General Motors Recalling More Than 700,000 Minivans Because of Defective Power Sliding Doors

WASHINGTON December 23, 2004; The AP reported that General Motors Corp. is recalling 717,302 minivans because passengers could injure their wrists or arms on the power sliding door, the automaker and federal government said Thursday.

The vehicles affected are 1997-2005 model Chevrolet Venture, 1997-1999 Pontiac Transport/Montana, 2000-2005 Pontiac Montana and 1997-2004 Oldsmobile Silhouette.

The defect involves the interior power sliding door handle on the passenger's side. A person's wrist or arm can be injured if the handle is held while the door is opening.

The recall comes more than three months after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it received 21 complaints about the sliding doors, including 19 reports of arm or wrist injuries and 13 broken bones. After a review, GM said it identified 91 injuries for vehicles built in model years 1997-2004.

GM also is recalling 133,425 minivans sold internationally, mostly in Canada, during the same years, according Alan Adler, a GM spokesman in Detroit. The Canadian recall includes the same models as those sold in the United States.

Owners will be notified of the recall by the manufacturer beginning in March.

GM said it will replace the original interior sliding door handle on the passenger side with handles that can't be gripped in a way that could cause injury. The company also will replace the handle on the driver's side door to maintain a consistent appearance.

Official Recall Notice From NHTSA

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number :04V597000
Recall Date : DEC 21, 2004
Problem: LATCHES/LOCKS/LINKAGES:DOORS:LATCH
Potential Number Of Units Affected :717302

Summary: ON CERTAIN MINIVANS EQUIPPED WITH SECOND-ROW BUCKET SEATS OR CAPTAIN'S CHAIRS AND A POWER SLIDING DOOR ON THE PASSENGER SIDE OF THE VEHICLE, A PASSENGER USING THE INTERIOR HANDLE TO OPEN THE POWER SLIDING DOOR COULD BE INJURED.

Consequence: IF A PASSENGER USES THE INTERIOR HANDLE TO OPEN THE POWER SLIDING DOOR AND HOLDS ONTO THE HANDLE WHILE IT IS BEING OPENED BY THE MOTOR, THE PASSENGER'S ARM MAY BE PUSHED INTO THE SEAT BACK OR ARMREST AND A WRIST OR LOWER ARM INJURY MAY RESULT.

Remedy: DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE POWER SLIDING DOOR INTERIOR HANDLE ON THE PASSENGER-SIDE. IF THE VEHICLE IS EQUIPPED WITH A POWER OR MANUAL SLIDING DOOR ON THE DRIVER-SIDE, THE INTERIOR HANDLE WILL ALSO BE REPLACED FOR APPEARANCE REASONS.
NOTE: BEFORE THE VEHICLE IS SERVICED, GM ADVISES OWNERS TO NOT USE THE INTERIOR DOOR HANDLE TO OPEN THE DOOR. THE DRIVER CAN OPEN AND CLOSE THE DOOR FROM SWITCHES AT THE DRIVER'S POSITION OR BY USING THE REMOTE KEY FOB. THE DRIVER SHOULD TELL PASSENGERS TO USE THE SWITCH LOCATED IN FRONT OF THE DOOR TO OPEN OR CLOSE IT. THE DRIVER SHOULD USE THE OVERRIDE SWITCH TO PREVENT OPERATION OF THE POWER DOOR BY CHILDREN OR BY OTHERS WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH ITS USE.

THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN IN MARCH 2005. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT CHEVROLET AT 1-800-630-2438; PONTIAC AT 1-800-620-7668; OR OLDSMOBILE AT 1-800-630-6537.

Notes: GM RECALL NO. 04110. CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION’S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).

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