Vehicle fires can be frightening, and there’s certainly been some concern as-of late for fires in new and late-model vehicles. The latest concern comes from General Motors, which is recalling some GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express vans that could suffer an electrical issue leading to a possible fire.
The recall (NHTSA ID 21V-189) focuses on certain 2021 Savana and Express models equipped with the 6.6-liter gasoline V8 engine. According to the recall, GM identified a defect relating to the positive battery cable. Specifically, anti-rotation tabs on the cable could contact a portion of the attachment post for the fuse block. This contact could cause a short circuit that might drain the battery or worse, start a fire under the hood.
All total, the recall states 10,154 vehicles are affected. Breaking it down, 7,891 of those are Chevrolet Express models, with 2,263 being the GMC version. In both cases, 2021 vehicles built on or prior to December 7, 2020 are in the crosshairs. GM reports four documented cases of underhood fires occurring in vehicles possibly related to this issue, but no injuries or accidents are known to have occurred as a result. The issue was first reported on December 7 by a GM employee after finding a new Chevrolet Express at the Wentzville Assembly plant with a dead battery.
The fix is a simple one. Dealers will remove a portion of the aforementioned anti-rotation tabs on the positive battery cables. It’s considered a warranty issue, so obviously there’s no charge to owners for the fix. Dealerships were notified of the recall on March 18; notification to owners of affected vans is estimated to begin on May 3.
As such, it’s recommended that these vans are parked outside until the fix is implemented. With the Express and Savana being classified as commercial vehicles, it’s likely many of these big vans spend their time outside anyway. Still, they join Ram HD pickups and the Kia Sportage / Cadenza as being recalled for fire risks in the month of March alone.