Recall Alert: 124,000 GM Cars, Crossovers

2014BuickEncoreRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 124,000 GM vehicles, including model-year 2013-14 Buick Encore crossovers and Cadillac ATS cars; 2014 Cadillac CTS and ELR cars; 2014 Chevrolet Caprice and SS cars; and 2014-15 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks

The Problem: Due to an incomplete weld on the seat hook bracket assembly, the front seats in the affected vehicles may not stay secured in place during a high-load condition such as a crash, increasing the risk of an injury. We first reported on this issue on July 23.

The Fix: GM will begin notifying owners late this month, and dealers will inspect the seat hook bracket assembly weld and, if necessary, replace the lower seat track for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300, Cadillac at 800-458-8006, Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 and GMC at 800-462-8782. They can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

Top 10 Urban Cars

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From squeezing between a Dumpster and a wall to holding your breath as a bus hard aports past your bumper, cities can be an automotive minefield. And cars are often the casualties. Need proof? Look no further than auto insurance rates. A 40-year-old male with a 2012 Honda Accord in Manhattan's West Village would pay 27 percent more for the exact same coverage than if he lived across the Hudson River in Hoboken, N.J., according to CarInsurance.com's analysis of six leading carriers.

Related: Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars

Yet scores of Americans still prefer to live in the city. From New York to San Antonio, the country's 25 largest urban centers are home to 31.9 million people within city limits, according to the 2010 Census. That's 10.3 percent of the entire U.S. population in 2010, and given the trend of increasing urbanization, it doesn't look like it will recede anytime soon.

Most city-zens still have to drive. Not to worry: Our latest Top 10 nominates cars best suited for urban driving. Editors considered our candidates' overall size relative to their competitors, as well as visibility, city gas mileage, turning radius, city drivability, utility and more.

Here are our picks, in order of which cars received the most votes. In cases of a tie, we ranked by turning circle and other dimensions.

By Kelsey Mays | August 11, 2014 | Comments (9)

Recall Alert: 2013 Cadillac ATS, Buick Encore

2013CadillacATSRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 48,000 model-year 2013 Cadillac ATS four-door sedans and Buick Encore crossovers

The Problem: The front outboard lap belt pretensioner cables will retract upon deployment to pull in seat belt webbing, but may not lock, allowing the cable and the retracted webbing to return to their original length under occupant loading. This could increase occupant movement and, therefore, the risk of an injury, in certain crashes. GM said the problem was discovered during frontal crash testing, and the automaker is unaware of any related crashes or injuries.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace both front outboard lap belt pretensioners. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule, but has ordered a stop-sale for any unsold models at dealerships until repairs have been made.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Cadillac at 800-333-4223 or Buick at 800-521-7300, or go to www.safercar.gov.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 8, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 414,000 GM Sedans, Sports Cars, SUVs

2012BuickLaCrosseRecall

Vehicles Affected: More than 414,000 model-year 2011-12 Buick LaCrosse and Regal sedans, and Chevrolet Camaro sports cars, and 2010-12 Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs, all equipped with power height adjustable driver and passenger seats

The Problem: The bolt that secures the driver and passenger power front-seat height adjuster may fall out, causing the seat to drop to the lowest vertical position. If the driver's seat unexpectedly drops, the distraction and altered seat position could affect the driver's control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash. We first reported on the recall last week.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the height adjuster shoulder bolts for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300, Cadillac at 800-458-8006, Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 or GMC at 800-462-8782. Owners also can call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | July 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

GM Announces Six More Recalls

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GM announced six new recalls that cover 717,950 Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC models from the 2010 to 2015 model years. The bulk of the recalls — 414,333 cars — involves late-model GM midsize SUVs, the Chevrolet Camaro sports cars and two Buick sedans, all with power height-adjustable seats. The power adjusters have faulty bolts, which may cause the seats to move up or down freely; GM says owners should not use the height adjuster until dealers replace the bolts. The automaker says it's aware of one crash and three injuries but no fatalities that stem from the issue.

Related: More Recalls

Another 57,242 Chevrolet Impalas have a new power-steering issue; GM says it's aware of one crash but no injuries or fatalities from it.

