GM Forced to Kill Hot Windshield Fluid System

Microheat

After a recall of 944,000 vehicles, GM has put the kibosh on its optional HotShot windshield washer system, which caused an electrical short. The malfunction led to 34 warranty claims (so far) and three reported fires when a short in the circuit board overheated the control-circuit ground wire.

GM has blamed the dangerous glitch on the system's supplier, Microheat. GM wants Microheat to pay the estimated $20 million to $25 million cost of the recall, while the supplier contends that it’s still owed money by GM for parts and tooling. Already in financial trouble, the recall could push Microheat out of business and end its innovative system, perfect for dispatching insect remains in the summer and rock-hard ice in the winter.

GM will fix the problem at dealerships, free of charge before Nov. 1st. Vehicles affected by the recall include the Buick Lucerne and Enclave; the Cadillac DTS and Escalade; the GMC Yukon, Sierra and Acadia; the Saturn Outlook; the Hummer H2; and the Chevy Silverado, Avalanche, Tahoe and Suburban.

GM Drops HotShot Windshield Washer System After Expensive Recall (Autoblog)

By Stephen Markley | October 10, 2008 | Comments (13)

Comments 

kj

I don't understand why front windshields can't have something similar to rear window defogger heated wire. Maybe the wire would have to be thinner to keep it from being a distraction, but rear window defoggers do a pretty decent job at melting snow and preventing fog. The wire shouldn't be a problem if something impacts the windshield, and in fact may make the window a bit stronger.

How does "quickclear" windscreens on European cars work??

Liger

Previous generation Dodge Caravans did have defroster like elements on the lower part of the windshield, to thaw ice off of the windshield wiper blades in the winter. Dodge dropped the feature in 2004 to cut costs.

I've mentioned it before, there's this stuff called wiper fluid that they have cold weather versions of. Does a good job. And ice scrapers.

Or remote starters with the defrost turned on high. ..

DonB

Dave,
You're asking a lot of the readers - every one of your "solutions" requires forethought!

J

Liger,

It is available on many Subaru models too.

Red

J and Liger,
Ford offered an expensive whole windshield defrosting system on its Taurus and Crown Victoria models back in the 1990s. There were no wires - it depended on a thin metallic coating between the layers of glass. It would defog and melt ice. Looking at it from the outside the windshield had a gold tint. It worked well, but was too pricey and they dropped it.

Watchdog

I always wondered why some of Ford's models had windshields which contained a goldish tint to them. Now I know. I think I remember it on the Lincolns mostly.

Mike

The Range Rover actually has very thin wires inbedded in the windshield to defrost. It does a great job but im sure it's very pricy to fix or replace

UK Diesel Driver

My Ford has a heated front windscreen. As does every other European Ford. Every model they do over here is equiped with one as standard, from the smallest Fiesta to the biggest Galaxy people carrier.

My three Fords thus far (EU spec Focus and 2x Mondeo) all had it and it was quite a good feature in the winter and also in spring / fall when the windscreen fogs up.

As far as I am aware Ford owns a patent for this. Hence they are the only firm doing this. Before anybody talks about Range Rover, this was Ford until very recently and therefore was probably allowed to use it.

Maybe you guys will get it when Ford debuts the new Fiesta in the US. Or maybe they will do as they did with the Focus and replace the nicer EU dashboard with a lower grade US version ;)

Jason

In windshield defrosters is a tricky feature to be sold in the U.S. considering half the continental U.S. doesn't get enough snow and/or ice. It is hard to justify the price of the feature for those living in areas that really don't have "winter."

I'm sure the cheaper-by-the-bulk explanation works here if they make them standard for all models and trims. But it will raise the price of the vehicle overall.

Response to Dave: have manufactures made a remote start for vehicles with manual transmissions?

SouthTX

34 out of 944,000, it is not a bad ratio, if you compare it to other products.

woogie

Remote start for manual transmissions won't likely come about in the US due to the requirement that the clutch has to be depressed to allow the ignition system to get power.

Much the same way an automatic has to be in park.


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