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GM will no longer remove parts from trucks to calculate curb weights
Aug 08, 2014 - 1:21 PM - by GMC Forum
Filed under: Truck, Chevrolet, GM, GMC



Following last week's mild uproar after it was discovered that Ford and General Motors were removing some optional parts from their pickups to lower the curb weight and consequently increase the maximum payload, GM has come out and committed to a base curb weight for its upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact trucks (although it has yet to publish them) and its current Silverado and Sierra. The company will do the same for its heavy duty offerings, although those numbers have not been finalized yet.

"This will make our curb weight and payload specs more consistent with those of most other truck makers, making it easier for customers to compare vehicles," GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson told Autoblog in an emailed statement.

As GM notes - and as every manufacturer has noted since this story broke - customers still shouldn't take max payload ratings as gospel. Instead, they should refer to their truck's Tire and Load Label, like the one shown at the inset, which will offer detailed information on max payload, specific to their truck.

Automotive News, meanwhile, reports that Ford has not made any changes to the way it figures out max payload ratings, despite the GM announcement. The company was at the center of last week's news, when it was revealed that it removed items like the spare tire, jack, radio and even the center console, to determine the curb weight for the F-Series Super Duty.GM will no longer remove parts from trucks to calculate curb weights originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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GM SUV window switch recall urges owners to park vehicles outside
Aug 07, 2014 - 12:30 PM - by GMC Forum
Filed under: SUV, Recalls, Safety, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC



It's not unusual for there to be a lag between an automaker announcing a recall and the official documentation showing up on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. So it's no surprise that a recent GM campaign took about a month to appear in its official capacity. However, there appears to be some big differences between the two reports with potential safety implications.

In late June, GM announced that it needed to recall 181,984 examples of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7x from the 2005-2007 model years, plus the 2006 Chevy Trailblazer EXT and 2006 GMC Envoy XL. The new documents paint a slightly different picture with 184,611 needing repaired and different model years listed.

The reason for the fix is still the same, though. It's possible for fluid to contact the master power window switch module in the driver's door, which can corrode the part. Eventually this could cause a short circuit, leaving the buttons inoperable and potentially leading to a fire. But the new NHTSA documents add an important note: "A fire could occur even while the vehicle is not in use. As a precaution, owners are advised to park outside until the remedy has been made."

This is GM's third campaign related to this issue in some of these vehicles. It started as an investigation into fires, then a recall covering about 250,000 examples in certain cold-weather states and another nationwide for about 193,000 units in 2013. According to the latest NHTSA document for this one, "vehicles whose modules were modified but not replaced as part of the previous recall remedy must have their vehicles remedied again under this campaign."

GM spokesperson Alan Adler spoke about the situation to Autoblog. The previous recall included a cover over the part to protect it, but the automaker found that it wasn't working. Its decision this time was to "just replace the door modules." According to him, the recommendation not to park in the garage "was always in place," from the earlier campaigns. He didn't know why it wasn't included in the press release.

The company will send notification to owners in late August and will notify them again when the parts are ready to install. Scroll down to read the full announcement.Continue reading GM SUV window switch recall urges owners to park vehicles outside

GM SUV window switch recall urges owners to park vehicles outside originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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GM also sheds parts from its pickups to boost payload ratings
Jul 31, 2014 - 3:30 PM - by GMC Forum
Filed under: Truck, Work, Chevrolet, Ford, GM, GMC, Specialty, Ram



The row between Ford and Ram over who boasts the best-in-class tow rating for heavy duty pickups has revealed a number of things. Chief among them is a report that Ford removes items like the spare tire, jack, radio and center console from its vehicles in a bid to lower its base curb weight and therefore keep the truck's gross vehicle weight rating down.

For those that need a refresher, GVWR is the vehicle's curb weight plus its maximum payload. A lower GVWR allows Ford to station its F-450 among the so-called Class III pickups, despite the fact that internally, it has the makings of a more brutish Class IV truck.

Ford explains away these deletions, saying a customer could order their vehicle in such a manner. It has also come to light that Ford is not the only automaker to engage in such practices.

General Motors started deleting the rear bumper and swapping in alloy wheels for heavier steel wheels for its 2014 pickups (both light-duty and heavy duty models). This is despite originally claiming that it did no such thing, a statement GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson told Automotive News was a mistake.

Wilkinson, like Ford, justifies the practice, explaining to AN, "You can delete the rear bumper, which some business customers do so they can install a custom bumper or other equipment on the back of the truck."

What are your thoughts on this? Is the process for figuring out tow ratings and GVWR too easy to manipulate? We want to hear from you. Head into Comments, and let us know what you think.GM also sheds parts from its pickups to boost payload ratings originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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GM thinks Colorado and Canyon midsize trucks will lure crossover buyers
Jul 29, 2014 - 6:11 PM - by GMC Forum
Filed under: Truck, Marketing/Advertising, Chevrolet, GM, GMC



The invitation to come out and sample product at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, MI is rarely dull, and after spending this morning driving preproduction versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon all we can say is... under strict embargo. Sorry, America, we were as excited as many of you are to learn more about GM's new midsize truck range and take note of how they go down the road, but it's going to be September before we're allowed to share that with all of you. Here's to sweet suspense.

