x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Most of UAE's Hummers recalled over faulty bonnet

Almost all of the UAE's 3,500 Hummer H3 vehicles will have to be recalled after the manufacturer issued a safety warning over a faulty bonnet catch.

The UAE is one of the largest markets for the Hummer in the Middle East.
The UAE is one of the largest markets for the Hummer in the Middle East.

ABU DHABI // Almost all of the UAE's 3,500 Hummer H3 vehicles will have to be recalled after the manufacturer issued a safety warning over a faulty bonnet catch. General Motors announced yesterday that it would be contacting owners in the coming days to ask them to return their vehicles for repair. Since Hummer launched here in 2006, the UAE has become one of its largest markets in the Middle East. The H3 is the most popular model.

The recall affects 198,404 cars worldwide and concerns a catch on the bonnet, known as a louvre, which can become loose and break off while driving. GM gave warning that the part could strike another vehicle if it came off while moving. "The recall will affect around 3,500 vehicles in the UAE," said Fuad Hammad, GM's UAE spokesman. He said the recall affected 2006 to 2010 models of the H3 and 2009 to 2010 models of the H3T. No other Hummers are affected.

"We have received a list of the affected cars and we are going to be in contact with the owners," Mr Hammad said. "We have had no reports yet of any problems. The recall is a precautionary measure. "We will ask owners of affected models to bring their cars to their dealerships and we will fix their cars." Mr Hammad said the repair was not significant. It was expected to take under an hour to fix. The company said it would place adverts in local newspapers alerting owners. Anyone with concerns should contact the GM customer care hotline on 04 429 0352.

The louvre is a panel on the bonnet that allows air to enter the engine compartment, preventing overheating. It helped to cool the engine on older Hummer models but is decorative on the H3. In recall documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US, where GM is based, the company said the tabs holding the louvre could fracture, causing it to rattle against the bonnet and become loose.

Muhammed Imran, 29, from Pakistan, bought his yellow 2008 Hummer H3 one year ago and said he had experienced no problems. "I have not heard about the recall until now. It doesn't sound like a big problem. When they contact me I will take it to the garage," he said. "It is an inconvenience, but it does not worry me." Harry Oughourlian, 37, from Lebanon and living in Dubai, where he works as a used-car salesman, said he had seven Hummers in stock but only one was an H3.

"These days there always seems to be something wrong with cars. They are always being recalled over something," said Mr Oughourlian. "I think each manufacturer is always trying to highlight flaws with their competition's cars. "I don't think most people here will even bother taking it along for the recall." Harith Bukhash, 21, an Emirati student at the American University Dubai, said he was selling his gold- coloured 2009 H3.

He was shocked to learn of the fault, but said he was not concerned at the recall. "It is more of a hassle than anything else. I will have to take time off university to get it fixed," he said. "If there are a lot of cars involved, then I suppose there is a chance there could be a bit of a rush to get them fixed. "No one wants to drive around in a car which is not safe." The recall followed two complaints about the problem in the US and three in Japan, Mr Hammad said.

GM is shutting down Hummer production following a failed attempt this year to sell the brand to a Chinese buyer.
chamilton@thenational.ae