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Government Investigating GM Pickups

Feb 23, 2004 | AP

The government is investigating reports that tailgates are falling off the back of General Motors Corp. pickup trucks without warning.

The investigation could potentially affect thousands of vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday said it is looking at the GMC Sierra from model years 1999-2002; the Chevrolet Silverado from model years 1999-2003; the 2002 Cadillac truck and the 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche.

Consumers have reported numerous injuries due to the alleged defect, NHTSA said. In one case, a tailgate separated from a moving vehicle. In another, the tailgate broke as a consumer was loading an all-terrain vehicle onto his pickup. The ATV fell on him and broke his shoulder.

NHTSA said it appears that support cables can break due to metal fatigue, but consumers can't see if they're worn because they're covered with a protective plastic sheath.

NHTSA investigations sometimes lead to vehicle recalls.

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