GM recalls 33,700 cars over gearbox glitch danger

Mar 20, 2013
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A fault which could see Buick and Cadillac cars switch unexpectedly to Sport transmission mode has forced General Motors to recall almost 34,000 sedans and crossovers, the automaker has revealed. The software glitch, affecting the 2013 Buick LaCrosse and 2013 Cadillac SRX, will inconvenience drivers in the US, Canada, Mexico, China, and the Middle East, and require a swift reprogramming in order to fix it.

That attention will require a trip back to the dealership, and can't be done remotely. General Motors says that 26,582 of the impacted cars are located in the US, though insists that it's yet to hear of an injury or a crash caused by the problem.

Exactly what the cause of the software issue is, GM hasn't said, only that it identified the fault while testing a 2014 engineering model. However, the end-result is clear: during driving, the auto gearbox can unexpectedly flick over from manual mode and into Sport mode, something which could increase the risk of a crash.

That's because Sport mode has the side effect of "removing any transmission-related engine braking effect" GM explains [pdf link], so that taking your foot off the gas doesn't allow the car to naturally slow itself. General Motors expects to kick off the recall on March 28, and owners of affected vehicles should speak to their local dealership to arrange a fix. There's more information


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