General Motors (GM) has announced two new safety recalls over defects that could potentially result in fire, and in some cases, explosion.
Last week, GM said it was recalling about 3,200 natural gas-powered cargo vans for gas leaks that could lead to an explosion and fire. The recall affects 3,196 Chevrolet Express CNG and GMC Sahara vans powered by compressed natural gas.
The Detroit automaker informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the affected vehicles “may have a CNG (compressed natural gas) high pressure regulator that leaks natural gas into the atmosphere,” adding that this flaw “could cause an explosion or fire if an ignition source is present.”
GM said that customers who suspect a leak is occurring in their van should not start the engine or drive the vehicle, but instead have it towed immediately to a dealer for inspection and repair. GM said that the parts needed to fix the potential leak are on order and it will notify customers by letter when they are available.
GM said that it is not aware of any fires, crashes, or injuries as a result of the flaw.
The automaker is also recalling more than 221,000 vehicles for a parking brake defect that can cause the brake pads to remain partly engaged when the vehicle is in motion, potentially causing “excessive brake heat that may result in a fire,” according to documents published online Saturday by NHTSA.
The recall encompasses 205,309 vehicles in U.S. and 16,249 vehicles in Canada and other countries, including 2014-2015 Chevy Impalas and 2013-2015 Cadillac XTS cars.
According to NHTSA, in addition to causing “significant heat, smoke and sparks,” the brake defect could also impede driving. The agency warned drivers of the affected vehicles that the affected vehicles may experience “poor vehicle acceleration, undesired deceleration, excessive brake heat and premature wear to some brake components.”
The Impala has been one of GM’s most troubled models. The current recall is the fourth to involve Impalas this year for problems related to the ignition, improperly torqued joint fasteners, and power steering loss. NHTSA is also investigating the cars for airbag failure and sudden, unintentional braking caused by the vehicle’s collision warning and prevention system.
GM has launched 66 recall campaigns affecting more than 29,100,000 vehicles this year, a record number for an American automaker. In February, GM began recalling millions of vehicles because of faulty ignition switches that could unexpectedly cut off power to the engine, deactivating power steering, anti-lock brakes, and air bags. That defect, which affects more than a decade of several GM models, has been linked to at least 21 deaths.