Monday, April 25, 2005


Recall Overdose

As I've written before (at least a couple of times), the auto industry is good at messing up parts that should be "home runs". And very recently, I took GM to task for doing a half-ass job on its recalls.

Having established that, one can only imagine the surprise I felt upon learning that GM would be recalling a few more cars (2.2 million), for things such as seat belt placement issues, burnt fuel-pump wiring, bent brake pushrods, and parking-brake failures. Wonderful - couldn't come at a better time.

When I swapped a 255 lph Walbro pump into my '96 Impala SS (to properly keep up with the stroker motor), I noticed that it had some charred fuel-pump wiring - nothing surprising to folks on in the B-body world. Additionally, it's a common complaint among owners of older GMT400s ('88-'01 C/K full-sizes) as well. Certainly one shouldn't expect a different result from putting a high-current load (and an unreliable one at that) on a 30-amp fuse, and then running 18 AWG wiring the whole length of the car. Not bright, and not something you'd be allowed to do in the walls of your home - so why would it be acceptable near the fuel tank of a car? Additionally, the wiring harness inside the fuel tank of my car looked like it was assembled by someone who used their teeth for the wire-strip and terminal crimp operations. Ugly.

The point here is the same that I've made before - there's almost definitely a significant additional volume of vehicles out there with the same defects, and so I'm sure we haven't heard the last of these recalls by GM. It will be stated that GM's doing the right things by recalling these vehicles, and that the media is making a mountain out of a molehill. The right thing would be to recall everything on the road that uses similar parts of poor or merely-adequate design, and the media wouldn't get the chances that it does if GM would perform each recall only once (or, even more radically, not at all).

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