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General Motors recalls 370,000 GM, Chevy pickups with engine fire risk

Chevy and GMC pickup truck recall includes certain 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 models with a fire risk associated with their cylinder-deactivation systems. 370,000 full-size trucks are affected by the Chevy and GMC recall. 

By Stephen Edelstein / January 13, 2014

The 2014 GMC Sierra in Pontiac, Mich. General Motors is recalling 370,000 new GMC and Chevy pickups with a cylinder deactivation issue that could pose a fire risk.

Paul Sancya/AP/File

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General Motors' redesigned 2014 full-size pickup trucks have only been on the market for a few months, but now they're being called back to the dealer to fix a potential flaw.

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Certain 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 models are being recalled due to a fire risk associated with their cylinder-deactivation systems, the Detroit News reports.

Cylinder deactivation--branded Active Fuel Management by GM--shuts off some cylinders when extra power isn't needed, to improve fuel economy.

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The trucks are only supposed to use two cylinders when idling, but a software glitch is causing them to idle with most of their cylinders. This can cause exhaust components to overheat, and hence potentially catch fire.

The problem is signaled by a "check engine" light on the dashboard and an "engine power reduced" message in the driver information center.

The recall affects 370,000 of the full-size trucks equipped with the 4.3-liter V-6 and 5.3-liter V-8 engines. It includes 303,000 trucks sold in the U.S. and 67,000 sold in Mexico.

GM has recorded eight fires related to the software malfunction, three on customer-owned vehicles.

All of the incidents occurred in cold-weather climates and were reported in December and January.

GM believes the problem was detected in part because vehicles are being left to idle longer than usual due to cold weather.

No one was injured in any of the incidents, four of which occurred while the trucks were still at dealerships, the company said.

Recall letters will be mailed Thursday, but truck owners can contact their dealers beginning Monday to set up appointments. Dealers will install a software update, which should take about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, GM is advising owners not to leave their vehicles idling unattended.

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