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Am I the only owner upset with GM's fix for malfunctioning windshield washer heater? To top it off just has a conversation with a (executive customer assistant)Rochelle, who managed to give me the impression that Cadillac cares not about its customers. Her phone call to me appeared to be what nowadays appears to be a growing accepted business practice. Bullying and stonewalling when a customer has a legitimate question! This is my second new cadillac purchase within the last four years and many GM trucks and cars before that! I went quitely along with the earlier recall for the same problem and quitely waited for a fix. They told us there would be a fix and supposedly they did a fix. Now they want to do a major modification which makes the vehicle unacceptable for my use. Both wife and I are disabled and bought the vehicle to be able to travel to see our children living up north and take vacations to where she was raised. Unfortunately our medical conditions preclude doing this in the heat of summer and winter is easier to handle. At least was as neither of us have the ability to get out and scrape ice from our windows. My question was how long until GM would fix the vehicle. In a nutshell I was told never and to take $100 and go away. Is this what other Cadillac owners are doing? I thought at least a good faith attempt to assist owners like myself, who bought the vehicle relying on the brand name reputation, that excellence went into all parts of the vehicle. I did not realize that I had bought a vehicle with apparantly the alledged scrupples of Toyota dealing with their customer base. The company who manufactured the defective part went bacnkrupt supposedly and are selling replacement heater washers that work accordingly. GM has access to nondefective parts apparantly as newer vehicles are not affected by the recall! I am currently weighing my options on how to proceed. Any suggestions would be appreciated! I have currently a little over 25000 miles on the vehicle, I now worry that they might to remove or disconnect part of my AWD option and give me a hundred bucks! Where does it end? What is next, think about it.Email me

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Normally washer fluid has some anti-freeze properties, but in your situation I would suggest simply changing to a windshield washer fluid with de-icer like this one: http://www.rainx.com/products/windshield_washer_fluids/de-icer.aspx or Prestone De-Icer.

Also, the automobile climate control continues to have defrost, and will clear ice or snow. The operation of the vehicle itself is unchanged.

What is it that you would like for Cadillac to do? The system as designed could not be fixed within the intellectual property and development restrictions available. I felt Cadillac was generous to offer any refund. I do not believe that the system is currently offered at all.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Normally washer fluid has some anti-freeze properties, but in your situation I would suggest simply changing to a windshield washer fluid with de-icer like this one: http://www.rainx.com/products/windshield_washer_fluids/de-icer.aspx or Prestone De-Icer.

Also, the automobile climate control continues to have defrost, and will clear ice or snow. The operation of the vehicle itself is unchanged.

What is it that you would like for Cadillac to do? The system as designed could not be fixed within the intellectual property and development restrictions available. I felt Cadillac was generous to offer any refund. I do not believe that the system is currently offered at all.

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Thanks Bruce for your input. I am assumming you are saying Cadillac sold equipment that had no purpose in the functionality of the car. Please take note of this internet article as posted.

As happens in these situations, Microheat and GM both sued each other. GM (now Motors Liquidation) is seeking $21m for recall costs, MicroHeat is seeking $11.4m for unpaid receivables. One lawsuit, filed by MicroHeat in 2008, has been administratively closed due to GM’s bankruptcy. That suit is best described by the Crain’s Ryan Beene:

In that lawsuit, which also charged GM with defamation, Microheat argued GM is responsible for “nonconforming high voltage transients†that caused the short circuit. Voltage transients are bursts of electricity that occur randomly and circulate throughout a vehicle’s electrical system and overload components.

The jolts were so high that they caused the HotShot unit to short-circuit, Microheat claimed. That short-circuit overheated a grounding wire connecting the component to the wiring harness. Microheat contended that harness was “undersized,†citing internal tests conducted to evaluate conditions in which the HotShot unit would short-circuit, according to court documents.

Microheat also pointed to GM’s initial fix for the recall in 2008, which connected a fuse to that grounding wire. The fix was designed to prevent a HotShot short-circuit from overheating the grounding wire and causing other components to fail, but it did not address the HotShot unit itself.

“If the HotShot truly had a safety defect, it would have been removed from the vehicle,†Microheat said in court documents.

GM insists that the short-circuits were not caused by voltage transients.

“Our electromagnetic compatibility expert has explained that the testing Microheat did to create a fault in their module was nearly 300 times more severe than could actually occur on a vehicle,†GM spokesman Alan Adler said in an e-mail.

The initial fix was chosen to mitigate the risk of a short-circuit in the heated wash unit crossing over into other electrical components via the wiring harness, Adler said. In GM’s analysis of 80,000 trucks and SUVs, performed before the first recall, the automaker found 36 confirmed cases of a short-circuit in the heated wash unit.

Because of the relatively low occurrence of shorts, GM opted for a fix that prevented the short from spreading, rather than fixing the HotShot unit for the recall.

But GM installed a later-generation HotShot module that was designed by Microheat to handle higher-voltage currents on about 77,000 vehicles.

GM found no cases of failure in those specific units but said it found other cases of melting and saw the potential for fires caused by another part within the HotShot module. That finding prompted the June 8 recall of 1.5 million vehicles.

Voltage Transients: the new cosmic rays? What makes this drama all the more interesting is the fact that GM did what Toyota refused to do: it summarily dismissed problems with warranty-returned HotShot units by stonewalling NHTSA and blaming customers. Carquestions explains:

Why would GM blame its own technicians, dealers and customers? Because they were locked in a legal dispute with the supplier who had a reasonably plausible argument for GM being at fault. More importantly though, this was before Toyota had opened NHTSA’s eyes to the realities of a supplier-driven auto industry. In other words, it could. Will the same people who demanded Akio Toyoda be publicly dressed down in DC ever ask why GM had such an easy time convincing NHTSA that warranty-returned HotShots weren’t a problem? Not with a government-backed GM IPO coming up, they won’t.

