GM Has Recalled TrucksMar 18, 2004 | www.safetyalerts.com
General Motors Corp. is reported to have said it is recalling 4 million 2000-2004 pickups worldwide because their tailgates can break without warning.
GM is reported to have said there have been 134 minor injuries but no crashes or fatalities due to the problem. In at least one case, a tailgate separated from a moving vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In another, the tailgate broke as a consumer was loading an all-terrain vehicle onto his pickup.
The recall involves 2000-04 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras built between October 1999 and October 2003. Some 2002-04 Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT trucks built between March 2001 and October 2003 are also being recalled.
GM is reported to have said the cables that hold tailgates in place on those vehicles can corrode or fracture. Dealers will replace the existing galvanized, braided steel cables with stainless steel cables for free.
Customers will be notified by GM in phases because replacement cables will not be available immediately for all vehicles. Until the repair can be made, GM said owners should avoid applying direct loads to the tailgate until the cables can be inspected.
The recall comes a month after NHTSA announced it was investigating the breaking tailgates. NHTSA spokeswoman Liz Neblett said Thursday that the government will continue to monitor the problem.
According a letter sent to NHTSA on Wednesday, GM first began hearing about the problem in April 2002, when it received 12 reports of injuries due to broken tailgates. The company authorized a change to stainless steel cables in May 2003 and implemented the change at all of its manufacturing facilities in October 2003.