GM Recalling Over 320,000 Medium-Duty Trucks Over Faulty Engine Block Heaters

If you own a Sierra or Silverado HD pickup, you might want to disconnect the engine block heater. It could catch fire, and GM doesn't know why.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali 3500HD and Sierra 3500HD

General Motors is recalling over 320,000 medium-duty pickups in America due to faulty engine block heaters that could cause a fire.

If you own a newer-model Silverado or Sierra HD with the Duramax diesel engine and live in an area cold enough to warrant having an engine block heater, then this recall may be of some concern to you.

GM is recalling 324,226 medium-duty pickups equipped with engine block heaters because they could catch fire. There have been no injuries reported, but 19 trucks have burned to the ground which isn’t exactly a great look.

The recall affects model years 2017 to 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500HD pickups, model year 2019 Silverado 4500, 5500, and 6500HD pickups, as well as model years 2017 to 2019 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500HD pickups. The recall grows to roughly 368,000 trucks when you include countries other than the US.

At issue is the engine block heater equipped on certain trucks with the 6.6-L Duramax diesel engine. According to the NHTSA, “The engine block heater cord or the terminals that connect the heater cord to the block heater may short circuit and fail.” GM began investigating the issue last December and found that if block heater coolant touches the terminals it’ll catch fire, or if the cable itself is damaged and also comes into contact with leaking coolant.

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Chevrolet Unveils the 2019 Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD at NTEA The Work Truck Show
via Chevrolet

However, GM still isn’t sure exactly why engine block heater coolant is leaking or why engine block cables are getting damaged. Which is worrying.

GM began notifying dealers as of April 26th to stop selling medium-duty Silverados and Sierras while they try and figure out the issue. No date has been set to notify owners simply because GM doesn’t have a plan to fix these engine block heaters yet.

Owners are encouraged to contact GM customer service if they suspect their truck has an issue, and to pay attention to the NHTSA website for updates on the recall.

(Source: Detroit News)

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