A new class-action lawsuit filed against General Motors claims certain crossover models manufactured by the automaker have a fuse box issue that can lead to powertrain and electrical malfunctions.
The suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, was brought forth by California plaintiff Rebecca Casey, who purchased a used 2014 Buick Enclave in December of 2016 with just over 70,000 miles on the odometer. Casey started experiencing problems with the vehicle in April of 2018 and brought it back to the dealership for repairs with a little over 89,000 miles on the clock.
Casey’s vehicle had the stability and traction warning lights illuminated, while the trip computer showed a warning for reduced power. Technicians discovered an error code and also noticed the fuse block ignition bus had come loose. They reinstalled the bus and charged Casey for the repairs, but she returned a few months later due to the engine light going on and off and warning messages over the traction control and reduced power. The technicians then replaced the ignition bus completely, having deemed it defective, and charged Casey for the repairs again.
The class-action lawsuit claims the fuse blocks in the 2013-2017 Buick Enclave and other related GM crossovers are defective and can disrupt the distribution of electricity throughout the vehicle, preventing the vehicle from starting or cause it to stall while in motion. This is caused by one of the relay terminals coming loose, a problem that can then be exacerbated by engine vibrations. As the terminal moves around, it can cause intermittent or unpredictable electrical failures. The suit also says that certain metal prongs used in the terminals must be sufficiently tightened in order to prevent the problem.
According to Car Complaints, GM has posted a number of technical service bulletins that appear to relate to this issue. One bulletin published in November of last year (PIT5074M), which was for all GM vehicles built from 2005-2020, notified dealers that when diagnosing an intermittent electrical concern, “terminal tension is one of the main culprits, especially when working with very small terminals.” A month later, it issued a separate bulletin (19-NA-276) that warned of a potentially reduced engine power message in certain GM vehicles and said the “cause of the condition may be poor terminal tension on terminal 51 in X50A fuse block Underhood X3.” Dealers were instructed to replace the fuse block, but the class action suit says owners must pay out of pocket unless their vehicle is still under warranty.
Source: Car Complaints