General Motors (GM) is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world, with a reputation for producing reliable and safe vehicles. However, like all automakers, GM occasionally identifies issues with its vehicles that need to be addressed to ensure the safety of its customers. Recently, GM identified a problem in certain 2003-2023 Chevrolet Express Cutaway and 2003-2023 GMC Savana Cutaway incomplete vehicles. These vehicles are equipped with wiring for an optional rear heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system.
According to the defect report, these vehicles are equipped with an unused circuit that a final-stage manufacturer may elect to use to install an optional rear HVAC system. While this circuit is not typically used, if the final-stage manufacturer leaves the circuit’s connectors or cut wires unsealed, where exposure to moisture or contamination may, over time, cause corrosion. In rare cases, this corrosion could result in a high current draw through the circuit at the vehicles’ lower left side B-pillar. If left unaddressed, the problem could cause excessive heat in the circuit that could result in a fire.
To address this problem, GM began a product investigation in December 2022, after receiving reports of two alleged fire incidents involving a 2013 and a 2014 Chevrolet Express Cutaway incomplete vehicles. The company’s investigators analyzed inspection reports from the two subject vehicles and retrieved and analyzed field data for all Express Cutaway and GMC Savana Cutaway vehicles sold for model years 2005 through 2023, comprising approximately 167,000 units. Analysis of the field data, including legal claims, identified a total of eight potentially related complaints, six of which alleged fires.
On March 30, 2023, GM’s Safety Field Action Decision Authority (SFADA) decided to conduct a safety recall. While the company is not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with this condition, it is taking this action to ensure the safety of its customers.
Owners of the affected vehicles will receive notices with instructions to return to their dealers to have the rear HVAC blower motor circuits at the left side B-pillar properly sealed. The recall is identified by GMC’s number N222386050 and the NHTSA campaign number is 23V-247.