Recall notice

I just spotted this on The Local – Sweden’s news in English, though it’s probably filtering through elsewhere as well. Nothing on the GM Media site as I sit here at the keyboard. The recall effects both 9-3 and 9-5 models from 2000-2002.

Saab to recall 300,000 cars

Swedish car manufacturer Saab is to recall 300,000 vehicles because of reported overheating in the ignition system.

The company refused to comment on the likely cost of the recall, but according to the paper Göteborgs-Posten it is likely to be at least 600 million kronor.

The decision follows a report from the American traffic safety agency NHTSA, which said that the cars were breaking down and overheating, and could even catch fire.

As a result, Saab’s US owner General Motors was instructed to recall the cars for inspection and to fix the ignition problem.

“The ignition module could, especially as the car as started, become electrically overcharged,” said Örjan Åslund, Saab’s press officer.

“There is a component inside it which melts and the car doesn’t start.”

The models being recalled are the old version of the Saab 9-3 and the 9-5, from 200, 2001 and 2002. The cars affected are petrol-fuelled.

Åslund told news agency TT that all customers will be contacted in the autumn and asked to bring their cars to a dealer.

“It probably won’t happen before the beginning of the spring. We will do an inspection, change [the component] – luckily it’s positioned just above the motor and held with a couple of screws so it will be quick to fix,” said Åslund.

According to Saab, there have been no fires caused by the problem.

“There could be a little smoke due to the plastic overheating. But no real flames. Nor have there been any accidents or people injured,” said Åslund.

A total of 287,987 cars are to be recalled around the world, of which around 68,000 are in Sweden.

Bad news, bears. But I guess people get their bits fixed, though the real problem is that there was a fault in the first place.

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7 Comments

  1. They are undoubtedly refering to the DI Cassette. You hear of them failing all the time, but I’ve never heard of one causing a fire. Sometimes (in the 9-5) if it fails at high speed than you end up loosing your Catalytic converter too.

    The good news here is that it literally takes 5 minutes to install a new one, and hopefully they’ll have improved the design on the new ones enough that having to carry a spare DI Cassette on long journeys will be a thing of the past!

  2. I hope this business about 2000-2002 is a media fluke as all the 9-5’s from 1998 on had the exact same DI units and exact same failure. I will not stand by as GM screws us owners of early 9-5’s. I hope that the official statement will break it down, and as long as it doesn’t say “any 9-5 after chassis number X3004719” I will be happy.

    Carl

  3. This is in fact the infamous crappy black DIC (direct ignition cassette) issue, which has now been escalated into a required limited recall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (a regulatory arm of the US government) after receipt of reports of a significant number of early and sudden failures, especially those creating safety concerns.

    It is certainly a quick fix to replace the part, but if you’re out in the middle of nowhere or in heavy traffic any sudden failure is unacceptable and can be dangerous even without a fire. BTW, the fire is caused by unignited fuel making its way through the exhaust to the catalytic converter and igniting. This actually happened to a friend of mine in his ’00 9-5 while driving through a remote area with his wife and children. The dealer took care of it all even though the warranty had just expired, but the impending recall probably helped their decision.

    The dealers have software upgrades for the ECU which are intended to prolong the life of the DI cassettes in T7 ECU cars. Who knows if the cassettes are being improved, though I have heard the part nos. have recently changed.

    Good luck to all who have problems with this.

  4. My husband and I own a 2000 9-5 wagon. Three days ago, as my husband neared his destination he noticed the car was losing power. Moments later he reached the school’s parking lot and exited the car. When he opened the hood, he saw smoke between the motor and the back of the dashboard. He went into a building to call our mechanic and arrange for the car to be towed. When he returned, the car was filled with smoke and the rear seat and carpet were burning. The grass beneath the car was on fire. Fortunately the Assistant Fire Chief was on the premises, and within minutes the WIlliamstown Fire Department extinguished the fire. The car was towed to our mechanic.
    My husband and I read accounts on websites describing similar dangerous incidents. Why hasn’t a recall been initiated to remedy this problem? We purchased a Saab car because of the company’s reputation for safe cars. Given the fact that other incidents have been reported, it is the responsibility the GM to replace faulty equipment to prevent car fires and the possible loss of life.

  5. Linda,
    I’m sorry for you and your hubbie. It’s good noone was hurt! The recall (supposedly) went out almost two years ago. Personally, I only found out about it about one month ago. It was when I got my car (9-3 Cabrio 2001) back from its 90k service, that the garage told me they had also changed this DIC. In addition, I also had a pending recall to install a bracket to keep the fuel line in position! :-O I don’t want to know what caused THAT one!!!! But I certainly am NOT impressed with being told by my garage that there are two pending recalls on my car, and now finding that at least one of them has been out there for two years!!! How much is a stamp? How come my garage didn’t tell me two years ago? The car was there January and October ’06… 🙁

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