Buick and Chevrolet Sedans Are Recalled to Fix Suspension Problem
Improper rustproofing could cause an important suspension component to fail
GM has issued a recall for 2012 and 2013 Buick Regal, 2010 through 2013 Buick Lacrosse, and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu sedans because an important suspension component may fail and cause drivers to lose control. A total of 213,128 vehicles registered in specific states are included in the recall.
The rustproof coating on the rear toe link—a key suspension component that keeps the wheels pointing in the correct direction—may chip away and leave the part exposed, which could cause it to rust prematurely and potentially fracture. If that happens, the driver may lose control of the vehicle. A GM spokesperson told Consumer Reports that there have not been any crashes or injuries related to this recall.
Because the recall is related to rust, only vehicles that have been registered in what GM calls “corrosion states”—Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, or Wisconsin—are included in the recall.
In a document provided to dealers, GM said that replacement parts aren't currently available, but that the automaker is “working closely with the supplier to obtain the required parts as quickly as possible.” GM estimates that the fix will be ready by March. In the meantime, owners of affected vehicles can contact their local dealerships to see if they're eligible for a free loaner vehicle or rides while they await a repair. Eligibility for courtesy transportation will be determined by the vehicle’s remaining warranty coverage.
• Chevrolet Malibu sedans manufactured from Oct. 24, 2011, through May 24, 2013.
• Buick LaCrosse sedans manufactured from July 28, 2009, through May 1, 2013.
• Buick Regal sedans manufactured from June 1, 2011, through May 27, 2013.
Only vehicles that have been registered in the so-called "corrosion states" listed above are included in the recall.
The problem: During the assembly process, too much rustproof coating was applied to the rear toe link. As a result, the rustproof coating may begin to flake or chip off, leaving the part exposed and at higher risk for corrosion. If the part rusts, it may fracture and make it harder for the driver to control the vehicle.
The fix: Dealerships will replace the rear toe link and related parts free of charge as soon as the parts become available.
How to contact the manufacturer: GM will begin notifying owners of affected vehicles by first-class mail starting in February. In the meantime, owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 or Buick at 800-521-7300.
NHTSA campaign number: 20V764. GM’s own number for this recall is N202308930.
Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any recalls that need to be addressed.
If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly.