Bad Battery Controllers Spark 43,000-Vehicle Recall for GM

General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) is recalling 42,904 vehicles, citing a problem with the vehicles' generator control modules (GCM) that could cause "a gradual loss of battery charge and the illumination of the malfunction indicator light."

Continued driving after the malfunction has emerged can cause an engine stall, or a failure to start. There may also be "a burning or melting odor, smoke, and possibly a fire in the trunk," according to information posted Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall affects certain model year 2012 and 2013 Buick LaCrosse and Regal vehicles and model year 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco vehicles, which are equipped with eAssist. The eAssist feature consists of pairing a compact electric motor and lithium-ion battery system with the engine in these vehicles, with the aim of improving fuel economy by 25%.

GM intends to notify owners of the affected vehicles and instruct them to go to dealers for testing and replacement (when necessary) of the GCM free of charge.

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