NHTSA Expands GM Door-Fire Investigation
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
Federal investigators are upgrading an investigation into over 341,000 Chevrolet Trailblazer SUVs seeking to decipher the cause behind electrical fires sparked in driver's side doors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) raised this preliminary investigation to an engineering analysis when it got word that GM received 167 reports and 698 warranty claims alleging that the driver's door module melted and burned. The NHTSA itself has also received 83 complaints referencing the driver's door module and also erratic window switches. Models partaking in the investigation thus far include the 2006 - 2007 Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainer, Saab 9-7x, and all versions of the Isuzu Ascender GMT360 model made during the 2006 - 2007 years. A similar investigation is also in effect with certain Toyota vehicles such as the Camry, Rav4, Yaris, and Highlander Hybrid.
At issue seems to be the plastic driver's side power master switch- and the most troubling concern is that fires have been reported to occur even when vehicles were not running and/or unattended.
So far no vehicles have been recalled, and the good news is GM no longer builds any of the potentially affected models.