By: Brett ShainfeldShopping for and owning a brand new vehicle can put the mind at ease once the purchase is all said and done. Cruising around town in a new car can feel so freeing, and hopping in your car for a long commute to work in the morning can feel so much more relaxing when you don’t have to worry about it breaking down in the middle of the drive. It’s one of the primary perks of buying a new car, investing in a vehicle that you can rely on for a safe, secure drive. It’s also one of the most widely held reasons when car buyers opt to choose a new vehicle over buying a car on the used market.
With that said, cars are complicated technological beasts of machinery. As cars get more and more tech-savvy, with a focus on efficiency and high-end electronics integrated into onboard systems, there comes a similar pull for updates to be made and errors to occur. Manufacturers are not perfect, and while their assembly lines are often state-of-the-art, offering hyper-efficient builds in record speeds, problems can certainly spring up in a flash.
Oftentimes the manufacturers will notice the problem themselves, either through customer or dealership reports. Dealers are regularly performing maintenance on vehicles under warranty, and one of the reasons that manufacturers stress that you bring your vehicle to local dealerships for service is so that they can be the ones to identify potential problems and inconsistencies, report them to the manufacturer and they can then check their factory records to spot potential problems in supply parts or assembly. This can not only help them accurately correct your vehicle’s issue but potentially help mitigate the problem in thousands of other cars before it can negatively affect drivers across the United States.
In the case of Chevrolet Trax owners, the complicated and intricate assembly of their vehicle led to a contingent of the small SUVs to face a failed part that can negatively impact the entire vehicle, leading to a greater risk of an automobile accident. The company has since issued a recall, as has the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and vehicle owners should take notice of this recall and have it corrected as soon as possible.
So what is the recall exactly? What Chevy Trax SUVs are affected? How can it be fixed, and have their been accidents associated with the recall? We have all the answers to these questions and more as we explain the Chevy Trax control arm recall.
The Nitty Gritty: Details of the Chevy Trax Control Arm Recall
The specifics of the recall are necessary for understanding the danger presented to vehicle owners. In short, a part that was improperly welded during assembly could potentially fail, leading to an increased risk for a crash due to the wheels and steering malfunctioning.
Initially, when the recall was reported, it affected Chevrolet Trax SUV owners that purchased a vehicle manufactured between July 1, 2017, and April 4, 2019. The total number of Trax affected hovered around 113,000, a huge number of cars for the North American model. However, in September 2019, the recall was expanded to also include Chevy Trax that were manufactured between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2017, effectively creating a four-year window of Trax models potentially affected by the recall and increasing the total number of vehicles under the umbrella of the recall to nearly 207,000. This is a massive number of recent vehicles, and if you’re a Trax owner that purchased within this timeframe, you should absolutely consider taking the necessary precautions to have the recall corrected immediately.
As for the specifics of the problem, it is stated that a supplier may have conducted an improper weld with one of the joints on either one or both of the Chevy Trax’s front lower control arms. This control arm is integral to the front suspension system; the control arm is a component of the suspension system that helps connect the chassis of the vehicle to the wheel assembly.
What happens is that, due to the improper weld, over time it can become fatigued from wear and tear and possibly break. Should the lower control arm fracture, it could become completely separated from the vehicle; this would result in a front wheel to “toe” outward, immediately affecting the handling of the vehicle and posing a serious risk for an accident, particularly at highway speeds.
The NHTSA reports that the issue was first discovered in November 2018, when a General Motors dealer filed a report with the manufacturer stating that the separation had occurred in a 2018 Chevy Trax they had seen. As General Motors began to investigate the situation, the company found the improper weld and started to look into which cars had received this weld. To date, GM has worked on two separate warranty claims concerning the issue spurring the Chevy Trax recall, and have additionally heard of one crash (but no injuries) related to the issue.
Should you find that your vehicle is a part of the Chevy Trax lower control arm recall, the good news is that the fix is pretty straightforward, can be completed relatively quickly and the manufacturer will not charge to correct the issue. Once you schedule a service appointment for the recall, General Motors technicians will inspect the vehicle, and should there be an improper weld, they will replace the front lower control arm assembly with an approved and improved component from the manufacturer.
Chevrolet has stated that they will contact the owners of the affected vehicles but has not made it clear how. Should you own a Chevy Trax that falls within the specific timeframe of manufacture, it may be in your best interest to reach out to the customer service line at Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 or contact your local dealership. You can also check recall information on the NHTSA website by typing in your 17-digit VIN; the NHTSA campaign number is 19V312, and Chevrolet’s recall number is A182202370.
Should you have paid for the repair already may be eligible for reimbursement. However, if you believe that you may have been in an accident stemming from the Chevy Trax recall issue, you deserve to be compensated accordingly. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Shainfeld Law for legal advice on how to approach the manufacturer with an accident claim. We’ll happily guide you through the steps of gathering evidence and understanding your options of presenting your case and receiving any damages you may be owed due to the accident. Give our office a call today and find out more information on what your next move should be, and receive the recourse you’re due as a consumer.