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GM Finds Problem With Transmissions in Some 2004 Pickup Trucks, Sport Utility Vehicles and Vans

DETROIT March 15, 2004; The AP reported that General Motors Corp. has discovered a problem with some 2004 full-size pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans that could cause transmissions for many as 8,000 vehicles already on the road to fail.

The company said Monday it also asked dealers not to sell or deliver more vehicles with the transmissions from its Willow Run plant to customers until they can be inspected. The automaker said the problem does not pose a safety issue.

The transmissions could fail because of a faulty pump that may prevent lubrication from reaching overdrive gearset bearings.

About 25,000 vehicles -- including the Chevrolet Express and Silverado, GMC Suburban, Sierra, Savana and Yukon XL and W4 medium-duty truck -- are at risk, spokeswoman Debbie Frakes said. Only about a quarter of them are likely to actually have the problem, she said.

In addition to about 8,000 vehicles that have been delivered to customers, another 17,000 were in transit between assembly plants and dealers when the problem was discovered.

Shipping from plants was stopped Friday and the problem corrected that day. There was no down time at any GM plants, Frakes said.

GM owners are being told to use third gear rather than overdrive until they can have their vehicles inspected for no cost at a dealership service center. GM is notifying vehicle owners of the potential problem through phone calls and letters, but there is no recall because it is not a safety issue.

Every truck coming off assembly lines and in plant holding lots is being inspected before being released to dealerships and customers.