2014 Cadillac ELR Range-Extended Electric Car Has Official Recall For ESC Fault

General Motors issued an official recall notice on Friday for its $75,995 Cadillac ELR range-extended electric car.  The first for the model, the recall affects 656 cars made between September 26, 2013 and February 14, 2014 and addresses a defect in the car’s electronic stability control (ESC) system.

2014 Cadillac ELR

2014 Cadillac ELR

According to the official recall notice (below) issued by Cadillac, a fault in the car’s ESC software could lead to the system failing to alert the driver when the ESC is either partly or fully disabled.

This puts affected cars in violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 126 (Electronic Stability Control Systems).

Essentially then, the recall is to fix a piece of code which may fail to illuminate an dashboard light if or when the ESC is disabled, either on purpose or as the result of a malfunction.

This, says the recall listed on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, could lead to a driver failing to notice ESC is working which, should they lose control of the car, increase the risk of an accident.

The recall itself will begin in the middle of April, and will be offered free of charge to Cadillac ELR customers. Cadillac says it will contact owners directly ‘on or about’ April 17. Until all affected cars have been given the software upgrade, Cadillac has instructed dealers to refrain from delivering cars to customers until the fault has been rectified.

Although the Cadillac ELR is based on the same chassis and underlying drivetrain technology found in its much cheaper and far more popular Chevrolet sibling, the extended-range Volt electric car, you’ll not that no Volts are included in this recall. That’s because the mainstream Volt uses a different ESC unit to the one found in the more performance-oriented, luxury ELR.


General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2014 Cadillac ELR vehicles not equipped with adaptive cruise control and manufactured September 26, 2013, through February 14, 2014, and equipped without adaptive cruise control. In these vehicles, the electronic stability control (ESC) system software may inhibit certain ESC diagnostics, preventing the system from alerting the driver that the ESC system is partially or fully disabled. As such, these vehicles fail to conform with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 126, “Electronic Stability Control Systems.”


If the driver is not alerted to an ESC malfunction they may continue driving with a disabled ESC system which may result in loss of directional control, increasing the risk of a crash.


GM will notify owners, and dealers will recalibrate the Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM), free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on April 17, 2014. Owners may contact Cadillac at 1-800-458-8006. GM’s number for this recall is 14087.


Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.


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