Trucks' Tether Anchors Are Often Tricky to Find, Use

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Tether anchors, a critical part of a car's Latch system, often go unused by parents and caregivers. In sedans, where the tether anchors are easy to find on the rear shelf behind the head restraints, they're used only 52 percent of the time, according to one study. In pickup trucks, where the anchors are difficult to locate, that number drops significantly.

Related: Five Things Families Should Look for in Pickup Trucks

In a 2014 study of tether anchor use and misuse conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it found that parent volunteers with car-seat-installation experience had the most problems correctly using the loop-style tether anchors found in some pickup trucks. These volunteers installed the tether strap correctly only 11 percent of the time in the trucks. In other cars, volunteers used the tether anchor correctly 57 percent of the time.

While many may not consider a pickup truck a family vehicle, the full-size versions make easy work of hauling three kids in car seats. To help truck-owning parents, caregivers and prospective parents, we've combed through owner's manuals and crawled through pickup trucks to show the different styles of tether anchors and how to correctly use them.

By Jennifer Newman | February 23, 2015 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 83,572 GM Trucks, SUVs

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Vehicles Affected: About 84,000 GM trucks from the 2011-12 model year, including certain Chevrolet Silverado and Avalanche pickup trucks and Tahoe and Suburban SUVs; GMC Sierra pickup trucks and Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs; and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV SUVs and Escalade EXT pickup trucks. Certain 2007-14 models from that group with previous repairs may also need this recall because of defective replacement parts.

The Problem: If the cabin is warm, a faulty ignition lock actuator could cause the key to stick in the Start position when you turn the car on. (That's past the Off, Accessory and Run positions.) If you drive with the key stuck in Start and the cabin temperature falls or you hit a bump, the key could release from the Start position and rotate all the way past Run into the Accessory position. That would turn off the car, disabling important systems like power steering and airbags.

The Fix: The actuator is too large, spokesman Alan Adler told us, and a warm cabin may cause the piece to expand even more. GM dealers (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet or GMC) will inspect and replace the ignition lock housing if needed, according to The Detroit News. Adler told us GM expects fewer than 500 cars to need the repairs.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call GM at 800-458-8006 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 Kelsey Mays | January 2, 2015 | Comments (5)

GM to Replace Ignition Keys on Certain New SUVs, Pickup Trucks

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GM will replace the ignition keys in its redesigned full-size SUVs and pickup trucks with a smaller key. The company issued a safety bulletin on Nov. 6 because the automatic transmission's column shifter can inadvertently move the key out of the "run" position if it bumps into it during shifting. Affected models include the 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickups, the related 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs, the 2014 and 2015 GMC Sierra pickups, and the related 2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs.

Related: GM: 58 Percent of U.S. Cars in Ignition Recall Are Fixed

It sounds like another ignition-related problem for an automaker that's seen more than half of the 26.8 million cars recalled in the U.S. during 2014 stem from such issues, but this is much less serious. For starters, it's not a recall. The condition occurs only if you adjust the steering column to its highest point, apply the brakes and move the column shifter between gears — presumably while the car is stopped — so GM maintains it isn't a safety problem. For any owners who experience the issue, dealers will replace the key with a smaller design that doesn't bump the shifter.

By Kelsey Mays | December 4, 2014 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 2013-2014 GM Sedans, SUVs, Pickup Trucks, Vans

2014CadillacCTSRecall
Vehicles Affected:
Nearly 100,000 model-year 2013-14 GM vehicles, including Cadillac CTS sedans, Escalade and Escalade ESV SUVs; Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs, Express vans, Impala sedans, Silverado heavy-duty pickup trucks and Traverse crossovers; and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs, Acadia crossovers, Savana vans and Sierra HD pickups

The Problem: The chassis electronic module may be internally contaminated, resulting in an electrical short, which could cause the vehicle to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the chassis electronic module 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, GMC at 800-462-8782 and 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 | October 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

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By Matt Schmitz | October 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

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)

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By Matt Schmitz | July 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 392,000 2014-2015 GM Full-Size Pickups, SUVs

2015ChevroletTahoeRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 392,500 full-size pickup trucks and SUVs, including all four-wheel-drive versions of the 2014-15 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, model-year 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe SUVs and model-year 2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs

The Problem: According to GM, the transfer case may electronically switch to Neutral without input from the driver. If this happens while a vehicle is in motion, no power will go to the wheels. If the vehicle is stopped or parked, it may roll away if the parking brake is not set. The automaker said it is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to this issue.

The Fix: GM will notify owners and dealers will recalibrate transfer case module software. No notification schedule has been announced.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Chevrolet at 866-694-6546 and GMC at 866-996-9463 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 | June 30, 2014 | Comments (3)

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By Jennifer Newman | June 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

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By Rick Popely | June 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

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