It would be really scary to have the hood of your truck open up while you’re driving. You wouldn’t be able to see in front of you at all, and it would increase the risk of crashing. That’s exactly what some General Motors truck owners have been dealing with recently. Two recalls issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Transport Canada in the last several months are still underway to fix the problem being caused by the defective hood assemblies. Here’s a look at what went wrong.
GM truck hoods could fly up
In October 2019, GM was notified of a problem with its own truck hood latches. At that time, engineers at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds, a testing facility in Michigan, discovered the issue on a 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 owned by the company. In November 2019, they found the problem on another truck, which triggered an internal investigation.
The defective hood assemblies had hood latch striker wires that hadn’t been heat-treated correctly and were prone to wearing out and breaking. If that happened, the hood could unlatch and open. The driver might hear a rattling sound after the wires broke, but otherwise, there was no warning that the hood could fly open while driving.
As part of the investigation, hardness testing was performed on the striker wire, and it was found to be much harder than it was supposed to be, making it more likely to break. The supplier of the hood striker assembly told GM that an alternate supplier had been used in January 2019 to handle the heat treating for two batches of the striker wires.
The first recall for hood assemblies
Announced in March, several months after the problem was initially discovered, the first recall (N192284960) began on April 26, 2020, and GM dealers were to replace the affected hood assemblies for free.
This recall affected 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Silverado 3500, GMC Sierra 2500, and Sierra 3500 trucks. Most of the affected trucks were Chevrolets. It impacted 1,909 trucks in the U.S. and 95 more in Canada. Their owners were to be contacted by GM dealers to set up their replacement appointments. It turned out that this round of repairs wasn’t the solution it was intended to be, and luckily, it seems that not very many owners had a chance to go in for repairs yet.
The second recall for GM hood assemblies
Three months after the first recall was announced, according to Car Complaints, a second recall (N202306490) also affects hood assemblies on 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Silverado 3500, GMC Sierra 2500, and Sierra 3500 trucks. There are 570 trucks from Chevrolet and GMC included in this recall, and the problem again is that the hoods could open while the truck is being driven. It turns out that the replacement hood assembly parts used in the first recall also had the same defective striker wires.
This recall is scheduled to start on July 20, 2020. GM truck owners will be contacted by dealers after that date, and they will then be able to go again to have their hood assemblies replaced. Dealers will also contact people who bought hoods over the counter and provide them with information on hood replacements.
For more information about the recall, owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 or GMC at 888-988-7267. It’s important for GM truck owners to see if their truck is affected since an open hood could be a serious hazard while driving. In the meantime, it may be worth using wire to secure the hood in the closed position until it can be repaired.