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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
U.S. regulators upgrade probe into GM trucks
Mon February 23, 2004

DETROIT, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Federal safety regulators have upgraded a probe into tailgate failures on full-size pickup trucks built by General Motors Corp. (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) in a possible blow to the automaker's claims of improved quality.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stepped up its investigation into the trucks late last week, classifying it as an "engineering analysis" in a step that can precede a recall.

If deemed necessary, following GM's own report of 96 injuries linked to the tailgate problem, the recall would involve nearly 4.5 million of the pickups sold by the world's largest automaker, NHTSA said.

The trucks are 1999-2003 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras, as well as Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac EXT trucks from the 2002 and 2003 model years.

GM has reported 430 complaints about one or both of the tailgate support cables breaking on the trucks that are the target of NHTSA's investigation, the federal agency said.

It said GM had also reported more than 61,000 warranty claims due to the problem.

GM has recalled more than 2.4 million vehicles due to other potential safety problems this month.

Story Here

 

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The problem with this is that the Silverado is GM's #1 selling vehicle, and it's clearly showing its age. That's not good for what is supposed to be the brute force driving the company. Overall quality is up, certainly, but the Silverado is in serious need of an update (not just a refresh). Oh well, I guess with Caddilac's revitalization well under way, and Pontiac finally getting their turn-around in motion, Chevrolet will be next. I just wish I understood the whole "SSR" thing. It's not enough to turn the division around to simply have a new toy in the showrooms, but I digress.
 

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ack! enough! lets have a problem-free week GM. the tide is turning for GM's reputation... more of this stuff is gonna turn it back again. people LOVE to have a reason to hate GM. and the problem is that even though GM has improved vheicle quality... there are some older cars out there getting older by the day, and many of them weren't quite up to snuff. more problems will creep up, which may not signal problems with current GM vehicles... but the public won't care about that.
 

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Mine and my Dad's too. I thought maybe it was just a coincidence. That sucks. The guys at the service department had to order some because they were going so fast. That is when I realized it wasn't just me, well this too. I'm getting tired of hearing people talk bad about GM. This just addes more wood to the fire, I have nothing to throw back at em. Come on GM! :angry:
 

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I know a lot of people's who have broken. It's a steel cable inside a plastic/rubber coating. When the tailgate is up, it forms a U shape, and once water gets inside the coating it sits in the bottom of the U, with nowhere for it to go. It rusts the cable, and it snaps. Poor design.
 

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Originally posted by nphillips@Feb 24 2004, 09:51 PM
GM's use of low quality parts, in order to make a profit, is finally showing through
Well Ford's always done that and got away with it, so why not. Remember Firestone? :zap:
 

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GM's new cars are up to quailty but the old Pre-lutz cars are bringing down gm's quailty. lets hope GM replaces/redesgns most of them soon.
 

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I'm not much of an engineer, but what kinda of moron decided to use cables instead of metal hinge linkage to support a tailgate?

That idiot, his team, and the management in GM who justified such an idea NEED TO BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY! :plasma:
 

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have they not been using cables for a long time? guess i've never looked closely, but i thought cables were commonly used. i never understand how they can mess up something that they've done for ages. i didn't think it'd be a safety issue... but i guess it means the tailgate can go flopping right down? seems so simple... a cable. hope the same cable manufacturer doesn't supply suspension bridge building companies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I thought little gas-charged "shocks" (the name for these escapes me at the moment) were used to ease the tailgate down, IN ADDITION to the cables. Or is that just on the GMC Jimmy?
 

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Cables have been used for a while, before that I think they were using metal hinge like things to do the job. It does seem weird that a well used technology all of a sudden has a flaw. I to dont know the real harm in your straps breaking, unless your in the construcion field and using the tail gate to set stuff on. To the gas strut comment I have never seen or heard of it, but that dont mean its not out there.
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Feb 25 2004, 04:25 PM
I thought little gas-charged "shocks" (the name for these escapes me at the moment) were used to ease the tailgate down, IN ADDITION to the cables. Or is that just on the GMC Jimmy?
No. That's only on your GMC Jimmy. :blink:
 

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Originally posted by LGRpup@Feb 25 2004, 05:07 PM
Cables have been used for a while, before that I think they were using metal hinge like things to do the job. It does seem weird that a well used technology all of a sudden has a flaw. I to dont know the real harm in your straps breaking, unless your in the construcion field and using the tail gate to set stuff on. To the gas strut comment I have never seen or heard of it, but that dont mean its not out there.
i still don't think i see how this is such a significant safety issue. i'm not saying it isn't... but i just don't fully understand. will the tailgate fall all the way down against the bumper? is it the fact that stuff might fall off the tailgate when it breaks? i haven't looked at a truck in a while... i kinda though there'd be a hard stop when the tailgate opened all the way (like the bottom would butt up against the truck box and keep it from going further). can someone explain? i'm kinda simple sometimes :blink:
 

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Hmm. I've always wondered about those relatively small cables, but I just assumed that the material used was up to snuff. I guess not.

My family has a 1988 S-10 for farm use with the metal linkage setup, and that handled a lot of abuse and never broke. I'm sure it cost a few cents more though which is why we now have this cable problem!

Although, besides the linkage setup, my favorite was still the tailgate on my family's 1954 Chevy.... Chains! Those never broke, and they even had slots so you could adust how far the tailgate would lower! Simple, effective, and it never broke!
 

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i looked at a fullsize GM truck last night, and as far as i can see teh tailgate would only fall a few inches before it would hit against the bumper. might scratch, but i can't see how this is such a safety problem. if they're defective they should be replaced, but someone explain how this is such a big problem, and not a little one (aside from the number of trucks affected).
 

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It is a problem because there are still people who use a trucks bed for more than hauling groceries.

If you are putting your motorcycle/ATV in the bed and the cable(s) break, you could easily have a motorcycle/ATV in your lap. This same scenerio can apply to anything that you slide over the tailgate to get into the bed.

Yes, there have been reported injuries.............. and probably many that were not reported.

You have to think that something did indeed change here. Is the cable used of cheaper materials that rust easier??? Other manufacturers have used cables, but do not have this problem.

Maybe GM could solve it cheaply by putting one of those great big warning stickers on the tailgate. "This bed should not be used to haul anything except groceries......... at risk of injury."
 
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