The automaker says it's unaware of any crashes related to the remainder of the recalls, which include 124,008 recalls for potentially incomplete seat welding on two Chevrolet sedans, a trio of Cadillac cars, the Buick Encore and the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra pickups. Another 120,426 Chevrolet Malibu and Buick Regal sedans have faulty turn-signal indicators in the instrument cluster, while 1,919 Chevrolet Sparks have an improperly fastened front-suspension component. Finally, GM will recall just 22 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon SUVs with improperly attached roof rails.

By Kelsey Mays | July 23, 2014 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 3,000 2011-14 GM Compact Cars, Crossovers

2014ChevroletCruzeRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 3,000 GM compact cars and crossovers, including model-year 2011-14 Chevrolet Cruzes and 2012-14 Sonics, as well as 2013-14 Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore crossovers, and Buick Verano sedans

The Problem: Insulation on the engine block heater power cord, if equipped, may become damaged during very cold conditions.

The Fix: GM will notify owners and dealers will make the necessary repairs for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 or Buick at 800-521-7300.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | June 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2005-2007 Midsize GM SUVs

2007BuickRanierRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 182,000 midsize GM SUVs from the 2005-07 model years, including the Buick Rainier, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7x, as well as model-year 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXTs and GMC Envoy XLs

The Problem: A possible electrical short in the driver's door module could disable the power door lock and window switches, and in rare cases overheat the module, according to the automaker.

The Fix: GM will notify owners and dealers will make the necessary repairs for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owner Should Do: Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300, Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, GMC at 866-996-9463 or Isuzu at 800-255-6727, and Saab owners can call Saab at (800) 955-9007.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | June 30, 2014 | Comments (1)

More Details on GM's Latest Ignition-Related Recall

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On June 16, GM issued its second major ignition-switch recall, which affects 3.16 million larger cars in the U.S. — the 2005-2009 Buick LaCrosse, 2006-2011 Lucerne and 2005 Regal; the 2000-2005 Cadillac DeVille and 2004-2011 DTS; and the 2006-2008 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 2006-2013 Chevrolet Impala and 2014 Impala Limited (a carryover of the old Impala, not the redesigned sedan). An additional 200,000 of the same cars will be recalled outside the U.S. too.

GM Recalls Another 3 Million Vehicles

The recall sounds a lot like this year's earlier GM recall of 2.2 million small cars in the U.S. for faulty ignition switches, which centered mostly on the Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion and Pontiac G5 compacts. In both situations, a pothole or other disruption could bump the key out of the "run" position while the vehicle is moving, which could deactivate airbags and various electrical systems.

This recall is unique, however. For starters, it doesn't include a replacement of the ignition cylinder and switch, as the Cobalt and its peers require — just a new key. We chatted with GM recall spokesman Alan Adler to clarify some details. For answers to the original ignition-switch recall, read our earlier Q&A here.

By Kelsey Mays | June 20, 2014 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 2014 Buick LaCrosse

2014-Buick-LaCrosse-035

Vehicles Affected: Approximately 14,765 model-year 2014 Buick LaCrosse sedans

The Problem: General Motors is reporting that a wiring splice in the driver's door could corrode and break. This could send incorrect signals to the windows and sunroof, allowing them to function even after the vehicle is turned off. Also, a chime will not sound if the driver's door is opened when the key is in the ignition.The automaker said it is unaware of any thefts, crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this recall.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect the driver's door and replace the splice if necessary; the repair will be done for free.

What Owners Should Do: The automaker has not yet provided an owner notification schedule; affected owners will receive a recall letter. GM says courtesy transportation will be provided if needed. Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Chevrolet Spark, 2013 Buick Encore

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 61 model-year 2013-2014 Chevrolet Spark cars and 2013 Buick Encore crossovers manufactured in Changwon, Korea, from Dec. 30, 2012 through May 8, 2013

The Problem: GM is reporting that the front passenger airbag end cap could separate from the airbag inflator, which could prevent the airbag from deploying in a crash. The automaker is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to this problem.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free.

What Owners Should Do: General Motors has not yet provided an owner notification schedule but did say courtesy transportation would be provided as needed. Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300 or Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 for more information.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 9, 2014 | Comments (5)

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