(Hot Shots!: Inside GM’s Heated Windshield Washer Fire Fiasco

By Edward Niedermeyer on June 15, 2010 )

Conversation with local GM service manager revealed that part of the fix involved SPLICING electric wires and rerouting of same. At least he made me feel that I am not the only one concerned with a patch solution. So not what I expected from Cadillac! I received this in my email today!

Dear Robert,

For three years you have been enjoying your Escalade, and we hope that you've had the opportunity to experience all of the privileges that go along with being a Cadillac owner. By now, we're sure you agree, you own more than a car… you own a Cadillac.

At Cadillac, we're committed to standing behind you and your vehicle, and we're looking forward to keeping you as a satisfied customer for many years to come.

Your Cadillac Team

Cadillac constantly uses the word "excellence" in advertising and communications! It is apparant that we have different definitions of words such as quality and excellence! Won't even get into definition of warranty. Are you aware that GM is not replacing wiring harness but having service technican splice electrical wires together? That is just part of GM's solution. Anytime wires are spliced together it affects the entire electrical system. This is just part of what I consider a junk fix. I am not a engineer but I relied on Cadillac's printed word when I purchased my car that I was purchasing a Cadillac, a true feat of engineering. GM owners should make themselves aware of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Also they should check their states lemon law for automobiles.

If amyone from Cadillac wishes to dispel my fears, please post the detailed instructions that are being given to dealers to circumvent this problem. Let owners decide for themselves if this looks like a suitable fix for this situation! If you are happy with this type of owner care then might I suggest, at the time of your next vehicle purchase, look at Kia's, Hyundai and of course let's not forget Toyota's customer support! Have all of you other Americans become so satisified with with mediocrity that you will allow GM to do this. Remember this is the same GM that took taxpayers dollars with the promised of continuing a quality American product. Those dollars were provided from monies earned by an honest people's sweat doing their job professionally! GM and not only Cadillac owes the American people a honest return for their investment. That includes a quality product and honoring their warranties without having it's buyers and yes, it's stockholders, having to seek legal remedies to make them live up to their promises! As for as the hundred dollars are concerned, in my opinion, it is only a means to attempt owners to waive future remedies down the road! I suggest all owners of GM vehicles express their satisfaction or disatisfaction with their friends and neighbors concerning GM's committment to quality!

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Just a thought here.........

If someone wanted to... they could just ignore the recall, and go on about their business.

Then the heated wiper fluid would still work just like it always has.

What little reading I have done... there have only been "FIVE" fires associated with the latest recall of the heated wiper fluid.

With 1.5 MILLION vehicles out there that have it...that is a pretty low number.

Of course it is a GREAT BIG number if YOUR CAR happens to be one of the ones that catch on fire.

:D

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MY VIEWPOINT: I hold degrees in electrical engineering and, although I worked for Hughes Aircraft Corporation during the time that it was a subsidiary of general Motors, I worked in aerospace engineering in the L.A. area and never had any connection with the car business. And, that was a long time ago. When I first went to Hughes, I drove a Ford and bought my wife one too, as a result of a recent bad experience with a Chevrolet dealer in MA that has been out-of-business for years. By the time I left we were both driving GM cars, myself a Cadillac Eldorado and her a Pontiac Grand Am; both of these are old cars now and we still drive them daily.

A SPLICE IS A NORMAL COMPONENT OF A WIRING HARNESS: First, let me address the issue of a splice. A splice is not necessarily a bad thing. The connection to the terminals in all connectors are much the same as are used in most splices. Splices are used in construction of wiring harnesses. You will see them in nodes where ground, power, network lines, and other wires have more than two ends. The key to a good splice is to understand what the requirements are for the splice (voltage, current, weatherproofing, etc.) and to use the appropriate techniques (crimp or solder or screw-clamp for example; heat-shrink tubing or tape as another example).

From what I can see from post #4, the fuse is spliced into the ground line. It appears that your assumption is that this was a cheesy repair to avoid the cost of replacing the wiring harness. I think I already pointed out that this is not a cheesy repair if done properly, and I personally will assume that a GM recall repair is specified by GM to be done properly. To say, regardless of cost, which of two repairs would be better for the customer -- to splice in a fuse, or to replace the wiring harness with a new harness that has a fuse in it -- one would need to examine the difference in the result, and the difference in the procedure to perform the repair.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PUTTING IN A SPLICE AND A NEW WIRING HARNESS? The difference between a new wiring harness with an in-line fuse and the existing wiring harness with an in-line fuse spliced into it depends entirely on the quality of the splice. The fuse terminals are crimped onto the ground line conductors in both cases; in the spliced-in fuse the conductor may be from the original ground line (most likely) in which case there is essentially no difference in the wiring harness whether the fuse is inserted in the ground line at the factory or at the dealership. If a pigtail is used for one or both fuse terminals, that splice must be of the same quality or better than the crimps on the terminals of the fuse and the connector to the HotShot unit. That isn't much of a challenge to a GM tech. So I don't think that there is any difference of consequence between a new and a modified wiring harness, with the caveat that the modification be done well.

If the harness in question can be changed without removing major assemblies, it may be just a matter of removing the harness from the holders and connectors and putting in the new one. However, if it is part of the main under-hood lighting and accessories wiring harness, it would require removing things like the surge tank, windshield wiper bay cover, brake master cylinder, headlight assemblies, and feed-throughs to the running lights and cornering lights and such can get into other body panel covers. A line may go under the car to the fuse/relay blocks in the rear of the car, or to the rear lighting and accessories, or even to the lighting and accessories in the cabin, although I would expect that a connector would be used for penetrating the firewall. But, I have noticed in the wiring diagrams in my 1997 model year FSM that feed-throughs seem to be preferred over connectors even for going through the firewall, apparently for their obvious advantages for reliability, ruggedness, and weather resistance. Without access to a 2007 Escalade, or at least a FSM for that year and model, I cannot tell what would be involved in changing that wiring harness. I will say this: usually its far easier to remove and replace an engine and transmission than it is to remove and replace a wiring harness.

