Oct. 10, 2013 at 12:40 PM ET
They’ve barely reached dealer showrooms in any significant numbers, but General Motors’ new full-size pickups have been hit by a recall.
According to GM, the seats in the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 models could fail if the trucks are hit from behind. The models affected by the service action are equipped with manual seat controls that may not properly lock into position when reclined.
A total of 21,721 of the full-size trucks are covered by the recall, with nearly 19,000 shipped to dealers in the U.S. Another 2,572 went to Canada, and the rest were sold in Mexico or listed as exports.
GM says it hasn't had reports of crashes or injuries due to the fault. Like other makers, GM has been using warranty and internal research data to help it isolate problems before it experiences major problems in the field that could result in consumer injuries or even fatalities. That is considered one factor in the recent upturn in the total number of vehicles being recalled each year.
In this case, a quality inspector discovered the problem when he “threw his weight” against the front seat and it moved unexpectedly, replicating what might happen if one of the trucks were struck from behind, according to a GM spokesperson.
The seat back problem is actually the second issue to prompt a recall of the new and well-reviewed Silverado and Sierra models. GM recalled 843 of them in July due to a defect that could cause their airbag systems to fail to inflate in a crash.
GM says it will notify owners and make necessary repairs at no charge.
The recall could be an embarrassment for the maker, especially considering the high hopes GM has for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra models, which have typically lagged behind the industry-leading Ford F-Series on the sales charts.
But the trucks continue to rack up solid feedback from sources as diverse as Consumer Reports and the U.S. government. Along with the strong reviews — with the pickups generally faulted only for their conservative design — both models last week made the cut to land on the so-called “short list” for the North American Car and Truck of the Year balloting. In fact, all six new 2014 GM models were included. Three truck finalists will be named in December and the Car and Truck of the Year winners will be announced in January.