Aftermarket Update: Lighting Problems Top Recent GM Recalls

Aftermarket Update: Lighting Problems Top Recent GM Recalls<

General Motors Corp. will recall nearly 1.7 million vehicles in North America, including nearly 1 million sport utility vehicles, to fix tail lights that could loosen and flicker.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), GM said in early November it will recall 946,817 SUVs, which would include 2002 to 2004 model-year Chevrolet TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer EXT, GMC Envoy XL and Oldsmobile and the 2004 Buick Rainier.

GM spokesperson Alan Adler said vibration and heat may cause the rear brake lights to stop working. The recall includes 871,473 of the SUVs in the United States that GM had previously given owners a six-year warranty to cover that particular problem before issuing the recall, Adler said.

In addition to the SUV lighting-related recalls, GM said it will recall vehicles to cover four other issues:

• On Nov. 19, GM said it will recall nearly 200,000 Saturn Ions in the U.S. and Canada to fix front lights and turn signals. GM said the daytime running lights, which automatically operate during the day, and the front turn signals on the small Saturn car could fail due to a loss of contact between the light bulb and the socket. GM will notify Saturn owners to bring their cars to a dealership, according to the NHTSA. Dealers also will inspect and install a jumper kit for the lights if one is not present. The recall is expected to begin Dec. 17, when parts will be available.

• The recall of 204,317 mid-size cars with a sticky accelerator includes the 2003 model-year Chevrolet Malibu, Oldsmobile Alero and Pontiac Grand Am. GM said the accelerator on those vehicles could stick and not return to idle. Dealers will inspect, and, if necessary, replace the accelerator and brake pedal assembly, the NHTSA said on its website.

• A recall of 339,008 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire small cars is for a faulty rear brake and turn signals that could fail due to inadequate contact between the bulb and socket. Dealers will inspect the light sockets and fix the problem by applying grease or replacing the assembly if necessary, the NHTSA said. • Lastly, GM recalled a total of 5,914 of its 2004 to 2005 Cadillac XLR and new 2005 Chevrolet Corvette sports cars to fix a brake line that could leak. GM discovered the problem internally, and has no reports of customer complaints.

Source: Reuters and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Schmatz Named Women’s Board’s ‘Aftermarket Woman of the Year’

Las Vegas – The Car Care Council Women’s Board announced at the 2004 Women’s Board reception during the AAPEX Show that Kathleen Schmatz has been named the very first “Aftermarket Woman of the Year.” “We are all very proud of Kathleen and applaud her many years of dedicated service to the automotive aftermarket,” said Judy Scholl, Women’s Board recruitment and retention committee chair. “We are truly honored to have her represent all women within the industry.” Schmatz was chosen by the Women’s Board Executive Board based on her longevity in the aftermarket, her career accomplishments, her leadership capabilities and dedication to the automotive aftermarket industry.

Schmatz became president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) on Jan. 1, 2004. She had served as executive vice president since January 2002.

Schmatz came to AAIA after 30 years with Babcox Publications. She is a nationally recognized advocate of the automotive aftermarket and a sought-after speaker and presenter. She is frequently interviewed by the media, including a recent appearance on the CNBC and in the New York Times. Schmatz has served as an officer of the Auto International Association, the Automotive Communications Council and was the founding president of the Car Care Council’s Women’s Board. She has also contributed as a curriculum advisor to Northwood University and as chair of AAIA’s Marketing Communications Committee.

Airtex Launches Engine Management Program for Technicians
Fairfield, IL – Airtex Automotive has launched a comprehensive Airtex-brand Engine Management (EM) program to serve professional aftermarket technicians. The company unveiled details of the new program at the AAPEX Show in Las Vegas.

The EM program provides broad coverage with nearly 25,000 separate parts, or SKUs, and plans to provide 30,000 by 2005. Airtex EM coverage includes domestic and foreign ignition and fuel components, electronic control modules, HEI coils, relays, valves, actuators, solenoids, electronic voltage regulators, sensors and wire and cable sets.

Airtex EM not only covers automotive applications, but also heavy duty, industrial, marine and agricultural industries as well. For more information, go to: www.airtexproducts.com.

Universal Underwriters Hosts Aftermarket Industry Conference
Overland Park, KS – Universal Underwriters Insurance (UUI) hosted its second annual Aftermarket Industry Conference, Sept. 27-28, in Overland Park, KS. Thirteen aftermarket organization leaders and five members of the UUI Customer Council participated in the meeting. The goal was to determine if various automotive aftermarket segments had common issues that could be solved through unified action.

Meeting discussions focused on: industry legislation, employee benefits/health insurance, workers’ compensation and loss prevention. Missouri Sen. Jim Talent, sponsor of Association Health Plan (AHP) legislation, phoned in. The AHP legislation allows small businesses to pool together to purchase health insurance, and according to the senator, decreases costs without sacrificing coverage. It will work with a variety of health insurance plans, and if it passes, the number of uninsured Americans could be decreased by millions, without costing taxpayers anything.

Mike McHugh, executive vice president of UUI, and his management team encouraged attendees to discuss ways to help run organizations better and leave the meeting with a better understanding of the value of working with an insurance provider.

There are several items that UUI and the meeting attendees will investigate in the coming months. These topics include: pinpointing and working together on common legislative concerns, investigating the service writer class code, and encouraging UUI customers to learn about OSHA strategic partnerships to increase safety in the aftermarket workplace. Learn more about this meeting and future meetings by contacting Lori Sheerman at UUI at 800-821-7803, ext. 1333, or by e-mail at [email protected]

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