GM recalls vehicles over fire hazard

Posted on Jun 10, 2010
General Motors has issued a recall of 1.5 million vehicles over a heated windshield wiper fluid that could catch fire. All 2006-2009 models of Cadillacs and Buick sedans, as well as a number of sports utility vehicles have been recalled.

GM is encouraging consumers to make an appointment with their local dealerships to have the heating mechanism disabled. Vehicle owners will be given $100 in compensation by GM.

The recall is not linked to any reported vehicle wrecks or injuries. However, the heated windshield wiper fluid does present a fire hazard according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Five fires and several incidents of overheating have been reported to the automaker.

Critics believe that the GM recall demonstrates an attempt for automakers to reconcile with consumers after the growth of mistrust amongst them following the Toyota recalls for unintended acceleration.

GM is offering money to consumers because the system was made by a single manufacturer and cannot be replaced. The recall could cost GM up to $150 million, but could help the company avoid costly lawsuits over compensation for the defective washer system in the future.

Customers will be receiving recall letters this month, but GM encourages owners to go ahead and contact their local dealerships to have the heated washer system removed.