General Motors recalling 1.7 million vehicles, 125,783 from Canada

Published: October 27, 2015

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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United States based General Motors (GM) has been forced to recall some 1.7 million vehicles because they potentially leak oil and even catch fire. Of that 1.7 million, the vehicles stretch back as far as 1997 and the company says that 125,783 will come from Canada.

It will be the third time in seven years that GM has recalled the vehicles in question, however the company has confirmed that previous repair attempts have failed. So what is different this time? That may be a question asked by owners of the 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Regal; the 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala; the 1998 and 1999 Chevrolet Lumina and Oldsmobile Intrigue; and the 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

All those mentioned vehicles will be recalled by GM in North America and all of them have something in common, they run 3.8-litre V6 engines. The two previous recalls happened in 2008 and then again in 2009, but both failed to rectify the problem, that seems to stem from valve cover gasket degradation. Oil then leaks from the valve cover gasket when the vehicle is under heavy breaking, leading to some vehicles catching fire.

With some vehicles having the fire spread to the rest of the engine and eventually the entire car, there is a real danger for motorists with vehicles affected by the problem. GM confirmed that 267 cars have burnt, 17 of them causing damage to buildings, and with 19 people getting injured.

The scale of the recall is almost certainly going to impact General Motors financially, especially with the company’s fourth quarter financials due before the end of the year. Alan Adler, a spokesman for GM, said that an impact of fourth quarter earnings is yet unclear.

"Since we have not decided on the remedy, we do not know whether the cost will result in a material charge to earnings," he said.

Adler also pointed out that the company does not yet actually have a viable way to fix the cars, which leads to this problem having the potential to be a massive issue for General Motors down the road.

You can find out if your vehicle is going to be recalled by heading to a portal set up by GM, while the company explains some of the details behind a recall and why your vehicle may be subject to one.