Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Safety Alert

GM expands SUV recall to 480,000 vehicles for fire risk

NHTSA recommends parking vehicles outside until fix is made

DETROIT (Reuters) -- General Motors Co. is recalling about 231,000 additional SUVs that might be in danger of an electrical short that could cause a fire.

The move is an expansion of a recall from last August to check 249,000 SUVs for a short in a circuit board in the driver's door that could lead to a fire.

Vehicles involved in both recalls include the 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL and 2006-2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Saab 9-7X and Isuzu Ascender.

Of the more than 480,000 recalled SUVs, about 443,000 are in the United States, GM said.

The automaker said it has received 58 reports of vehicle fires and 11 minor injuries related to the issue, most of them on vehicles in the original recall.

Government safety investigators said "a fire could occur even while the vehicle is not in use."

"As a precaution, owners are advised to park outside until the remedy has been made," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in documents posted on its Web site.

"While a fire can occur when the vehicle is unattended, it is very rare," GM said in a statement. "The incidence rate for the expanded recall population is six times lower than for the vehicles recalled last year in the so-called 'corrosion states' and Washington, D.C."

The issue, according to NHTSA, involves a potential fluid leak in the driver's door module, which could cause corrosion that might result in a short in the circuit board. NHTSA said the short could result in overheating, "which could melt components of the door module, producing odor, smoke or a fire."

GM STATEMENT ON SUV RECALL

DETROIT - General Motors is expanding a recall of mid-size SUVS to include an additional 193,652 vehicles in states where customers already were eligible to have their vehicles repaired under a special coverage program.

Customers who received a special coverage letter in January and have not yet had their vehicles repaired will receive a safety recall notice. The original safety recall covered 20 states and the District of Columbia. Now, all states are covered.

Road salt, rain water and other liquids can get inside the driver's door module and could result in a short in the printed circuit board. That could lead to possible failure of the power door lock and window switches. In extremely rare cases the short may cause overheating, which could melt components of the door module and produce odor, smoke and a fire. GM is aware of 11 fires and one minor injury related to the expanded population.

Subject to the expanded recall are certain 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL; 2006-07 Trailblazer, Envoy, Buick Rainier, Saab 9-7x, and Isuzu Ascender vehicles.

Dealers will make repairs free of charge.