GM recalls 121,000 Cadillac ATS cars for fire risks

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

General Motors Co. said Wednesday it is recalling 121,000 Cadillac ATS cars for fire risks linked to a fault in the rear defogger system.

The recall includes 97,000 2013-16 ATS sedans in the U.S and 24,000 in Canada, Mexico and outside North America. GM said it is aware of four fires but no injuries, fatalities or crashes. The Detroit automaker says less than 1 percent of the recalled vehicles are expected to have the condition.

GM says the issue could pose a risk of a fire inside the rear pillar on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

GM said some of the recalled ATS cars may have been manufactured with “critically weak terminal connectivity in the coil antenna module, which powers the rear defogger system. If the module has the condition and is subjected to excessive cycling or continuous operation, it may overheat and a fire may develop inside the rear pillar on the driver’s side of the vehicle.”

Dealers will update the Electronic Climate Control module software to remove the automatic rear defogger “on” function.

This is the fourth recall for some newer ATS models. In July, GM recalled 63,000 2013-2016 Cadillac ATS cars in the United States because the roof panel may close automatically when the non-recessed switches are pressed and the roof panel is open. These vehicles fail to comply with federal requirements.

Separately, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said it is recalling 1,747 2014-15 Ram 1500 pickups in the U.S. and Canada to inspect, reroute and replace — as required — their wire harnesses to prevent a potential short-circuit because of fire risks.

An investigation by the automaker discovered a battery wiring harness may chafe against a bracket if assembly protocols were not followed. This condition is limited to vehicles equipped with diesel engines and 4x2 drivelines.

Fiat Chrysler said it is unaware of any related injuries, accidents or fires.

The recall covers 1,697 trucks in the U.S. and 50 in Canada.