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Nearly 900,000 GM Vehicles Under Investigation For Faulty Fuel Gauge

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On: Wed, May 4, 2011 at 10:51AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nearly 900,000 GM Vehicles Under Investigation For Faulty Fuel Gauge

Last week, AAA locations around the country reported that "out of gas" calls have spiked significantly this year, a phenomenon that's undoubtedly tied to the insane prices of gas. Well, now there's another little wrench in the fuel equation, at least for GM owners. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on Friday that it's investigating 865,000 GM vehicles for faulty fuel gauges. The gauges have caused a small percentage of owners to run out of gas.

According to its announcement, there have been 668 complaints about the fuel gauge issue on vehicles from Chevy, GMC, Buick, and former GM brand Saab. Fifty-eight of those complaints come from drivers that actually stalled out because their tank was empty even though the fuel gauge read as though they still had gas left. At least one crash allegedly stems from the issue.

The NHTSA summed up the complaints in its documentation: "Consumers have reported incidents of inaccurate and random fuel level reading while driving, resulting in the vehicle running out of fuel and causing vehicle stall with no restart."

So far, the problem relates solely to GM SUV and crossover models, specifically, the 2005 to 2007 Chevy Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, and Saab 9-7 x.

Prior to being sold to Spyker last year, Saab was owned by GM. The 9-7x is based on GM underpinnings.

So far, the NHTSA is calling the investigation a preliminary evaluation, but, depending upon its findings, it could lead to more serious actions, including a recall.

The fuel gauge issue couldn't come at a worse time for drivers. With fuel costs approaching a nationwide average of $4 per gallon, more and more drivers are waiting until the very last minute to fill up—something that most judge solely by the fuel gauge. Mid-Atlantic AAA reports that "out of gas" calls are up anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent vs. last year in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, and other AAA locations report similar rises.


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