So one of the many current General Motors recalls this year is recall 13036 which personally affects me because I own one of the cars involved, a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu.
The first notice of the recall was mailed out about a month or so ago with notation that the parts were not available yet and then a second notice would come alerting us owners that we could take the cars in for the repair.
Here’s the detailed description of the recall from the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (aka safercar.gov), & The United States Department of Transportation:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2004-2012 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles manufactured May 16, 2003, through October 11, 2012, 2004-2007 Malibu Maxx vehicles manufactured June 25, 2003, through April 5, 2007, 2005-2010 Pontiac G6 vehicles manufactured May 26, 2004, through January 4, 2010, and 2007-2010 Saturn Aura vehicles manufactured April 24, 2006, through May 26, 2009. In the affected vehicles, increased resistance in the Body Control Module (BCM) connection may result in voltage fluctuations in the Brake Apply Sensor (BAS) circuit. These fluctuations can cause one or more of these conditions: the brake lights to illuminate without the brake pedal being pushed; the brake lights to not illuminate when the pedal is pushed; difficulty disengaging the cruise control; moving the gear shifter out of the ‘PARK’ position without pushing the brake; and disablement of crash avoidance features such as traction control, electronic stability control, and panic braking assist features.
Now with that said the notice states this is a 20 minute fix and obviously on General Motors dime. It seems some owners already had this work done (and they will be reimbursed with a receipt), and I know I already had other “Control Module issues” that triggered the check engine light back in February though Chevrolet deemed that “warranty work”, so I got that done for free.
The kicker to this recall is that over two million cars are involved, so your local General Motors dealer service department will be swamped for the near future. I called my local Chevrolet dealer Monday and was put in voice mail but they did call me back later that afternoon and told me the earliest they could fix the car was the first week of November.
Yeah November, the service department said all they have been doing is scheduling recall work because by my count there is at least four major open recalls right now (this one, the ignition key issue on small cars, the engine issue for about 500 new full size trucks & a power window issue for mid sized SUV’s, my GMC Envoy is not affected), so they have their hands full.
I also asked the service department if the car is safe to drive. They claim it is, but I’ll be honest, I’m just driving it to and from work a few days a week and will drive my GMC Envoy a few days too. The car drives fine with no obvious issues, what part of this recall (like many now), is corrosion and possible failure. My Malibu is garaged and babied, but it was driven a lot last winter as does have nearly 100,000 miles. So if you have one of these cars I’d say drive with caution and if you don’t feel comfortable driving the car then don’t. But General Motors does not see this major safety issue where you are in danger by driving the car, this is up to us owners discretion.
But if you got the recall notice or think you are affected you can check online at GM Recall Information (https://recalls.gm.com/#), and get the info you need or check with your local General Motors dealer or even press your blue Onstar button (if you have it activated), and you can find out about your vehicle. I’d advise that you do that soon with amount of cars needing servicing.
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