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GM recalls 640,000 pickup trucks over carpet fire risk

GM recalls 640,000 pickup trucks over carpet fire risk

General Motors has recalled approximately 640,000 pickup trucks primarily located in North America due to a fire risk. The recalled vehicles include 2019 and 2020 model year GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks, as well as 2020 model year Silverado 2500 and 3500 trucks, and the Sierra 2500 / 3500 heavy-duty models. As with other vehicle recalls, eligible owners will get the potential defect repaired for free.

News of the recall first surfaced in an advisory dated November 14 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The recalled vehicles all feature carpeted rather than vinyl flooring, according to the recall notice; the issue revolves around the potential for that carpet to catch on fire due to the technology used for the front seat belts in these trucks.

Recalled models feature front seat belt pretensioners that deploy as a result of certain types of crashes. When this happens, GM explains that exhaust produced by the activated pretensioner could be diverted through an opening in the system’s bracket. The exhaust may then ignite the fibers in the truck's carpeting located near the interior B-pillar, resulting in a visible fire.

Carpet that is on fire may, of course, put people in the car at greater risk of injury in the event of a crash. The recall notice explains that the opening through which exhaust is expelled was intended to be used as a locator hole during the vehicle’s assembly process but was ultimately never used. The hole isn’t actually part of the pretensioner system’s design and isn’t needed for it to work.

The potential risk was discovered following the report of a fire that happened in a truck this past summer. The automaker’s review of the case ultimately led to an official product investigation launched on September 3. Fast-forward to the newly announced recall and GM explains that dealers will install a component in affected trucks that closes the openings in the pretensioner bracket. This will keep the exhaust gases away from the carpet, removing the fire risk. Owners of recalled vehicles will be notified about the recall directly.

How a rumored Hummer EV reboot fits in GM’s electric plans

How a rumored Hummer EV reboot fits in GM’s electric plans

The Hummer could return from the dead but a complete 180 on what's under the hood, with General Motors reportedly weighing a reboot of the iconic name for a new series of electric vehicles. Hummer became a flag-bearer for automotive excess in the late 90's and 2000's, as gas-guzzling civilian versions of military trucks.

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GM is bringing Alexa to millions of vehicles

GM is bringing Alexa to millions of vehicles

GM has announced that it will be bringing owners of Chevy, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles from 2018 and up model years Alexa compatibility. Not all of the 2018 and newer cars, trucks, and SUVs will have compatible infotainment systems. Those that do will get the Alexa voice experience that leverages the Alexa Auto Software Development Kit. The upgrade will give the GM owners access to standard Alexa skills and capabilities.

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GM issues recall on 3.8M vehicles that may not stop

GM issues recall on 3.8M vehicles that may not stop

GM has issued a recall on several of its popular trucks and SUVs due to a potential braking issue that could lead to an accident. The recall was issued on 2014-2018 model year vehicles that include some Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Silverado, Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, GMC Sierra, and GMC Yukon vehicles. GM recalled 310,000 vehicles in Canada for the same issue in June; it's not clear why it took so long to recall the vehicles in the States.

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GM just gave Android Automotive OS its biggest partner yet

GM just gave Android Automotive OS its biggest partner yet

Google has another car win under its belt, with General Motors announcing that it plans to move its infotainment system to Android Automotive OS. The deal will see GM-brand cars switch to the embedded Android system from 2021, one of the biggest names to adopt the system.

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Hummer might return as an EV

Hummer might return as an EV

The Hummer was a civilian version of the military Humvee. It was a large vehicle very nearly as wide as a typical lane on a highway, and that drank fuel like few other vehicles ever made. When fuel prices started to rise, GM killed off the brand as sales slumped. Hummer fans will be glad to hear that GM is mulling over a return for the brand.

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These airless tires could make GM cars puncture-proof from 2024

These airless tires could make GM cars puncture-proof from 2024

General Motors aims to have airless tires - where a puncture is physically impossible - on its cars as soon as 2024, with the new Michelin technology headed Ito a real-world trial later this year. The Michelin Uptis Prototype - short for "Unique Puncture-proof Tire System" - looks at first glance like a regular tire, but uses a complex composite structure instead of traditional tubes.

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GM and Bechtel team on Supercharger-rivaling EV charging startup

GM and Bechtel team on Supercharger-rivaling EV charging startup

General Motors and Bechtel are forming a new company to build an EV charging network across the US, taking on Tesla's Superchargers in the process. The strategy is different to VW-backed Electrify America, however, since GM and Bechtel are looking for external investors to fund the new infrastructure.

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GM electric pickup part of “all electric future”

GM electric pickup part of “all electric future”

General Motors looks set to follow Ford, Tesla, Rivian and others by launching an electric pickup truck, the automaker has indicated today. Speaking as part of GM's Q1 2019 financial results call, CEO Mary Barra touched upon the automaker's plans to expand its electric footprint.

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GM and Rivian’s electric truck talks run out of juice

GM and Rivian’s electric truck talks run out of juice

Electric vehicle startup and would-be Tesla rival Rivian won't be getting an investment from General Motors after all, insiders suggest, after negotiations between the two reportedly stalled. Rivian came out of stealth to great fanfare late last year, with not one but two vehicles targeting arguably the most important segments in the US today.

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GM’s ARIV smart electric eBikes are up for preorder

GM’s ARIV smart electric eBikes are up for preorder

GM has two new EVs in its line-up, though they're eBikes rather than electric cars or trucks. The first two models under General Motors' freshly-named ARIV eBike brand, the electrified bicycles are going up for preorder from today, though only for a select few.

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Electric pickup truck maker Rivian tipped in investment talks with GM, Amazon

Electric pickup truck maker Rivian tipped in investment talks with GM, Amazon

General Motors and Amazon are both in talks to invest in electric truck company Rivian Automotive, sources have claimed. Assuming the alleged investment takes place, the US-based automotive company will reportedly have a value that falls between $1 billion and $2 billion. Negotiations are reportedly still taking place, but the sources claim we may hear an official announcement some time this month.

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