GM Engine Block Heater Recall Follows 24 Fires

General Motors recalls 366,000 Silverado and Sierra trucks equipped with Duramax 6.6-liter engines.

GM Engine Block Heater Recall Follows 24 Fires

Posted in Recalls

— A GM engine block heater recall includes more than 366,000 trucks equipped with Duramax diesel 6.6-liter engines and optional engine block heaters.

The 2017-2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, 3500 and 2017-2019 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 trucks may suffer electrical short circuits in the engine block heater cables or in the terminals that connect the heater cables to the block heaters.

In February, a GM manager inspected a block heater recovered from a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 after the owner reported sparking from under the hood when the engine block heater was plugged in.

The engine block heater was also leaking coolant and the engineer saw heat/fire damage at the connection between the heater and the block heater power cable.

Previous GM Block Heater Recall

GM also determined the truck had been repaired under a 2019 recall, then GM found 19 fires had occurred in trucks that had been repaired under the previous recall.

An internal investigation found 122 complaints and 24 fire reports between December 3, 2019, and May 28, 2021, and all the trucks had been repaired under the 2019 recall.

A short-circuit can damage engine components and cause engine compartment fires.

Specifically, GM says a short-circuit can occur if a block heater coolant leak develops and coolant contacts the block heater cable terminals while the cable is plugged into an electrical outlet. The automaker says the sealing surface of the block heater heating element may have been contaminated during production.

A truck driver may notice the block heater not working correctly, tripped breakers or blown fuses, coolant leaking from the block heater or burning odors and smoke.

More than 331,000 trucks are recalled in the U.S., and more than 35,000 are recalled in Canada.

General Motors dealerships will disable the engine block heaters for now, and later under a separate customer satisfaction program the block heaters and cords will be replaced, including in 2017-2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, 3500 and 2017-2019 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 trucks that were recalled in 2019.

Owners who have paid for repairs should ask GM about reimbursements.

GM owner recall notices will be mailed August 16, 2021.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500, 3500 and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 owners may contact Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 or GMC at 800-462-8782.

GM's engine block heater recall number is 212329840.