GM recalls some 2016 trucks for control arm defect

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Tuesday that it is recalling 4,789 2016 full-size trucks in the U.S. because a front upper control arm can separate from the vehicle.

The Detroit automaker is not aware of any accidents or injuries resulting from the defect. The recall covers some 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks, Suburbans and Tahoes; GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, Yukons and Yukon XLs; and Cadillacs Escalades and Escalade ESVs. A small number of 2017 Silverado early-build trucks are also part of the recall, a GM spokesman said.

GM believes fewer than 550 of the recalled vehicles were delivered to customers. The automaker said it will contact affected customers and tell them not to drive their vehicle until the front upper control arm can be replaced. Dealers will tow the vehicle for repairs and also can provide customers with a loaner car, the automaker said.

The company said the part can separate from the vehicle “due to a poor quality weld near the control arm bushing.” If the part were to fail, GM said steering could be compromised, increasing the risk of a crash.

GM, in a filing to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said it noticed an issue with the part in early April on a newly built GMC Yukon XL Denali at its Arlington Assembly Plant. It was sent to a GM lab, which confirmed the poor weld quality on the control arm caused the weld to fail and arm to deform.

The Arlington plant quality manager reported the issue through GM’s Speak Up For Safety program and GM opened an investigation. The company, at its Milford Proving Ground, tested and found that a deformed or separated upper control arm could “significantly degrade steering control, making the vehicle very difficult to drive even at low speeds.” The test also found that the poor quality weld could fail at low or high speeds during steering or braking or when hitting a pothole.

The company on April 20 opted to conduct a safety recall, according to the notice to NHTSA.

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