While we might not be able to talk about refinement or handling yet, we did find some of the product positioning and marketing statements from GMC and Chevy officials on hand at the program to be pretty interesting.

Of course, we all know that the literal competitive set for Canyon and Colorado is comprised of two comparatively ancient Japanese midsize trucks: the Toyota Tacoma (which currently owns this segment) and the Nissan Frontier. The Frontier's bones are as old as the 2005 model year, with 2009 marking the last time the truck was updated. The Taco was also launched in 2005, though it did see a freshening for 2012. The point remains that, in every facet from powertrain to dash plastics, the GM midsize truck twins are going to look positively space age by comparison when they hit the market for MY 2015.

Interestingly though, The General isn't simply shooting for its aged, small-truck competitors when it comes to the planned conquest of customers. The automaker believes that both Chevy and GMC products will offer an interesting alternative to small-crossover shoppers as well. In fact, the engineering and marketing teams were possessed of this notion enough to bring along a Ford Escape as one of the competitive drives for our test day in Milford.
GM believes that both Chevy and GMC products will offer an interesting proposition to small-CUV shoppers.

Certainly, images of the Canyon and Colorado interiors that we've seen indicate that these two trucks will have cabins worthy of suburban tastemakers; full of the available comfort and convenience amenities that CUV shoppers are so keen on. Just as in their fullsize brothers, we expect these smaller trucks to be comfy places in which to pass your daily commute. We'd argue that the exterior styling of the trucks is a fit with the CUV ethos, as well.

Looking deeper, we can also see that the new trucks will probably offer reasonable tradeoffs in terms of utility, performance, mileage, space and price. Just comparing base models, the Chevy Canyon's 2.5-liter four-cylinder, rated at 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, is slightly stronger than the average output of four-bangers from Ford, Honda and Toyota small crossovers. Now, the Canyon is likely to be somewhat thirstier than the 26 combined miles per gallon that those three offer, but it'll do so will the decided boost in tow/haul utility is the most obvious pickup strong suit.

And, of course, while we don't yet have pricing, sticking around the low $20k starting MSRPs of the best-selling small crossovers seems quite doable. Bare bones Tacoma and Frontier trucks start at $18,125 and $20,510, respectively, leaving a good gap to appropriately price the content-plus new trucks,... [Read More]
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GM announces 6 recalls covering nearly 720k cars
Jul 23, 2014 - 2:12 PM - by GMC Forum
Filed under: Recalls, Safety, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GM, GMC



General Motors has announced yet another sprawling recall campaign, with six separate elements covering 717,950 vehicles on US roads. At this point in 2014, it's starting to seem like there are more days with a GM recall than without. Perhaps most troubling about this latest volley, though, is that every vehicle is from the past few years, indicating that GM's quality woes may not be limited to pre-bankruptcy vehicles.

The largest element of this latest campaign covers 414,333 units, and includes the 2011 to 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, 2010 to 2012 Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX and the 2011 to 2012 Buick Regal and LaCrosse. Only vehicles with powered, height-adjustable seats are covered. In these particular cars and crossovers, the bolt that secures the height adjuster actuator may loosen of its own accord and in some cases fall out completely. If this happens, the seats will be able to move both up and down. GM claims the vehicles are safe to drive, provided drivers don't vertically adjust their seats. This particular issue has caused one crash and three injuries.
The largest element of this latest campaign covers 414,333 units, including the Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, GMC Terrain, Cadillac SRX and the Buick Regal and LaCrosse.

Next up, the 2014 Chevrolet Caprice and SS, 2013 to 2014 Cadillac ATS, 2014 CTS and ELR, 2013 to 2014 Buick Encore and 2014 to 2015 GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado pickups (both light-duty and heavy duty models) are being recalled due to an "incomplete weld on the seat hook bracket assembly." 124,008 vehicles are affected by this problem, which is being blamed on a sudden loss of power to a laser welder at factories. Dealers will inspect the weld and replace the seat track if necessary. However, GM claims that less than one percent of welds will require track replacement. There have been no reported accidents or injuries for this issue.

The Buick Regal is getting pinged with a second recall, covering 2011 to 2013 models. It's joined by the 2013 Chevy Malibu, in an action that covers 120,426 vehicles. This is the least severe of the latest round of issues, though, as it has to do with the turn signal bulbs. These vehicles use a pair of bulbs in the signal array. Should both bulbs burn out, the driver is notified in the typical fashion (a rapidly flashing signal in the instrument cluster). If only one bulb burns out, though, there is no way of warning the driver. Unsurprisingly, this issue hasn't lead to any crashes, while the fix requires a simple reprogramming.

The 2014 Chevy Impala is also the subject of an action that's particular to models with belt-driven electric power steering. A bad electric ground to the power steering control module can lead to sudden loss or reduction in steering assistance. The car won't... [Read More]
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