General Motors issues Sonic recall over windshield washer

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2012 Sonic

The 2012 Sonic. Image: InSapphoWeTrust/Flickr/CC BY-SA

General Motors LLC is recalling nearly 45,000 units of its sporty subcompact Sonic from the model year 2012. The Sonic recall is over what it calls a safety issue. Others, however, may view the issue as little more than an annoyance.

The 2012 Chevy Sonic recall

The windshield washing system may be faulty in some of the targeted vehicles. General Motors is no doubt doing the right thing by standing behind its product, but many will probably see the danger of a dirty windshield as a borderline safety issue at best. After all, water and paper towels will do the job as well.

According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall affects only those 2012 Sonics built between May 5, 2011 and February 24, 2012. That means it may affect as many as 44,668 vehicles.

Washing fluid not making it to windshield

The problem is that the connections securing the tubing used to conduct the cleaning fluid from the holding tank to the spraying nozzles may not be holding up. The tubing may work loose from the tank, thereby preventing the fluid from getting to the glass and the windshield wipers. The result of that could be — you guessed it — a dirty windshield that may decrease visibility and, in a really extreme case, increase the risk of an accident.

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General Motors says it will inspect and “secure the hose to prevent separation” for those vehicles that require it. That sounds like a pretty easy fix, and owners should be in and out of the dealership in no time, with no talk of car lending while they wait for the fix.

‘Isn’t like a wheel falling off’

Patrick Rall wrote in Torque News:

“This isn’t like a wheel falling off or a vehicle accelerating on its own so the safety risk is far less significant than some other recalls.”


The recall is expected to begin in earnest around September 7. However, if any owner is overly concerned, they can contact General Motors at 1-866-694-6546 for more information. The recall number to refer to is 12176.

Previous Sonic recall

Last year, just over 4,000 2012 Sonics were recalled because some of them may have been missing one of the front brake pads. Now that is what we call a safety issue.


Torque News


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