Update: Maker of General Motors' Flammable Windshield-Washer Units Blamed GM for Fires

Update: Maker of General Motors' Flammable Windshield-Washer Units Blamed GM for Fires

Update: Maker of General Motors' Flammable Windshield-Washer Units Blamed GM for Fires

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June 11 2010 1:24 PM

Update: Maker of General Motors' Flammable Windshield-Washer Units Blamed GM for Fires

Now that General Motors has recalled nearly 1.5 million vehicles because their windshield-washer-fluid-warming units could catch on fire, the New York Times reports that the company that made the units

said it was not to blame and warned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year, in response to an earlier recall, that even after G.M.’s fix, owners remain at risk from fires because it believed the electrical system in the vehicles was flawed.

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That warning was made in 2009, after the first round of fires and recalls in GM vehicles equipped with the HotShot warmers. 

General Motors denied those allegations and said HotShot was the problem. The agency accepted the automaker’s explanation.General Motors says it is carrying out the new recall because of five fires on vehicles with the fuse. That included three on which the vehicle was turned off. In a separate incident, a Texas couple sued the automaker last year saying their house burned down because of a fire that started in their 2007 GMC Yukon. 

In the first recall, GM had added a fuse to the warming units. Now, the taxpayer-owned automobile company is removing the warming units entirely and paying owners $100 apiece in compensation, a total expense of almost $150 million.

Earlier this week, former GM boss Richard Wagoner , under whose leadership the recalled vehicles were produced, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Washington Post Company , which publishes Slate.