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NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer

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 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. BRAKE LAMP FAILURE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA04021

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting:Brake Lights

    Summary: GM states that some brake/tail lamp bulbs can prematurely become inoperative due to malfunctioning brake/tail lamp sockets.on March 2, 2004, GM initiated a 6-year/72,000 mile "special policy" for 989,487 subject vehicles to inspect and replace the rear brake/tail lamp bulb socket assemblies.on April 4, 2004, the Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a preliminary evaluation (PE04-032) based on consumer complaints alleging brake lights not operating when the brake pedal is depressed.on August 3, 2004 ODI upgraded PE04-032 to an engineering analysis (EA04-021).by letter dated October 27, 2004 GM notified NHTSA that it will conduct a safety recall (NHTSA # 04V527) covering subject vehicles that were not already repaired under GM's "special policy."MY 2004 subject vehicles built after August 8, 2003 contain improved brake lamp assemblies and are not included in the recall.GM dealers will install the improved brake lamp assembly on subject vehicles built on August 8, 2003 and earlier.the action taken by GM is sufficient to resolve the issues raised by this investigation.accordingly, this investigation is closed.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA04021 »

  2. BRAKE LAMP FAILURE NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE04032

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: April 06, 2004
    • Date Closed: August 03, 2004
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting:Brake Lights

    Summary: The Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened this investigation on model year (MY) 2002-04 Chevrolet Trailblazer vehicles.GM reports that other vehicles sharing this platform and brake lamp design are the MY 2002-2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer ext; GMC Envoy, XL, xuv; Oldsmobile Bravada and 2004 Buick rainier.complaints allege that the rear brake lamp does not operate when the brake pedal is depressed.there is no indication to the driver from inside the vehicle that one or more brake lamps bulbs are not functioning.GM found that heat from the bulb could deform the lamp socket, produce electrical arcing and an inoperative bulb.to correct the condition, GM changed the bulb to a bulb that transmits less heat to the socket and changed the socket to a thermoplastic polymer to improve thermal stability.these changes were implemented into production vehicles on October 1, 2003.GM implemented a "special policy" by notifying consumers that if they should experience a brake lamp failure to go to their GM dealership to have the circuit board containing the brake lamp replaced along with new bulbs.this policy is good for the first 6 years or 72,000 miles of the life of the vehicle.ODI will upgrade this investigation to ea 04-021 and include the above mentioned vehicles.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE04032 »

  3. FUEL PUMP MODULE LEAKS GASOLINE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA07009

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: July 10, 2007
    • Date Closed: August 28, 2008
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline:Delivery:Fuel Pump

    Summary: During the course of this ea investigation, ODI observed that the majority of the complaints (88%) and warranty claims (94%) were reported for vehicles that are registered for use in the "salt belt" region of the us.this area includes 20 states in the northeast, mid atlantic and the midwest regions and the District of Columbia.consumers in the salt belt region reported to ODI that they could smell fuel vapors in their vehicles while driving.upon further examination of their vehicles, they discovered that fuel vapors were coming out of the top of the fuel tank. This condition is caused by corrosion of the return and sender lines of the fuel pump module.water and road salt collect on top of the fuel pump leading to small pinholes appearing on the fuel lines.fuel may leak and collect on top of the module and/or spill onto the ground.the data evaluated under this investigation reflect a relatively low frequency of occurrence that largely arises in salt belt states.GM has extended the warranty on the subject component to ten years or 120,000 miles.further use of Agency resources does not appear to be warranted at this time; accordingly, this investigation is closed.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 further action if warranted by the circumstances.for additional information select document search.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA07009 »

  4. FUEL PUMP MODULE LEAKS GASOLINE NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE07013

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: March 12, 2007
    • Date Closed: July 10, 2007
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline:Delivery:Fuel Pump

    Summary: ODI has received reports that the fuel pump module leaks fuel and or vapor underneath the vehicle.GM states, "the failure mechanism is corrosion of the fuel pump module flange which may lead to a fuel leak.corrosion of the fuel pump module flange is the result of the vehicle operating in a corrosive environment."ODI has upgraded this PE to engineering analysis (EA07-009) to further assess this issue.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE07013 »

