NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2004 Cadillac CTS

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2004 Cadillac CTS, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: REAR DRIVETRAIN COMPONENT FAILURE

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA07017

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: December 07, 2007
    • Date Closed: July 16, 2008
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Power Train:Driveline:Differential Unit

    Summary: In July of 2007 the Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE07-037 to investigate allegations that the rear differential may fail causing a loss of motive power, and in some instances a loss of control, in model year (MY) 2004 through 2006 Cadillac Cts, Cts-V, and sts vehicles.as a result of that investigation GM issued recall 07V-589 to correct a leaking pinion seal problem.EA07-017 was opened to investigate complaints of fractured rear differential housings or rear half shafts in high performance Cadillac Cts-V vehicles.according to GM, these failures resulted from the cumulative damage from multiple power hop events that can occur during very aggressive driving. In February 2008 investigators from ODI met with GM representatives to conduct testing of the subject Cts-V vehicles.during the testing the subject vehicles were subjected to considerable torsional forces from standing starts and while driving.power hop occurred during some of the most aggressive driving maneuvers.the testing did not result in failure of any rear drivetrain components.the engineering design and testing data supplied to ODI by GM and the results of the testing conducted by ODI tend to support GM's position that the differential design is not defective. Complaints listed in the failure report do not include those indicative of failure of the rear pinion seal in Cts-V vehicles covered by recall 07V-589. Further investigation in this matter would not be an efficient allocation of Agency resources.accordingly, this investigation is closed.see attached closing report for further details.

  2. INVESTIGATION: FAILURE OF THE REAR DIFFERENTIAL

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE07037

    Component(s): Power Train:Driveline:Differential Unit

    Summary: ODI evaluated two different alleged defects involving rear drivetrain components during this preliminary evaluation.GM is conducting a recall to address one of the defect conditions and ODI has opened an engineering analysis to continue its investigation of the other alleged defect. On December 19, 2007, GM submitted a defect information report to NHTSA concerning defective rear axle pinion seals in approximately 275,936 model year (MY) 2005-07 Cadillac Cts, sts and srx vehicles as well as MY 2006-07 Pontiac solstice and MY 2007 Saturn sky vehicles (recall 07V-589).on sts and srx vehicles with all wheel drive, the front axle pinion seal also does not meet all of GM's specifications and may experience a fluid leak.GM indicated that the seal supplier made an unauthorized change to the pinion seal material.leaking pinion seals could result in loss of rear differential lubrication which could result in rear wheel lock-up and loss of vehicle control. On December 7, 2007, ODI opened an engineering analysis (EA07-017) to investigate complaints of rear drivetrain component failure (e.g., fractured rear differential carrier housing or rear axle half shafts) while driving in approximately 7,600 MY 2004 through 2006 Cadillac Cts-V vehicles.this condition may result in a loss of motive power and vehicle disablement and is not addressed by recall 07V-589.ODI identified 35 complaints (16 to ODI and 19 to GM) and 128 warranty claims potentially related to this condition (see EA07-017 opening resume).these complaints are not included in the failure report summary of this closing resume. The complaints and warranty figures given in this resume are limited to those that (a) are most likely caused by a leaking rear pinion seal; and (B) resulted in an allegation of a rear differential failure while driving.the data do not include all reports of seal leakage.

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