Wipeout: Government Agency Investigating GM Windshield Wiper Recall

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

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]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • 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

  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...
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