Now, about the blog and the legal filings by HotShot and GM: I will go way out on a limb here and say that you cannot tell much about the reality of the problem from these, particularly the blog post. But there are some key points: GM says that sometimes, albeit very rarely, the HotShot unit shorts out internally and the high current intended for the heater in the window washer fluid reservoir goes instead to the ground line that was designed and specified for the electronics and relay. That the power comes from a line that needs all that current for the heating element is why they couldn't just change the rating of the fuse for the HotShot or put the fuse in anywhere except the ground line. It's the repair that makes the best sense.

But, what about fixing the HotShot? What shorts inside the HotShot? And, how in Tesla's Sake do the Circuit Gods find a way for the high-current line to get to the electronics ground line??? Find that, and fix it. But, that would require a modification of the design, or at least the internal layout, of the HotShot, and for some reason HotShot was unwilling or unable to do this. Facing this type of stonewall (don't blame HotShot too soon; we don't know why this was so -- it might have been beyond unaffordable or it might not have been possible within the requirements of being plug-and-play with the old unit, or... we just don't know!), GM has options, it's true. They could design and deploy their own substitute design; this would take more time and money than us mortals can understand, and time is of the essence in what may be construed as a safety issue. The other options are a fix outside of the HotShot unit -- the fuse added to the ground line -- or withdrawal of the product, which turned out to be the eventual solution.

WHAT CAUSED THE SHORT? HotShot claims that GM didn't tell them that transients that seem from post #4 to be high-voltage spikes were on the power lines, or that EMI over-the-air from the ignition wiring or some such was present at the HotShot. GM points out that the tests that HotShot described in their court filings were 300 times greater than those found in a real-world car. My reading of all this is that there is no reality there. It seems from a common-sense reading of the post that HotShot doesn't know what caused the failures. That's entirely possible because it happens so rarely. But, protective circuitry is routinely used in automotive and most industrial circuits, otherwise your thumb flash drive would last anywhere from 30 seconds to a week, and people would pop their modems, printers and even computers because of otherwise-unnoticeable static electricity when the systems were plugged and unplugged. It's a standard thing, and very simple, to protect an automotive circuit from all expected abuse with very little circuitry on the input, and some shielding such as a metal box around the circuitry, and a tiny bit of protective circuitry on the output line and the ground (small caps to circuit ground, ferrite core with a few turns, perhaps a diode or even a MOV if spark voltages are expected occasionally).

One common-sense reading of the situation is that the failures are caused by abuse, such as hooking the jumper cables up backwards to jump another car -- or the Escalade -- which will pop lots of electronics in the car, possibly *all* of them. Other low-occurrence abuse events may include, but are not limited to, the use of high-voltage fast-chargers on the battery while still in the car and connected, use of damaged or modified wiring that exposes the HotShot wiring to ignition spark voltages or some such. All of these events are warranty-voiding and are not the responsibility of GM or HotShot, or anyone except the perpetrator of the event. In the event that the car is struck by lightning or subjected to fallen power lines, well, no one is responsible, and I would have to read the fine print in the warranty, but I would suppose that GM would work with you in that event -- but that didn't happen to five Escalades. What caused the failures? Actually, as far as I can tell from there, nobody knows. From post #4, one might infer that nobody even has a clue.

WHOSE FAULT IS IT? It would seem to me that a design for an automobile in which any conceivable internal fault could possibly cause a high-current connection to be made from a high-current input to a low-current ground is simply a non-starter. Whoever signed off on such a design or layout should have known better. If it could not be avoided, say, because of the use of a gate turn-off thyristor instead of a relay to turn the windshield washer heater current off and on (If so, why didn't they use an inductive or optical coupler and isolate the gate circuit?) instead of a relay, then the fuse in the ground line should have been in the original design as produced and delivered. This is HotShot's bad, period. Why did GM approve it? It's possible that because of proprietary issues and pending patents that they simply weren't told. But if they did review the design and approve its use in a car, it's their bad, too. My feeling is that GM would not have approved such a design, so, if they ever did see the details, it was already too late to do anything about it and they had to find a fix.

SUMMARY: There is nothing in post #4 that convinces me that anyone knows what causes the HotShot failures, or even has a clue. What is obvious is that a design which could possibly cause such a failure should never have been approved for use in an automobile. The ultimate responsibility for the design is HotShot, although GM shares some responsibility if they reviewed and approved the design, which I doubt, but is possible. In any case, since GM sold the car, the recourse of the car owner for the fix is GM, regardless of responsibility for the problem. The fix of a fuse in the ground line is almost certainly essentially equivalent to a wiring harness that came with such a fuse, if the recall repair was done according to instructions from GM.

OPINION: I think the lady on the phone that you found so frustrating was reading from a script and was told not to deviate from it. This happens when there is high-energy pending litigation. It's not her fault, and it's not GMs fault.

In my redneck opinion, the HotShot heated windshield washer fluid falls into the "fluff" option category, like headlight wipers and seat warmers. There are more suitable substitutes for these options, like Bruce's suggestion to use anti-freeze washer fluid, and wearing pants or a long skirt when getting into a car with leather upholstery on a cold day. By the way, what happens when you are wearing shorts or a bathing suit and you get into a car with leather or vinyl upholstery that has been parked in the sun on a *hot* day? Use a towel!

