On May 11, 2023, in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, General Motors (GM), an American multinational automotive manufacturing company, announced another recall of more than 668,000 vehicles due to their LATCH anchors failing. According to the automaker’s filing with the NHTSA, they are recalling their 2020 to 2023 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs.
The SUVs Did Not Comply With Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
According to the Department of Transportation, a LATCH, or the lower anchors and tethers for children, is an attachment system that can be used instead of the seat belt to install a car seat and can be found in most vehicles made on or after Sept. 1, 2002. GM became aware of the issues when in March after Transport Canada notified the auto company that a 2022 model-year GMC Terrain failed CMVSS 210.2(3)(b) compliance testing.
According to the report, the vehicle was observed to have “lower LATCH child seat anchorages with diameters of 6.34mm and 6.41mm,” exceeding the regulation’s 6 mm ± 0.1 mm diameter requirement. This report prompted GM to open their own product investigation, where they determined that their supplier periodically used a coating provider whose process controls were inadequate to monitor variation in the finish applied to the LATCH anchorage bars installed in their vehicles. Later GM completed a survey on 72 of their employee-owned vehicles, which identified 56 non-conforming parts.
The danger behind the excessive powder coating lies in the prevention of the proper installation of a child seat using the LATCH anchorage bars. While the risk is rare, it still poses a threat, violating the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 225. Since they’ve concluded their investigation, GM has not been made aware of any claims against them for the recall. GM has also given notice that drivers can expect to have these issues with the LATCH anchors repaired at no cost to them.
In the case that drivers with car seats find that this rare issue should occur, GM is advising that drivers install their child seats using the vehicle’s rear seat belts, in accordance with the vehicle owner’s manual and child-seat manufacturer’s installation instructions, until the recall repair is performed. Failing to install a car seat properly can result in injury or even death in the event of a car crash. Owners can expect GM to send out notifications in the mail by June 26, 2023.
Owners Should Check if Their Vehicles Are Affected
Concerned vehicle owners can learn if their vehicle has been registered in the recent GM recall by heading over to the NHTSA'a website and entering their car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN). In the case that your vehicle does not show up on the website, we still urge customers to err on the side of caution and to reach out to their car manufacturer or their dealership to ensure they are in the clear.
Vehicle owners can locate their car's 17-digit VIN on the lower left of their vehicles' windshield, registration card, or in some cases, their insurance card. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 800-222-1020 or GMC customer service at 800-462-8782. The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 23V339000. GM’s number for this recall is N232403240.
GM Recalls Continue
The seat anchor recall is just one of the latest in a series of automakers’ efforts to repair potentially dangerous defects. Over the last year, automakers have complied with the NHTSA’s recommendation to recall millions of vehicles on the roads due to issues with faulty airbag inflators in vehicles like the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia SUVs, and many more.
For more information regarding the GM recall, or if you have suffered an injury due to a recent recall, we may be able to help you. Contact one of our attorneys by completing our free, no-obligation case evaluation form today to learn more about your next steps.