General Motors Co. will replace key engine components in older model vehicles affected by two recalls first announced in 2015. The new parts—which are not yet available—are the company's latest attempt to stop oil leaks that have caused more than 1,300 car fires.

Affected GM Vehicles

The latest GM recall includes approximately 1.4 million 1997 through 2004 model year vehicles with 3.8-liter V6 engines. Affected models include:

  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • Chevrolet Lumina
  • Buick Regal
  • Pontiac Grand Prix
  • Oldsmobile Intrigue

Dangerous Design, Insufficient Repairs

The affected GM vehicles have a valve cover gasket that's designed to keep oil inside the engine. However, braking heavily can cause oil to seep through the valve cover into the hot exhaust manifold, resulting in a vehicle fire.

After recalls in 2008 and 2009, GM repaired some of the affected vehicles by moving flammable plastic components away from the hot oil. However, the company did not fix the oil leaks, and 1,345 car fires occurred even after these repairs, and this resulted in 19 minor injuries and at least 17 structure fires.

As part of the latest recall, GM dealers will replace the faulty front value cover and gasket, as well as remove plastic engine covers and oil-fill tube extensions. However, the improved parts are not yet available, and GM has not specified when they will become available. In the meantime, GM recommends that affected vehicles be parked outside until the necessary repairs are made but insists they're safe to drive.

We Can Help

If you or someone in your family suffered injuries in a car accident you think was caused by a faulty vehicle component, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries, property damage, lost wages, or physical pain and emotional suffering. Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers to discuss your situation.


Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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