WHAT HAPPENED? I have not seen HotShot's annual report or FTC filings, or analyzed their business model and product design, so all I can do is infer from events. Given that, it looks like fixing the problem required a product redesign, which HotShot could not accomplish because the cost exceeded available resources. In such situations, the customer, GM in this case, has the option of providing resources (cash) for equity (stock) and the problem gets fixed with a redesigned product that is introduced in production and changed out for old ones on regular warranty maintenance or a drive-in recall. This didn't happen, either because the cash position of GM or it's problems with the Government bailout, or, more likely, it wasn't acceptable to HotShot's owners for one reason or another, such as being a joint venture of several automakers or other investors, all but one of which wasn't GM.

WHAT I WOULD DO: What you do with your car is your decision and I take absolutely no responsibility for any results or consequences of your decisions, whatever basis they may or may not be based upon. But, if it were my car, I would get the fuse in the ground line, get an in-car or under-hood fire extinguisher (an excellent idea for anybody and any car; ask WarrenJ), and drive it. If I were uncomfortable with that, I would let GM disable the HotShot and use anti-freeze washer fluid -- which is always ready without warm-up and won't freeze in a Canadian winter -- and does a better job anyway. Also, it dissolves bugs better than straight Opti-Kleen or whatever. I would still get the fire extinguisher.

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Wow, lots of great discussion.

Yes, most anyone can drive most any modern car in cold weather. All modern cars have defrosting systems. Occasionally some cars have the option of a heated windshield, or of a block heater to assist with very cold weather starting. I liked the idea of heated windshield fluid. I love gadgets, especially functional gadgets.

However, I don't have a heated windshield fluid system on my Cadillac, and I don't consider such a system a part of the core functionality of a car because there are redundant systems that perform a similar function.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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MY VIEWPOINT: I hold degrees in electrical engineering and, although I worked for Hughes Aircraft Corporation during the time that it was a subsidiary of general Motors, I worked in aerospace engineering in the L.A. area and never had any connection with the car business. And, that was a long time ago. When I first went to Hughes, I drove a Ford and bought my wife one too, as a result of a recent bad experience with a Chevrolet dealer in MA that has been out-of-business for years. By the time I left we were both driving GM cars, myself a Cadillac Eldorado and her a Pontiac Grand Am; both of these are old cars now and we still drive them daily.

A SPLICE IS A NORMAL COMPONENT OF A WIRING HARNESS: First, let me address the issue of a splice. A splice is not necessarily a bad thing. The connection to the terminals in all connectors are much the same as are used in most splices. Splices are used in construction of wiring harnesses. You will see them in nodes where ground, power, network lines, and other wires have more than two ends. The key to a good splice is to understand what the requirements are for the splice (voltage, current, weatherproofing, etc.) and to use the appropriate techniques (crimp or solder or screw-clamp for example; heat-shrink tubing or tape as another example).

From what I can see from post #4, the fuse is spliced into the ground line. It appears that your assumption is that this was a cheesy repair to avoid the cost of replacing the wiring harness. I think I already pointed out that this is not a cheesy repair if done properly, and I personally will assume that a GM recall repair is specified by GM to be done properly. To say, regardless of cost, which of two repairs would be better for the customer -- to splice in a fuse, or to replace the wiring harness with a new harness that has a fuse in it -- one would need to examine the difference in the result, and the difference in the procedure to perform the repair.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PUTTING IN A SPLICE AND A NEW WIRING HARNESS? The difference between a new wiring harness with an in-line fuse and the existing wiring harness with an in-line fuse spliced into it depends entirely on the quality of the splice. The fuse terminals are crimped onto the ground line conductors in both cases; in the spliced-in fuse the conductor may be from the original ground line (most likely) in which case there is essentially no difference in the wiring harness whether the fuse is inserted in the ground line at the factory or at the dealership. If a pigtail is used for one or both fuse terminals, that splice must be of the same quality or better than the crimps on the terminals of the fuse and the connector to the HotShot unit. That isn't much of a challenge to a GM tech. So I don't think that there is any difference of consequence between a new and a modified wiring harness, with the caveat that the modification be done well.

If the harness in question can be changed without removing major assemblies, it may be just a matter of removing the harness from the holders and connectors and putting in the new one. However, if it is part of the main under-hood lighting and accessories wiring harness, it would require removing things like the surge tank, windshield wiper bay cover, brake master cylinder, headlight assemblies, and feed-throughs to the running lights and cornering lights and such can get into other body panel covers. A line may go under the car to the fuse/relay blocks in the rear of the car, or to the rear lighting and accessories, or even to the lighting and accessories in the cabin, although I would expect that a connector would be used for penetrating the firewall. But, I have noticed in the wiring diagrams in my 1997 model year FSM that feed-throughs seem to be preferred over connectors even for going through the firewall, apparently for their obvious advantages for reliability, ruggedness, and weather resistance. Without access to a 2007 Escalade, or at least a FSM for that year and model, I cannot tell what would be involved in changing that wiring harness. I will say this: usually its far easier to remove and replace an engine and transmission than it is to remove and replace a wiring harness.

Now, about the blog and the legal filings by HotShot and GM: I will go way out on a limb here and say that you cannot tell much about the reality of the problem from these, particularly the blog post. But there are some key points: GM says that sometimes, albeit very rarely, the HotShot unit shorts out internally and the high current intended for the heater in the window washer fluid reservoir goes instead to the ground line that was designed and specified for the electronics and relay. That the power comes from a line that needs all that current for the heating element is why they couldn't just change the rating of the fuse for the HotShot or put the fuse in anywhere except the ground line. It's the repair that makes the best sense.

But, what about fixing the HotShot? What shorts inside the HotShot? And, how in Tesla's Sake do the Circuit Gods find a way for the high-current line to get to the electronics ground line??? Find that, and fix it. But, that would require a modification of the design, or at least the internal layout, of the HotShot, and for some reason HotShot was unwilling or unable to do this. Facing this type of stonewall (don't blame HotShot too soon; we don't know why this was so -- it might have been beyond unaffordable or it might not have been possible within the requirements of being plug-and-play with the old unit, or... we just don't know!), GM has options, it's true. They could design and deploy their own substitute design; this would take more time and money than us mortals can understand, and time is of the essence in what may be construed as a safety issue. The other options are a fix outside of the HotShot unit -- the fuse added to the ground line -- or withdrawal of the product, which turned out to be the eventual solution.

