
Of the three different engines sold in the popular Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra, only the 6.2-liter engine models have not shown any risks of fire. Customers can bring the pickups into dealerships for a software fix that takes about twenty minutes to complete, GM said in its statement announcing the recall. While GM’s press release downplayed the volume of vehicles involved, a look at the sales stats indicates most of the 2014 pickups the automaker sold have defective components.
From September 2013 through December 2013 — almost the whole time the 2014 pickups were on the market — GM sold approximately 80,000 GMC Sierras and 195,000 Chevy Silverados in the United States. Taken together, the figures from five months of sales still do not equal the 303,000 2014 models the automaker is recalling.
According to the GM release, the fires in the 2014 pickups occurred in areas of intense cold. The automaker warned against leaving the engines running in the trucks when drivers are not near the vehicle until the issue is resolved by the software fix. GM is sending out notices of the recall and the proposed solution by mail on January 16. The automaker noted that customers can contact dealers beginning on January 13 to schedule an appointment.
The day before the recall went public, GM announced all Silverado and Sierra 1500 trucks had earned the top vehicle score of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).