General Motors announced on Friday that they will be recalling their best-selling Chevrolet Sonic subcompact vehicle for defective fuel tank strap welds that could potentially catch on fire. In all, over 1,600 vehicles produced for the 2013-2014 model years will be affected. Most of the recalled vehicles are currently sitting on dealership lots in both the United States (1,558) and Canada (100).
Per a statement from GM spokesperson Alan Adler, the strap bracket poses the risk of separating, which could leave the fuel tank to rest on either the exhaust pipe, or the plastic fuel tank shield. This may cause owners to hear either a rattling or scraping noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. If the fuel tank shield and fuel filler neck are not able to support the fuel tank for an extended period of time (neither one were designed to in the first place), then the fuel tank could ultimately separate from the vehicle. The risk of fire could occur/increase if there's both a source of combustion nearby, and if there was a puncture in the fuel tank.
The defect was discovered at the Orion assembly plant in Lake Orion, Michigan. Thus far, the Detroit-based automaker has not reported any accidents or injuries as a result of this issue.
The latest GM recall will have dealer technicians inspect the straps and make the necessary repairs. For those that have recently purchased a Sonic, the automaker will notify them via mail to schedule a service appointment with their local Chevrolet dealership. The recall campaign is expected to begin right away.
Source: The Detroit News