WHAT CAUSED THE SHORT? HotShot claims that GM didn't tell them that transients that seem from post #4 to be high-voltage spikes were on the power lines, or that EMI over-the-air from the ignition wiring or some such was present at the HotShot. GM points out that the tests that HotShot described in their court filings were 300 times greater than those found in a real-world car. My reading of all this is that there is no reality there. It seems from a common-sense reading of the post that HotShot doesn't know what caused the failures. That's entirely possible because it happens so rarely. But, protective circuitry is routinely used in automotive and most industrial circuits, otherwise your thumb flash drive would last anywhere from 30 seconds to a week, and people would pop their modems, printers and even computers because of otherwise-unnoticeable static electricity when the systems were plugged and unplugged. It's a standard thing, and very simple, to protect an automotive circuit from all expected abuse with very little circuitry on the input, and some shielding such as a metal box around the circuitry, and a tiny bit of protective circuitry on the output line and the ground (small caps to circuit ground, ferrite core with a few turns, perhaps a diode or even a MOV if spark voltages are expected occasionally).

One common-sense reading of the situation is that the failures are caused by abuse, such as hooking the jumper cables up backwards to jump another car -- or the Escalade -- which will pop lots of electronics in the car, possibly *all* of them. Other low-occurrence abuse events may include, but are not limited to, the use of high-voltage fast-chargers on the battery while still in the car and connected, use of damaged or modified wiring that exposes the HotShot wiring to ignition spark voltages or some such. All of these events are warranty-voiding and are not the responsibility of GM or HotShot, or anyone except the perpetrator of the event. In the event that the car is struck by lightning or subjected to fallen power lines, well, no one is responsible, and I would have to read the fine print in the warranty, but I would suppose that GM would work with you in that event -- but that didn't happen to five Escalades. What caused the failures? Actually, as far as I can tell from there, nobody knows. From post #4, one might infer that nobody even has a clue.

WHOSE FAULT IS IT? It would seem to me that a design for an automobile in which any conceivable internal fault could possibly cause a high-current connection to be made from a high-current input to a low-current ground is simply a non-starter. Whoever signed off on such a design or layout should have known better. If it could not be avoided, say, because of the use of a gate turn-off thyristor instead of a relay to turn the windshield washer heater current off and on (If so, why didn't they use an inductive or optical coupler and isolate the gate circuit?) instead of a relay, then the fuse in the ground line should have been in the original design as produced and delivered. This is HotShot's bad, period. Why did GM approve it? It's possible that because of proprietary issues and pending patents that they simply weren't told. But if they did review the design and approve its use in a car, it's their bad, too. My feeling is that GM would not have approved such a design, so, if they ever did see the details, it was already too late to do anything about it and they had to find a fix.

SUMMARY: There is nothing in post #4 that convinces me that anyone knows what causes the HotShot failures, or even has a clue. What is obvious is that a design which could possibly cause such a failure should never have been approved for use in an automobile. The ultimate responsibility for the design is HotShot, although GM shares some responsibility if they reviewed and approved the design, which I doubt, but is possible. In any case, since GM sold the car, the recourse of the car owner for the fix is GM, regardless of responsibility for the problem. The fix of a fuse in the ground line is almost certainly essentially equivalent to a wiring harness that came with such a fuse, if the recall repair was done according to instructions from GM.

OPINION: I think the lady on the phone that you found so frustrating was reading from a script and was told not to deviate from it. This happens when there is high-energy pending litigation. It's not her fault, and it's not GMs fault.

In my redneck opinion, the HotShot heated windshield washer fluid falls into the "fluff" option category, like headlight wipers and seat warmers. There are more suitable substitutes for these options, like Bruce's suggestion to use anti-freeze washer fluid, and wearing pants or a long skirt when getting into a car with leather upholstery on a cold day. By the way, what happens when you are wearing shorts or a bathing suit and you get into a car with leather or vinyl upholstery that has been parked in the sun on a *hot* day? Use a towel!

WHAT HAPPENED? I have not seen HotShot's annual report or FTC filings, or analyzed their business model and product design, so all I can do is infer from events. Given that, it looks like fixing the problem required a product redesign, which HotShot could not accomplish because the cost exceeded available resources. In such situations, the customer, GM in this case, has the option of providing resources (cash) for equity (stock) and the problem gets fixed with a redesigned product that is introduced in production and changed out for old ones on regular warranty maintenance or a drive-in recall. This didn't happen, either because the cash position of GM or it's problems with the Government bailout, or, more likely, it wasn't acceptable to HotShot's owners for one reason or another, such as being a joint venture of several automakers or other investors, all but one of which wasn't GM.

WHAT I WOULD DO: What you do with your car is your decision and I take absolutely no responsibility for any results or consequences of your decisions, whatever basis they may or may not be based upon. But, if it were my car, I would get the fuse in the ground line, get an in-car or under-hood fire extinguisher (an excellent idea for anybody and any car; ask WarrenJ), and drive it. If I were uncomfortable with that, I would let GM disable the HotShot and use anti-freeze washer fluid -- which is always ready without warm-up and won't freeze in a Canadian winter -- and does a better job anyway. Also, it dissolves bugs better than straight Opti-Kleen or whatever. I would still get the fire extinguisher.

