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NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe

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 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: BATTERY LEAKS ACID

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA00013

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: May 02, 2000
    • Date Closed: June 28, 2002
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System

    Summary: There is no summary currently available

  2. INVESTIGATION: BATTERY LEAKS ACID

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE99073

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: December 03, 1999
    • Date Closed: May 02, 2000
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System

    Summary: ODI has received 21 complaints where owners allege that the standard GM factory supplied ac delco battery case failed, resulting in the leakage of sulfuric acid.of the 21 complaint vehicles, six Suburban, three Tahoe, and one Yukon owner(s) complained about a loss of brake fluid from deterioration of the right frontbrake line as a result of sulfuric acid contamination.the remaining 11 complaints pertain primarily to sulfuric acid leakage from the battery case.at least one complainant stated that the replacement battery also failed.several of the complainants note that the leaking acid had come in contact with a wire harness at the frame in the vicinity of the steel brake line.a field inspection by ODI indicates that the described harness is the ABS connection to the right front wheel speed sensor.prior to the battery case failure, there is usually no warning (short of an underhood inspection), and the ensuring damage (sulfuric acid contamination) is progressive.of the known battery failures, there may be a temperature correlation, as 60% of the owner complaints came from four states; California, Florida, Georgia and Texas.there is also a product improvement program and engineering change notice to add 1% silver to the battery's positive side terminall, with the earliest implementation date for this being Feb 2, 1998.the effect of this design change is as yet unknown; further review is warranted.an ea is being opened to gather further appropriate information, clarify any defect trends, and to assess the safety implications and risks concerning these failures.

  3. INVESTIGATION: HEADLIGHT

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA00024

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 26, 2000
    • Date Closed: December 21, 2001
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting

    Summary:

  4. INVESTIGATION: HEADLIGHT

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE00017

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: April 11, 2000
    • Date Closed: September 26, 2000
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting

    Summary: Based on the reports received by ODI from consumers, failure of the headlight electrical circuit may occur in the subject vehicles, and may result from repeated adjustment ofthe tilt steering wheel in the subject vehicles.repeated adjustment of the steering wheel position may strain the wiring in the headlight circuit to the point of failure where they are attached to the multi-function switch, resulting in the unanticipated loss of headlights while the vehicle is in motion.ODI has concerns regarding the high rate of warranty repairs for problems potentially associated with the alleged defect in the subject vehicles, with the recognition the each incident of headlight failure represents a condition of vehicle disablement.in addition, the manufacturer's evaluation of the alleged defect has not been received, and this office has interest in the details of the methodologies and results of that assessment.

  5. INVESTIGATION: SEAT BELT ANCHORAGE SEPARATION

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE01023

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: July 17, 2001
    • Date Closed: December 20, 2001
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Seat Belts:Front:Anchorage

    Summary: ODI has received one (1) complaint alleging that the 2nd row passenger-side seat belt release buckle anchor detached from seat frame during a side impact crash.during the crash, the occupant was thrown from his seat, partially ejected through the rear quarter window of the vehicle.occupant sustained injury.GM has subsequently changed seat belt anchoring design in MY 2000. ODI has completed a preliminary investigation and has determined that further information is needed to determine whether a safety defect exists.

  6. INVESTIGATION: FRONT SEAT RECLINER BOLT FAILURE

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ99015

    Component(s): Seats:Front Assembly:Recliner

    Summary:

  7. INVESTIGATION: WINDSHIELD WIPER FAILURE

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA02006

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

    Summary: As a result of this, and the precedinginvestigation, RQ99-003, GM has expanded the population of safety recall 98V-150 (replacement of the windshield wiper control module) to include an additional 1.77 million vehicles.included are various 1994-1997 my M/L vans, S/T trucks and SUVS, & C/K trucks and SUVS.see attached technical report for details.

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