Rather than waiting for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to require a recall, General Motors (GM) submitted a petition last fall in hopes to avoid a recall on 2014 model year GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado trucks manufactured between January 29, 2013 and October 28, 2013. According to GM, the problem is inconsequential in regards to the safe operation of the vehicles as it only affects the instrument light clusters. They cited a similar case that Ford used to avoid a recall over two decades ago.
How did GM Learn about the Problem?
GM discovered the problem in two of their test vehicles where the instrument light clusters automatically resets any time controls on the steering wheel are being used to change or search music selections, notably whenever externally connected devices are plugged into the USB port. Further, the steering wheel controls have to be pressed in a certain order in order to trigger the problem.
During the reset, the lights on the cluster go off for a short period and turn back on a few seconds later without disrupting operation of the vehicle. The warning lights may also illuminate for a few seconds when the instrument cluster resets. In the test vehicles the problem did not affect the operation of the vehicle or other functions.
Have There Been any Complaints Filed by Consumers?
Currently, there has been no report of the problem filed by consumers with the NHTSA. GM has tracked warranty claims, as well, and stated no vehicles have been brought in for this problem at this time. Since the problem was discovered last fall, GM has taken steps to make modifications in the Silverado and Sierra instrument cluster design. Vehicles manufactured and tested after October 28, 2013, have not exhibited the problem.
The NHTSA has not issued a response to the petition at this time, but one should be forthcoming in the next several months. Once the NHTSA has fully reviewed the petition and if they decide a recall is necessary, it would affect over 200,000 trucks.
What Can I Do if I Own One of These Trucks?
If you own a 2014 GMC Sierra or Chevrolet Silverado truck and want to see when it was manufactured, there is a sticker inside the driver’s door along the jam at the bottom. This date will let you know if your vehicle could potentially be affected by the instrument light cluster problem. Should you experience the problem with your vehicle, correcting it is covered under the new vehicle warranty. Contact your local authorized Chevrolet or GMC service center and schedule an appointment to have your truck serviced.