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GM issues major 2014 pickup truck recall for Silverado and Sierra

10:02 PM, Jan 10, 2014   |    comments
2014 Chevrolet Silverado LT Z71. General Motors plans to recall 370,000 units of its redesigned 2014 full-size pickup trucks, citing a software problem that could cause engine fires. / General Motors
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(Detroit Free Press) -- General Motors plans to recall 370,000 units of its redesigned 2014 full-size pickup trucks, citing a software problem that could cause engine fires.

The automaker said late Friday that it decided to issue the voluntary recall after receiving reports of eight fires with no injuries in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

The recall deals a blow to the otherwise hiccup-free launch of the pickup trucks and underscores the software intensity of new vehicles, which rely heavily on computer programming in the engineering and manufacturing process.

The Silverado and Sierra - which are made at GM's plants in Silao, Mexico and Ft. Wayne, Ind. - are critical to GM's profitability in North America. It was not immediately clear how much the recall would cost.

GM said the recall affects all of the 4.3-liter and 5.3-liter trucks the company has manufactured since production started in the summer, including 303,000 trucks in the U.S. and 67,000 in Canada and Mexico.

The company said it would take 20 minutes for dealers to reprogram software "that could lead to overheating of exhaust components, potentially causing engine compartment fires."

"GM is contacting customers to alert them of the potential issue, which often is signaled by a continuous yellow 'check engine' light and an 'engine power reduced' message in the driver information center," GM said in a statement. "GM has confirmed eight fires from this condition, three of which were on customer-owned vehicles, but no injuries. All occurred in areas with very cold weather."

GM said it would distribute letters to customers on Jan. 16, but Silverado and Sierra owners can schedule repair appointments early next week.

"Until then, customers are urged to avoid leaving their trucks to idle unattended," the automaker said.

Contact Nathan Bomey: 313-223-4743 or nbomey@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @NathanBomey.

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