The automaker said circuit boards in the trunk can potentially overheat, causing the cars’ 12-volt battery to drain and one of several indicator lights to turn on. If owners ignore the warning lights, the engine could stall and a fire could occur in the trunk, GM said.
The issue is not related to the cars’ rechargable lithium-ion battery that is part of the eAssist hybrid system.
The recall affects 38,197 Chevrolet Malibu Eco and Buick LaCrosse and Regal sedans from the 2012 and 2013 model year. Most of the incidents have occurred within the first 1,000 miles of operation, GM said.
The issue came to GM’s attention in October 2012, according to spokesman Alan Adler. The automaker briefly stopped production of the affected vehicles to make a fix in production. Thus, cars built after December 2012 are not part of the recall.
Adler said that a trunk fire in March 2013 in an earlier-built car led to Monday’s recall. No injuries or crashes related to this incident have been reported, GM said.
Owners of Malibu Eco and Buick LaCrosse and Regal cars who notice any kind of warning light are encouraged to bring the car to the dealer immediately, Adler said. GM will begin notifying owners soon.