2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Hot Exhaust Recall
January 17, 2014
General Motors has recalled some 370,000 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups made with the 4.3-liter V6 and 5.3-liter V8 engines. The issue is the potential for fire due to overheating exhaust components in the event of extended idling. The 6.2-liter V8 is not part of it.
The release goes on to say that all eight reported incidents that led to fires occurred in areas with "very cold weather."
Overheating and fire in very cold weather may seem odd, but I get it.
I've seen entire parking lots of idling trucks when I ventured north to conduct winter tire tests in frosty Baudette, Minnesota, a remote burg that actually lies north of most population centers in Canada including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Thunder Bay. Winnipeg is less than 100 miles north.
The scene was the local diner, and it was routine to see every single pickup (and car, but there weren't many) left running with steam coming out of the tailpipe while their drivers tanked up on coffee and ate breakfast inside. An hour of this was not unusual. It didn't matter if they were gasoline or diesel-powered.
Even though our winter idling habits are markedly different here in southern California, I wondered if our truck was part of the recall. I assumed the answer would be yes because these all-new 2014 Chevy and GMC truck models were released partway through 2013, so 370,000 may be pretty much all of them except very recent trucks that were presumably built with the fix as soon as it was developed.
Recall letters were mailed out January 16th, so we'll get confirmation soon enough. In the meantime I gave a GM contact our VIN and asked if he could tell me in advance. Yep, he said, "it is included in the recall."
Consumers can get the same question answered by calling their local dealer. It doesn't matter if you don't eat breakfast at diners in Baudette, either. I've seen people idle their vehicles for long periods for all kinds of reasons in all kinds of weather.
The fix is easy. It's a simple engine control software reflash, and it takes about 20 minutes once the technician gets ahold of the truck. Dealers are set up to do it today and there is no charge. We'll get it taken care of next week.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 14,003 miles