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GM recalls 59,336 Chevrolet Mailbus over fire risk, HVAC problem

by Nat Shirley

Two separate issues, one of which has caused two vehicle fires, have prompted GM to recall the Malibu.

General Motors has announced two recalls that together cover nearly 60,000 Chevrolet Malibu sedans in the United States.

The more serious of the campaigns seeks to address a wiring issue that has resulted in two vehicle fires. The problem, which affects 14,930 2013 Chevrolet Malibus equipped with power-adjustable front seats, stems from a wiring harness that can abrade against the frame, causing the insulation of a circuit on the wiring to wear through to the conductor and create a short to the grounded seat frame.

This, in turn, can result in bevy of maladies, including unintentional seat movement, flickering lights, sparks and melted wiring. Of course, the latter two problems can cause a fire.

There are no known crashes or injuries connected to the issue, but GM does say it is aware of two fires in unattended vehicles that burned out on their own.

GM has yet to announce when it plans to implement a fix for the defect.

Separately, GM is calling back 44,406 2014 Malibus due to HVAC controls that may not function properly when the car is turned on, instead reverting to the setting selected the last time the car was driven. Simply an uncomfortable annoyance in most instances, the flaw can turn into a safety issue in situations when the driver needs to clear the windshield using the defroster.

GM will begin notifying owners of the problem next month, at which time dealers will reprogram the HVAC module free of charge.