New GM? Student's Report Leads to Cadillac Recall for Fire Risk

Nov 18, 2014 02:10 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

General Motors may be a "new GM" at last: The automaker's recently instituted Speak Up for Safety program has led to a safety recall for more than 10,000 Cadillacs with stalling issues.

GM co-op student Nick Sulimirski, 21, pointed out the problem when his dad's 2004 Cadillac CTS-V stalled at highway speeds even after being repaired in an earlier campaign, the Detroit News reported.

Noticing that the model had poor fuel economy and a strong smell of gas, Sulimirski and his dad checked the car to find that fuel was pumping onto the top of the gas tank rather than into the fuel line due to a melted connector.

Sulimirski, who is a mechanical engineering student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, spoke up after GM instated the new safety program, and the complaint resulted in a 10,000-vehicle Cadillac recall in September.

"I felt like it was pretty dangerous and a fairly large issue to be brought up. But there was really no way of bringing it up [back in 2013], even though I did work at GM at the time as a co-op student," said Sulimirski, as quoted by the News. "... It wasn't like I could tell my boss about a 10-year old car with over 100,000 miles about a fuel pump issue. There wasn't really a pathway to do that."

Marking GM's 69th recall of 2014, the resulting campaign affected select 2004-'07 CTS-V and 2006-'07 Cadillac STS-V cars with fuel pump modules that could overheat and cause a range of issues, including leaking fuel and a stalling engine.

The Detroit, Mich.-based automaker has been drowning in safety campaigns this year after recalling nearly 2.6 million small cars with faulty ignition switches. CEO Mary Barra has been striving to remake GM's company culture and image following the disastrous recall, which has been linked to more than 30 deaths and dozens of injuries.

"Speak up for Safety, the first thing we want people to do is walk across the aisle and make sure they're talking to their fellow engineer, if they happen to be a part of it," she recently told the News and other media in Detroit. "But if they see something that's completely out of their scope and they don't know who to go to, that's what Speak Up for Safety is for."

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