The error, discovered by General Motors during the inspection of faulty hoods on several vehicles, caused a secondary latch to be left off the construction of the hood. That is a safety issue and a violation of federal regulations.
If the primary hood latch is not engaged, the hood could open unexpectedly. During vehicle operation, this could obstruct the view of the driver and increase the risk of a crash, the NHTSA said Monday.
GM said that while inspecting a hood from one of the vehicles last month, it found there was no evidence of welds for the mandated secondary latch, suggesting that the latch assembly missed the weld station at the latch plate supplier. GM concluded that the production process did not have safeguards to prevent such a mistake and decided to recall the vehicles. The automaker did not name the supplier.
General Motors will notify owners and instruct them to inspect their vehicle for the presence of a secondary hood latch. Dealers will replace the hood on any affected vehicles without charge. It is not known how many vehicles were produced without the required second latch.
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