GM Recalls Trucks Due to Engine Block Heater Cord Fires
In December 2018, a quality engineer submitted a report to the company’s Speak Up for Safety program which resulted in an investigation which concluded that there were 19 fire claims caused by a faulty optional engine block cord. The faulty cord is only applicable to diesel engines where it is used to heat up the engine block in extreme cold weather conditions. Preliminary investigations revealed that the cord short circuits where it connects to the engine block, causing a in fire in the engine compartment.
This led General Motors to recall over 368,000 pickups and other trucks worldwide the Duramax diesel 6.6-liter, eight-cylinder engine and optional engine-block heaters in April 2019.
Customers may notice the following:
- Smoke or a burning smell
- Poor block-heater performance
- Tripped circuit breakers or blown vehicle fuses
- Damage to the block heater, the heater cable, or engine components
- Block-heater coolant pooling under the vehicle
The Recall Models
In the US, GM recalled the following trucks:
- The 2017-2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500
- The 2019 Silverado 4500HD/5500HD/6500HD
- The 2017-2019 GMC Sierra 2500/3500.
An additional 40 319 trucks were recalled in Canada while about 61,418 of the recalled trucks are held at dealerships until the cord issue can be fixed.
In April, Ford Motor Co. was also forced to recall 327,000 medium-duty trucks with engine block heater cable fires.
Avoid Heater Use
Both automakers urged customers to avoid using the engine block heater until it is fixed. GM and Ford are disabling the engine block heater cords in unsold vehicles.
GM said it would contact customers via mail letters and that all repairs will be done free of charge. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recall number is 19V-328.
GM can also be contacted online on the following URL: