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NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 1998 Chevrolet Malibu

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 1998 Chevrolet Malibu, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: STOP LAMP ASSEMBLY OVERHEAT

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA00010

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: March 27, 2000
    • Date Closed: August 09, 2001
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

  2. INVESTIGATION: STOP LAMP

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE99071

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: November 17, 1999
    • Date Closed: March 27, 2000
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

  3. INVESTIGATION: POWER RACK AND PINION STEERING FAILURE

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ03001

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: January 02, 2003
    • Date Closed: September 15, 2003
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Steering
    Steering:Rack And Pinion

    Summary: GM conducted a safety recall (NHTSA # 02V286) to address a steering defect pertaining to a lower pinion bearing (lpb) within the rack and pinion steering gear (R&P). The recall covered 1,159,156 model year 1997-1998 Pontiac Grand Prix vehicles built between March 1, 1996 and October 31, 1997, 1996-1998 Pontiac trans sport, Chevrolet lumina apv, Chevrolet Venture, Oldsmobile Silhouette minivans, and Chevrolet cavalier and Pontiac sunfire sedans built between January 1, 1996 and October 31, 1997.ODI opened this rq after receiving reports that other vehicles were exhibiting the same symptoms as the recalled vehicles.based on ODI's review of technical and complaint data collected during the rq, the w-cars are associated with either a higher steering complaint rate or a higher lpb failure rate than the other vehicles investigated under the rq and are above or near the rates for the recalled vehicles.thus, ODI will further examine the w-cars (1996-1997 Oldsmobile cutlass supreme, 1996-1998 Buick regal, Chevrolet lumina, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1997-1998 Buick century, and 1998 Oldsmobile intrigue) under a new investigation, engineering analysis (ea)03-019.

  4. INVESTIGATION: WINDSHIELD WIPER

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA00019

    Component(s): Visibility

    Summary: On February 22, 2000, the Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) initiated PE00-009 based on seven reports of windshield wiper failure in certain model year (MY) 1997 & 1998 Chevrolet Malibu & Oldsmobile cutlass vehicles.the investigation was upgraded to EA00-019 on July 12, 2000.during the course of the investigation, it was found that the failures were the result of fracture of the passenger-side windshield wiper pivot housing (subject component).such a fracture led to an immediate and irrecoverable loss of windshield wiper function.gmreported that the material composition (50% glass-reinforced acetal) of the subject component was insufficient to withstand stresses imposed by certain frozen precipitiation accumulations.the subject component material was changed to the stronger 50% glass-reinforcednylon-6, effective January 98.obsolete service part were discarded.GM will replace the subject components in 129,427 subject vehicles found in 28 states (ak, co, ct, de, id, il, in, ia me, md, MA, mi, mn, mt, ne, nh, NJ, NY, nd, oh, pa, ri, sd, ut, vt, wv, wi, wy), the District of Columbia, and all Canadian provinces.these states accounted for 91% of the consumer complaints identified above.ODI will monitor this compaign for adequate effctiveness and, if necessary, take further action in the future.further expenditure of Agency resources on this matter is unjustified at this time.the engineering analysis is closed.

  5. INVESTIGATION: WINDSHIELD WIPER

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE00009

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: February 22, 2000
    • Date Closed: July 12, 2000
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Visibility

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

  6. INVESTIGATION: WINDSHIELD WIPER FAILURE

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ04006

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: July 07, 2004
    • Date Closed: January 13, 2005
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Visibility:Windshield Wiper/Washer
    Visibility:Windshield Wiper/Washer:Linkages

    Summary: In March 2001, GM notified NHTSA that it is conducting a safety recall (NHTSA number 01V068) on certain model year (MY) 1997-1998 Chevrolet Malibu and Oldsmobile cutlass vehicles to replace defective windshield wiper pivot housings.GM reported the wiper failure was triggered by loads placed on the wipers when operated under conditions of moderate to heavy snowfall.GM conducted the recall in 28 states and the District of Columbia (recall states) that receive moderate to heavy snowfall.the recall covered the subject vehicles built through January 1998.ODI opened this rq in response to complaints from consumers that experienced wiper failure and were denied the recall remedy.GM is sending letters to owners not located in the recall states giving them a free remedy upon request if they anticipate driving the vehicle in areas that may have moderate to heavy snowfall.in addition, GM is notifying all owners who have changed their residence from a non-recall state to a recall state since the date of the original owner notification letter (March 2001).the actions taken by the manufacturer are sufficient to resolve the issues raised by this investigation.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists.the Agency reserves the right to take future action if warranted by the circumstances.see attached summary.

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