Wipeout: Government Agency Investigating GM Windshield Wiper Recall

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
wipeout government agency investigating gm windshield wiper recall

Back in August 2016, General Motors recalled 367,808 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers for potentially faulty windshield wipers. At the time, certain 2013 models were identified as having linkages that could rust and separate, leaving drivers with a fistful of nothing when they hit the wiper stalk.

Like all good things – poutine, back bacon, and Donald Sutherland – attention towards the issue originated in Canada. Apparently, an employee reported the problem in December 2015 and, after recalling these crossovers in the Great White North, GM did the same for some American units, as well.

Now, the U.S. gubmint is investigating the possibility that GM didn’t recall enough Equinox and Terrains for this particular issue. At stake? Over 1.7 million units spanning seven model years.

According to various outlets, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 249 wiper failure complaints from owners whose vehicles weren’t included in the recall. While no crashes or injuries were reported – a very good thing – it wouldn’t take too much for things to go awry if a driver was left wiperless in a sudden downpour.

Specifically, the government is seeking to find out if a recall for this problem should be issued for Equinox and Terrain crossovers built from 2010 to 2016. The existing campaign, NHTSA number 16V582000, says the ball joints in the windshield wiper module may corrode and wear over time, possibly resulting in one or both of the windshield wipers becoming inoperative.

Some of the Equinox and Terrain machines from that generation are now nearly 10 years old, meaning more than a few of them have likely changed hands many times. Finding all the owners will be a challenge. According to government docs, a total of 268,668 of the 367,808 machines affected by the existing safety campaign have been repaired. That’s a rate of 73 percent, leaving about 100,000 units MIA. Over 4,000 have been classified as “unreachable.”

For its part, GM says it recalled the 2013 vehicles because warranty claims showed a higher than expected failure rate on the affected part. The company goes on to say it is monitoring other model years and will work with NHTSA on the probe.

[Image: General Motors]

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2 of 12 comments
  • IBx1 IBx1 on Nov 07, 2018

    Thank you for the poutine

  • Markgilbert Markgilbert on Jan 05, 2019

    Such an informative article. This article gives all the important info's of GM windshield wiper.it's very helpful.Thanks for sharing. Keep posting this type of post. Regards From- Cool Car Accessories

  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
  • Cha65689852 To drive a car, you need human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.Unfortunately, these days even human brains are turning into mush thanks to addiction to smartphones and social media.
  • Mike1041 A nasty uncomfortable little car. Test drove in 2019 in a search for a single car that would appease two drivers. The compromise was not much better but at least it had decent rear vision and cargo capacity. The 2019 Honda HRV simply was too unforgiving and we ditched after 4 years. Enter the 23 HRV and we have a comfy size.
  • SCE to AUX I wonder who really cares about this. "Slave labor" is a useful term for the agendas of both right and left."UAW Wants Auto Industry to Stop Using Slave Labor"... but what will the UAW actually do if nothing changes?With unrelenting downward pressure on costs in every industry - coupled with labor shortages - expect to see more of this.Perhaps it's my fault when I choose the $259 cell phone over the $299 model, or the cheaper parts at RockAuto, or the lower-priced jacket at the store.Do I care about an ethical supply chain? Not really, I just want the product to work - and that's how most consumers are. We'd rather not know.Perhaps the 1990s notion of conflict-free, blood-free, ethically-sourced diamonds will find its way into the auto industry. That would be a good thing.