DETROIT –Executive Vice President Mark Reuss says a U.S. recall involving 370,000 of the automaker’s newly redesigned large trucks because of potential for engine fires will be in the rearview mirror within days.
“We’re already past it,” Reuss tells WardsAuto after introducing the ’15 GMC Canyon small pickup on the eve of the 2014 North American International Auto Show.
“We got the software (fix) to dealers, we’re flashing the trucks at our plants,” he says. “This is going to be gone pretty quick.”
GM on Friday issued the recall of its ’14 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, saying an engine fire could occur if exhaust components overheat. The problem stems from a software glitch that does not shut off enough of the engine’s cylinders during idle. The problem affects pickups equipped with 4.6L V-6 and 5.3L V-8 engines, and fires have been reported. Pickups with the 6.2L V-8 engine are not involved in the recall.
Jeff Luke, GM’s chief truck engineer, calls the problem a “rare event” engineering teams did not encounter during development and validation of the trucks, which launched late last year and have won a number of awards. The Silverado won North American Truck of the Year, which was announced today.
Sales of both models, which are a profit machine for GM, jumped 15.5% last year to 664,803 units from 575,497 in like-2012, according to WardsAuto data.
Reuss declines to speculate whether the recalls will affect future sales.
“I really can’t answer that,” says Reuss, who recently moved from president of GM North American to head of global product development. “I hope not. It’s a great truck and (an issue) we’ve never seen before. We’re going to deal with it.”
GM in October recalled close to 22,000 of the same pickups because the seats could move forward in a crash.
The recalls come just months after GM’s product quality was named the best in the industry by J.D. Power & Associates.