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Excellent post, thank you. While my knowlege is based on life experiences from 30+ years in auto retail industry I will admit it is prejudiced from what I saw and learned from consumers. GM is not alone in having difficulties at the present time. Can you imagine Toyota's headquarters if a senior company official had suggested disconnecting the offending part in their recent runaway car problem? My problem stems from the way GM is handling it. Those of us old enough to remember GM disconnect fix for the 4-6-8 engine and the gas converted diesel motors also remember what happened to the resale. The value of their vehicles plummeted! GM owners left in droves. The fixes in both instances, in my opinion, were merely window dressing which failed to address the core problem. It took a lot of time for those old GM owners to return and some never did that I know! The fact that GM is offering a hundred dollars is a insult to our intelligence. Remove the system if they have to and give incentives to those owners, to purchase new GM vehicles without the problem, who feel not satisfied with their fix. This would restore some credibility to GM warranty and quality.

I received my information from a GM service department manager regarding the process of disconnecting of the components to fix the problem. I kind of compare the mechanics of the fix to remodeling a home. Some remodelers are quite capable and others are not so proficient. No special training is involved to those who would be removing the component. The splices we talked about are only as good as the person doing the splices. My understanding is that also other components are going to be shuffled around from their present location. To get to the problem various fixed items in the engine compartment are going to have to be removed and reinstalled after patch (let's not call it a fix as by no stretch of the mind is it a fix). GM dealers are constantly rated upon customer satisfaction levels. Not all dealers rank as higly as other dealers. This is due to the human element which varies from location to location. What happens if I take my car in to a dealer who does not demand the receive the highest performance from technicans. Maybe he had to hire a brother in law to keep his wife happy, as on example. This is the facts of life folks. I also wonder how long has GM known about the problem. Strange that a supposed fix had already been done on the system. Was this an effort by GM to take a short cut to begin with? Who is to say that this fix will actually work and for how long. If GM is so sure of this fix, let me see them extend the warranty for all components intetwined with the system. In thre years I have averaged approximately 8000 miles a year on my vehicle. I expected it to perform as presented in their advertising and honor their warranty! Now, due to no fault of mine, a unknown factor which is under their control has shortened my perceived lifespan of said vehicle. The idea presented of merely tossing a towel over the seat to fix the problem, after having spent in excess of $70000 is not a valid argument. For those who say the item is not needed, I have to ask this question. GM is a for profit business why would they increase production costs of a vehicle and thereby decrease profits? Please, multiply the cost to vehicles equipped with this feature and see how much profit the corporation would have thrown away. There was a demand for this type of product or it never would have been installed period. So I respectfully defer from those who say it is not a needed or wanted item!

GM has the opportunity to restore confidence in the brand. I am afraid that corporate executives have lost touch with reality and those who buy their type of product! Quality is still out there and buyers are still willing to purchase as higher prices those quality items. Attempts to sell a dime store product at Saks price will ultimately result in failure!

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The idea presented of merely tossing a towel over the seat to fix the problem, after having spent in excess of $70000 is not a valid argument.
No one ever suggested this as a solution to fixing a problem. Perhaps you are confusing what I said about getting in a hot car with leather or vinyl upholstery while wearing a bathing suit? That was an example of being practical and did not address anything that GM or anyone else has ever sold -- unless somebody sells a seat *cooler* as opposed to a seat *warmer*.

I see you getting up a head of steam over GM not fixing your HotShot time after time. I don't think that heated windshield wiper fluid is worth enough to make life-changing decisions, or to take strong public positions. I also believe that GM didn't have a practical choice in the matter. But, that's just me. You have a right to your opinions and feelings, and to express them.

At the end of the day, I think that you will have an easy time in your drives in freezing weather, particularly in starting up the car after parking outside in freezing rain or snow, with antifreeze washer fluid and using the windshield defroster. In my Eldorado, I use antifreeze washer fluid in the wintertime and never have a problem; the windshield defroster is awesome, using the HVAC fan in High with nearly all the air out through the defroster vents, with the air passing through the A/C evaporator with the compressor running if the outside temperature allows safe operation and the heater core on full bore no matter what the temperature setting. I would expect that your 2007 Escalade has a HVAC system that is far superior to that of my 1997 Eldorado, including capabilities to defrost the windshield quickly, particularly if you use antifreeze washer fluid.

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Vnique, Cadillac doesn't have a fix that maintains system operation for the washer fluid heating system.

I am certain they wish it were easy to fix. Unfortunately for whatever reason, intellectual property, bankruptcy of the supplier, it is not. GM can't re-engineer the system to work if they don't have the intellectual property rights to the system.

Your Escalade is a great, all-weather vehicle without the windshield washer subsystem.

The fix is an approved procedure, safe, effective performed by skilled, trained technicians whose work is guaranteed by your Dealer.

I trust my local Cadillac Dealer to properly maintain my Cadillac, including this sort of technical notice.

What would make you feel better about this situation? GM can't fix the existing system. I am happy for you to vent about it -- I hate it too when stuff doesn't work. But I hear you saying over and over that they should just FIX it. I don't think that is one of the options.

In passing, I was reading a persuasive essay that the issue with the diesel engines was not that they were not designed for diesel, but rather the quality of the diesel fuel at the time.

Contrary to popular myth, the Oldsmobile 350 diesel was not a gasoline engine that GM hastily threw some glow plugs into. On the contrary, GM designed a block specially for the diesel 350, which was heftier and made of a different alloy than the block used in the gas-powered Rocket 350. Unfortunately, GM did cut some corners - the most egregious of which was the lack of a water separator.

Bruce

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Vnique, Cadillac doesn't have a fix that maintains system operation for the washer fluid heating system.

I am certain they wish it were easy to fix. Unfortunately for whatever reason, intellectual property, bankruptcy of the supplier, it is not. GM can't re-engineer the system to work if they don't have the intellectual property rights to the system.

Your Escalade is a great, all-weather vehicle without the windshield washer subsystem.

