Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks are being recalled for possible fire risk

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If you have a heavy-duty Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck, you’ll want to read this.

General Motors is recalling about 325,000 Chevy Silverados and GMC Sierras in the U.S. because of a fire risk related to engine-block heaters, according to Consumer Reports.

The specific diesel engine vehicles being recalled are 2017-2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty trucks, 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 4500, 5500, and 6500 commercial trucks, and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty trucks. The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks affected all have Duramax 6.6-liter diesel engines and an optional engine-block heater.

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Engine-block heaters are convenient because they help speed up the car warming-up process. That’s especially convenient in cold climates. But in the recalled trucks, the heater cord or components can malfunction and catch fire.

The issue has caused 19 reported fires, though no injuries or deaths have resulted. Coming out of the cold winter and early spring season it makes sense that truck owners have been making use of this feature … and having malfunctions.

Warning signs of the issue include a smoking or burning smell, coolant drippage under the car, tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses. The block heater, cable, and other parts may perform poorly or incur damage, according to an FAQ on the recall.

Since there is no fix yet for the engine-block heater, owners of the recalled vehicles are asked not to use them. Dealerships that sell the trucks have also been told to stop selling the vehicles in question. Once a fix is found, vehicle repairs will be done at no charge to truck owners.  GM and Chevy currently do not know the root cause.

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The company stopped building vehicles with this heater option in April. However, 2020 Silverado heavy-duty and medium-duty pickups appear to have the same engine, though it’s updated. GM did not reveal whether or not the new models, for sale this summer, might be similarly affected.

General Motors faced another recall last September. That one affected about 1 million pickups and SUVs that could potentially have power steering issues.

You can check your vehicle ID number (VIN) for any recalls on it at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

Do you own one of these trucks?

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About the Author
Anna Weaver
Anna Weaver is a writer and multimedia journalist from Hawaii. Her two young kids keep her on her toes and hooked on online shopping. Anna’s also a fan of movies, reading, photography, and sharing far too many IG stories about cute dogs and capybaras.

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