Sedans & Coupes

Recall Alert: Chevy, GMCs, and More Are Bursting Into Flames

Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models, oh my! They are catching on fire! Every General Motors brand is part of a massive recall due to transmission issues that could lead to fires. Your Chevy Blazer, Buick Encore, Chevy Traverse, Cadillac XT4, and more could be at risk for bursting into flames. 

General Motors transmission recall 

Recently, according to CNET, General Motors filed a massive recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to address a possible transmission leak that could lead to loss of power or fire. 

This recall covers a total of 194,105 SUVs and sedans, including: 

  • The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu 
  • 2019 – 2020 Chevy Blazer models 
  • 2018 – 2019 Chevy Cruze models 
  • 2018 – 2019 Chevy Traverse models 
  • 2018 – 2019 Chevy Equinox models 
  • 2018 – 2019 Buick LaCross models 
  • 2019 – 2020 Buick Encore models 
  • 2019 – 2020 Buick Enclave models 
  • 2018 – 2020 GMC Terrain models 
  • 2019 – 2020 GMC Acadia models 
  • 2019 – 2020 Cadillac XT4 models 
  • The 2020 Cadillac XT6 

Wow, that’s a long list of vehicles that could erupt in flames. The cause of the transmission oil leak has been traced back to missing bolts on the start-stop accumulator end cap.

2020 Buick Enclave | GM
2020 Buick Enclave | GM

Without the bolts, oil could leak through the transmission and cause a sudden loss of power. Also, it could increase the risk of fire. GM is currently unaware of ant crashes or injuries caused by this defect. 

What happens if my GM vehicle is at risk? 

General Motors should begin notifying owners with vehicles at risk soon. Owners will be notified via mail in December. But that’s a long time from now! To see if your vehicle is under recall now, enter your 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the NHTSA site here

If your vehicle is at risk, simply take it to a General Motors dealership. Technicians will install bolts on the start-stop accumulator if they are missing from your vehicle. If the bolts aren’t missing, and everything is fine, you’ll be sent on your way.  

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS parked on dirt track
2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS | Chevrolet

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This issue will be fixed for free. However, remember to schedule your maintenance appointment in advance, so you don’t get stuck waiting around all day. Plus, you don’t have to go to the same dealership where you purchased your vehicle. A local option is fine. 

How to tell if your transmission is leaking 

If your vehicle is at risk, be sure to take it to a professional. They will easily determine if your transmission is leaking or not. But in the meantime, there are a few clue clues that could indicate a transmission leak. 

2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport
2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport

You can check your dipstick to see your transmission fluid level. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it. Then remove it again to see what level the fluid is at.

The fluid should be pink and almost clear. If it’s a little brown, it needs to be replaced. If the fluid level is low, don’t add too much. Overfilling it can cause the fluid to overheat. 

If it’s running hot, a dashboard light may illuminate. Refer to your owner’s manual to see what the warning light indicates. Also, if the fluid is leaking, you may notice black spots under your vehicle after it’s parked. 

A red GMC Terrain on display at a car show
GMC Terrain on display | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Other signs of transmission leaks include clunking sounds coming from the transmission or a strange vibration as you change gears. Also, you may notice a burning smell or a delay in acceleration. But these aren’t signs to panic. Calmly schedule a maintenance appointment for your vehicle when you can.