July 14, 2015
Last week, General Motors announced that it would recall nearly 196,000 Hummer vehicles because simply turning on the heating or cooling system could set the car ablaze.While we reported that federal regulators had received nearly two dozen consumer complaints about the issue over the past seven years, a new report finds that the real number of reported incidents is much higher, and that GM may have continued to put off issuing the recall had it not been for threats of an investigation.
Jalopnik, citing sources with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reported earlier today that General Motors only recalled the model year 2006 to 2010 Hummer H3 and model year 2009 to 2010 H3T after regulators threatened to open a formal investigation into the issue.
According to GM, the issue with the Hummer vehicles is related to an electrical part in the heating and cooling system that can overheat and cause a fire inside the dashboard.
Jalopnik reports that the first fire related to the blower issue occurred in August 2008 and was reported to NHTSA the following month.
However, a chronology report [PDF] posted by NHTSA at the time of the recall alleges the company only learned about the issue after receiving two consumer complaints through its Speak Up For Safety program in September 2014.