The fix is an approved procedure, safe, effective performed by skilled, trained technicians whose work is guaranteed by your Dealer.

I trust my local Cadillac Dealer to properly maintain my Cadillac, including this sort of technical notice.

What would make you feel better about this situation? GM can't fix the existing system. I am happy for you to vent about it -- I hate it too when stuff doesn't work. But I hear you saying over and over that they should just FIX it. I don't think that is one of the options.

In passing, I was reading a persuasive essay that the issue with the diesel engines was not that they were not designed for diesel, but rather the quality of the diesel fuel at the time.

Contrary to popular myth, the Oldsmobile 350 diesel was not a gasoline engine that GM hastily threw some glow plugs into. On the contrary, GM designed a block specially for the diesel 350, which was heftier and made of a different alloy than the block used in the gas-powered Rocket 350. Unfortunately, GM did cut some corners - the most egregious of which was the lack of a water separator.

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Bruce respectfully disagree with you regards 80's GM diesel conversion. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search

Oldsmobile developed three diesel engines for the 1980s: two V8s and a 263 CID (4.3 L) V6. It was based on the Olds 350 V8 with a 4.057 in (103.0 mm) bore and 3.385 in (86.0 mm) stroke.

The history of passenger-car diesel engines at General Motors has been checkered. In the 1970s, the company was unable to power its large cars and trucks with their emissions-strangled engines. Like many other companies, GM turned to diesel power, directing the Oldsmobile division to develop one V6 and two V8 to be shared with all divisions.

Oldsmobile's engines, the 5.7 L LF9 and 4.3 L LF7 V8s and the 4.3 L V6, were notoriously unreliable. Although over one million were sold from 1978-1985, the failure rate of GM's engines ruined the reputation of diesel engines in general in the United States market. Eventually, a class action lawsuit resulted in an arbitration system under the supervision of the Federal Trade Commission where consumers could claim 80% of the original cost of the engine in the event of a failure.

The primary problem with GM's diesel engines of the 1970s was their design — although the engines used a unique block, the design was based on Oldsmobile's 350 V8. The design had a weakness in the head design and head bolts, which were not able to withstand the higher cylinder pressures and temperatures of diesel use. This design weakness combined with poor diesel fuel quality in the 80's led to catastrophic failure of pistons, cylinder heads, and even cylinder walls. Reinforced truck diesel engines, from GM and other companies, did not have these problems. Today, GM uses diesel engines from DMAX (for trucks) and Isuzu (for non-US cars) but does not offer a diesel engine in any of their North American passenger cars.

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In a way we are both right Bruce, if only GM would be as open minded! LOL. Jim, you certainly have a beautiful automobile and your pride of ownership shows! Question though, has GM ever removed any of your original equipment and failed to fix the problem? I had that same pride of ownership with the desire for this car to last luxury vehicle that I purchased so as to be able to travel to visit children and grandchildren with a large degree of comfort and peace of mind. When I purchased the Escalade I paid the extra money for the dealer to locate and go get the exact vehicle I wanted, equipped the way I wanted. With my experience in the automotive industry I found that people tended to buy what they wanted if they felt they were being treated fairly. That is the way I still purchase vehicles. I currently own a 1996 4 X 4 Dodge truck with 160,000 miles (would jump in it and go to Calif if I was still physically able) a 2008 Ford Mustang Convertible with 8,000 miles and my Escalade with 25,000 miles. With as bad a reputation as Chrysler has with quality I never had any experience like this. I bought the Ford for my mid-life crisis through Ford's X-Plan. I bought the Cadillac in a leap of faith, paying far more than I paid for the Dodge and Ford combined. It is all about reputation of quality. The first Escalade I purchased made a sound like the rear end was falling out when coming to a stop! I knew that somewhere within lay a problem with the suspension. It took four or five visits to the dealership before they found the problem which was caused by the vehicle having been strapped down too hard! They FIXED it, not by taking the simple and cheapest way out but by listening and caring. This recall shows me none of the same corporate mindset as was prevalent in 2006. I traded the vehicle after owning it a little over a year at that dealership. I knew the worse depreciation is in that first year but based on that dealership experience I thought I had found a manufacturer who took pride in what they manufactured. The imports claim to superiority faded away! I supposed car manufacturers are a lot like people, you are only remembered for what you do today, not what you did yesterday.

Possible bright news at least. Talked again to Cadillac representatives and they are assumming a more flexible approach to the situation. My main (not only lol) concern is down the road. After having underwent a previous fix of this same problem, I am not confident that this is a permanent fix. I foresee possible problems down the road where GM will deny associated delayed problems with the patch. For those defenders of GM who are so sure of there will be no unintended consequences of modifying the engineered design, why not extend the basic warranty to all of those who purchased the vehicle new? Extend it out to six years and /or 100000 miles? Forget the money offer and show the owners a confidence in their product and their repairs! It bothers me that a dummy fuse is not a viable patch! Without electrical current their should be no chance of a fire! What it tells me is since this is not a patch that will work, that other system components are wired into the heater controls. Again I am no engineer and if there are any engineers reading this post and KNOW that the heater is not on a shared wiring system, please share that with us. Our society has developed into multi-reliant societies and this trend of thought, in my opinion, has branched into technological developments. A good example of this is how parts are build all over the world and then shipped to a assemly point to be MERGED. If the older members can recall their childhood, autos and other machinerym used to be repaired at times with bailing wires. Nothing is simple anymore and to have us believe so is just so wrong! Best to all!

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Bruce, check me on this, but I believe that when a GM dealer performs a repair, there is a warranty on that repair that is independent of the vehicle warranty. In some cases it is for as long as you own the car. For example, I bought a GM compressor for my A/C in 2002 at about 95,000 miles and I know for a fact that it is still in warranty; its clutch slipped in 2005 at about 110,000 miles and the dealer replaced it lock-stock-and-barrel, although I would have simply adjusted the clutch, and it is still under endless warranty.

