GM paces its safety recall with mail push

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General Motors (GM) will reach out to consumers in November to recall 944,000 cars, including Buick Lucerne sedans, Cadillac Escalades and Chevrolet Silverado trucks.

Three car fires, started by a short circuit in the cars' heated windshield washer systems, led to a joint investigation by GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Though the fires were unusual, GM determined that faulty wiring could also lead to smoke and other electrical malfunctions. The safety recall was initiated last week, but car owners will not receive official notice from the company until early November.

“One of the issues with recalls is that you don't want people bringing in their vehicles before you've got a fix, particularly with a problem this minor,” explained Tom Wilkinson, director of news relations for GM.

Owners of cars that may be affected will receive a letter that explains the recall and asks customers to bring the cars in to their local GM dealers. GM will track repairs to ensure their completion and notify dealers that if a car comes in with other problems, the wire should also be replaced.

Wilkinson said that instituting the recall after only three reported incidents is part of a GM initiative to catch problems earlier.

“When issues come up and are dealt with quickly and thoroughly, customers find that reassuring,” he noted.

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