  5. FUEL SPILLAGE DURING REFUELING NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE04001

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: January 05, 2004
    • Date Closed: May 07, 2004
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage:Tank Assembly:Filler Pipe And Cap

    Summary: This investigation was opened on the model year (MY) 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer.based on GM's information request (ir) response, ODI added to its analysis the MY 2003 GMC Envoy and Oldsmobile Bravada vehicles.these vehicles share the same vehicle platform (GM 360/370) and fuel fill components.incident summary numbers reported above include these vehicles.epa regulates the fuel dispensing rates at filling stations and GM states that the reports of spitback for the subject vehicles are principally caused by fuel dispensing pumps exceeding the rate specified by epa.ODI finds that the rate of complaints, field reports and warranty is low compared to other vehicles that have been recalled for a spitback issue.a safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further use of the Agency resources does not appear to be warranted.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 further action if warranted by the circumstances.see attached report for additional information.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE04001 »

  6. WINDSHIELD WIPER FAILURE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA04002

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

    Summary: On September 17, 2003, the Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a preliminary evaluation (PE03-042) to investigate alleged windshield wiper failure in certain model year (MY) 2002 and 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer and Trailblazer ext, GMC Envoy and Envoy XL, and Oldsmobile Bravada vehicles.the investigation was upgraded to an engineering analysis on January 6, 2004, and the scope was expanded to include certain MY 2003 Isuzu ascender vehicles.all subject vehicles are built on General Motors┐ gmt360 and gmt370 platforms and were originally equipped with a windshield wiper assembly referred to as the "family" design module (P/N 15171306 base, P/N 15171307 for vehicles equipped with rainsense automatic moisture sensitive wipers).water enters the windshield wiper module causing the electrical components on the control circuit board to corrode and short out, thus rendering the wiper motor/module inoperative.in November 2002, GM introduced into vehicle production a redesigned windshield wiper assembly referred to as the ┐global┐ design module (P/N 15094704 base, P/N 15094705 for vehicles equipped with rainsense) to better control water intrusion.ODI has received a total of 1,179 non-duplicative owner and field reports alleging windshield wiper failure on vehicles originally equipped with the ┐family┐ design module.by letter dated February 2, 2004, GM has notified ODI that it will conduct a safety recall (NHTSA recall no. 04V-046).accordingly, this investigation is closed.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA04002 »

  7. WINDSHIELD WIPER FAILURE NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE03042

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 17, 2003
    • Date Closed: January 06, 2004
    • Recall: no recall issued

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

    Summary: The subject vehicles (Chevrolet Trailblazer (ext), GMC Envoy (XL), and Oldsmobile Bravada) are built on the gmt360 and gmt370 platforms and were originally equipped with a windshield wiper assembly referred to as the ┐family┐ design module (P/N 15171306 base, P/N 15171307 for vehicles equipped with rainsense automatic moisture sensitive wipers).the windshield wiper assembly is located inside the plenum at the base of the windshield and is mounted on an incline approximately equal to the rake of the windshield.GM reports that vehicles are subject to a quality assurance water test at the assembly plant.the test exposes the vehicles to an amount of water that exceeds the plenum's capability to divert water away from the wiper module, allowing water to rise to a level that exceeds the height of the windshield wiper motor cover vent hole.water enters through the vent hole then flows down to the bottom of the module and pools causing the electrical components on the control circuit board to corrode and short out, thus rendering the wiper motor/module inoperative.on November 2, 2002 GM introduced into vehicle production a redesigned windshield wiper assembly referred to as the ┐global┐ design module (P/N 15094704 base, P/N 15094705 for vehicles equipped with rainsense) that uses a polytetrafluoroethylene membrane covered vent hole to control water intrusion.there are a total of 1,172 non-duplicative owner and field reports alleging windshield wiper failure, two vehicle crashes allegedly caused by windshield wiper failure, and 43,219 warranty claims for windshield wiper assembly or wiper control module replacement on vehicles originally equipped with the ┐family┐ design module.this preliminary evaluation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis (EA04-002) to further study the scope and safety consequences of this issue.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE03042 »

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