It happens from time to time: Rain, spilled drinks or other forms of moisture can land on the driver’s left side armrest, which typically houses a module of switches that control windows, side mirrors and locks. The moisture can leak through the panel and cause shorts that not only break the controls but can also lead to a burning smell, smoke and even fire.
Honda Motor Co. Ltd (TYO:7267) globally recalled 646,000 of its Fit, Jazz and City models made between 2002 and 2008, after a 2-year-old South African girl was killed when a Honda Jazz caught fire.
Here's the latest in a number of recalls related to this moisture intrusion issue: General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) on Monday upped the number of vehicles in its recall to 230,000 after initially announcing a recall of about 249,000 vehicles over the same concern back in August. So far, over a million vehicles have been targeted for inspection in North America, including vehicles made by the world’s largest automaker, Toyota Motor Corp. (TYO:7203).
“As a precaution, owners are advised to park outside until the remedy has been made,” GM said to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a June 13 filing.
At least 58 fires – none of them causing injury or death – have been reported, according to The Detroit Bureau.
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So far the following vehicles are included in both recall notices:
- 2006-07 Chevrolet Trailblazer;
- 2006 GMC Envoy XL;
- 2006-07 Saab 9-7X (the first American-built Saab that used the GMC Envoy platform);
- 2006-07 Isuzu Ascender (built by GM for Isuzu using the GMC Envoy platform); and
- Some 2007 Buick Rainiers.
Owners are urged to call the following numbers for more information: Buick at 1-800-521-7300, Chevy at 1-866-694-6546, GMC at 1-866-996-9463, Isuzu at 1-800-255-6727, and Saab at 1-855-880-0808.
In October Toyota announced a worldwide voluntary recall of more than 7.4 million vehicles over a potential fire hazard from moisture intrusion into its power window switch.