A massive recall is underway for numerous General Motors cars and trucks sold globally over a glitch in the wind shield wiper fluid heating system that could ignite a fire. The recall concerns a total of 1.53 million Buick, Hummer, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and Saturn models, with 1.36 million of those sold in the U.S.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its Web site that GM had tried to fix a similar problem on the same cars in 2008 following reports of fires resulting from an electrical short cut in the system that heats windshield-washer fluid. However, the agency said that since then, it has received reports of "thermal incidents" on the repaired vehicles.
General Motors said that the single supplier of the technology that helps melt ice in freezing temperatures, Micro-Heat, filed for bankruptcy in 2008 after the Detroit automaker stopped offering its HotShot wiper-fluid heater after the first recall.
And since the maker of the system is out of business, GM decided to permanently disable and remove the heated-washer fluid module altogether on the recalled vehicles. According to reports, aside from removing the module, General Motors will also compensate the owners of the affected vehicles with $100 for the loss of the feature.