WASHINGTON — General Motors is recalling 686,287 midsize SUVs in the U.S., including the 2009-'12 Chevrolet Traverse and 2008-'12 Buick Enclave, to fix a problem with the optional power liftgate, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"The affected vehicles have gas struts that hold the power liftgate up when open," said NHTSA in its recall summary. "These struts may prematurely wear and the open liftgate may suddenly fall. It may strike a person, increasing their risk of injury."
GM spokesman Alan Adler told Edmunds the automaker is aware of 56 reported injuries, but no crashes or fatalities linked to the recall.
"These vehicles have a Prop Rod Recovery system intended to return the liftgate to the closed position in a slow and controlled manner if the liftgate's gas struts are no longer capable of supporting the weight of the liftgate," GM said in a statement. "However, in these vehicles, the Prop Rod Recovery system software may be unable to detect or stop a liftgate with prematurely worn gas struts from falling too quickly after the liftgate is open."
This is part of a larger global recall of 779,023 vehicles.
The affected Buick Enclaves were built from January 3, 2007 to February 29, 2012. The affected Chevrolet Traverses were built from July 6, 2008 to February 29, 2012. The affected GMC Acadias were built from September 15, 2006 to February 29, 2012 and the affected Saturn Outlooks were built from August 17, 2006 to March 18, 2010.
GM dealers will update the software for the power liftgate actuator motor control unit so the motor will prevent the rapid closing of the liftgate. A date has not been set for the recall.
Edmunds says: Official recall notices are expected to go out within 60 days. But if you have an immediate concern, it's best to contact your dealer now.