One problem is that since the current "fix" for the HotShot is to disable it, asking the dealer to fix one that has had the fuse put in the ground line will likely result in disabling it. In the event that you do need to repair one that has the fuse in the ground line, you should look in the recycling yards for a working one and get your mechanic to change it, or change it yourself.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Jim, you certainly have a beautiful automobile and your pride of ownership shows! Question though, has GM ever removed any of your original equipment and failed to fix the problem?
As a matter of fact, I have a Gen I OnStar that I bought new with my car in October, 1997. Until sometime in the mid-2000's most cars had analog phones because of coverage issues with digital phones up to that time and the better performance of analog phones in mobile use. As of January 1, 2008, the FCC no longer required carriers to support analog cell phones, and on February 19 the last carriers cut off the service. GM cut service to OnStar users; I had bought a Garmin Nuvi 360 and terminated my OnStar service a few months earlier.

GM had offered retrofit OnStar to older cars, including the 1997 model year of my car, albeit not with the hands-free cell phone integrated with the car stereo system that I have with my Gen I OnStar, but these were analog phones and GM dropped the offer after the FTC announced the end of analog service. GM offered digital cell phone retrofits to some cars, but I think the age cutoff was the 2003 model year. So, my OnStar system was orphaned, and GM offers no solution for my model year.

I was very upset for awhile because I felt that GM could offer a digital cell phone for my car as easily as any other. I didn't understand why for quite some time. I heard some strange stuff from people on the phone about it; some of it is in my posts here on Caddyinfo. This tells me that nobody I talked to on the phone really had a clue as to why I couldn't keep my OnStar.

But, I did come around. In point of fact, I have done enough development of projects for teaching in the area of embedded processors to understand that to develop a new module for a network of processors like my car, you must have available all configurations of that network for development and testing. By 2006 or so, when GM had to make a decision, the "recipe" for the module configuration of the 1995-1999 E and K/G platforms was not likely running in any labs anywhere and probably had not been for years, and no one was an expert on it anymore, since it had *never* given any problems. This is important because the connection to the handset, microphone, and car stereo all go through the car's network as paketized digital signals, and the network also has functions of the key fob and OnStar capabilities such as honking your horn, flashing your lights, reading your position from your on-board GPS, etc. So, GM cannot release information to anyone that could aid in hacking into the phone system because of automobile security systems; someone who could do that could find and unlock the doors of any Cadillac or other car that has OnStar, for example. So, to do a retrofit, GM would have to reconstitute their laboratory for the 1996-1999 E/K/G Cadillacs' vehicle network. Since the number of retrofits that customers could be expected to buy would be only a few hundred, it never was a viable option. This is why the analog phone retrofit that they did offer did not integrate with the car's network, thus wasn't a hands-free system.

The reasons that GM didn't make a digital cell phone retrofit for my car was that it would have cost them tens of millions of dollars to develop, security prevented them from releasing specifications for third-party entrepreneurs to make one -- which would likley have caused problem in some or all cars in which it was used -- and very few customers would be willing to pay the $2,500 cost of a new phone; charging a break-even cost in the tens of thousands of dollars or more wasn't an option either because the number of takers would have been zero. In short, it was cheaper to just trade or buy a later model car than to upgrade the phone.

There is a third-party system out there called BlueStar that replaces an old OnStar system with a BlueTooth system that still integrates with the car stereo. That's a better solution than a car phone. I just may do that myself.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Normally washer fluid has some anti-freeze properties, but in your situation I would suggest simply changing to a windshield washer fluid with de-icer like this one: http://www.rainx.com/products/windshield_washer_fluids/de-icer.aspx or Prestone De-Icer.

Also, the automobile climate control continues to have defrost, and will clear ice or snow. The operation of the vehicle itself is unchanged.

What is it that you would like for Cadillac to do? The system as designed could not be fixed within the intellectual property and development restrictions available. I felt Cadillac was generous to offer any refund. I do not believe that the system is currently offered at all.

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Thanks to all on this forum. Couple of quick comments. I can understand technology advances and it is not expected for GM to update older cars just because of technology advances. I was caught in a similar situation like you when analog phones switched to digital. I didn't fault GM for the problem. Even though my car was only two years old, I absorbed the depreciation and traded to new Cadillac with the new technology. This expense was on me and it was no little expense. I complained not so I think I'm a understanding type of person. My point is that GM iscurrently installing this feature on new cars and they are not on recall. The part is currently available through JC Whitney for apprixumately $30. Other manufacturers currently offer the product. In my mind this means something else is involved in the problem which GM is not disclosing! To those who say I should justn add a good anti freeze to washer fluid, I respectfully disagree. Anyone run their dishwasher with just cold water? Heated water dissolves deposits on windsield a heck of a lot better. Here in the south we have love bugs at certain times of the year. Their concentrations are large enough that it can make the windshield impossible to see clearly through.

My vehicle is currently under full warranty period and this is not a change in technology problem. It is a defective part problem which GM is ignoring and hoping it will just go away. Maybe it will work but I think others will leave GM for manufacturers that stand behind their product. Having said that I have traded the car for a different brand which offers the feature and is comparable in features. This is after buying my last four cars from GM. I will join the ranks of those from the 80's who left GM over their owner loyalty or should I say lack of! May I add never to return! Best of luck to all on this board and hope you enjoy your vehicles.

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  • 2 months later...

My 2007 EXT went in for other recall issues and I did not want them to disconnect the heated windshield washer system. The dealer was nice about it but very firm about the potential liability of this part or the associated harness catching fire. They sited the possibility of not only my vehicle catching fire but that if parked next to other vehicles, would I want to be liable for other vehicles parked next to my inferno. This led me to ask if this problem could occur while the car was unattended. The answer I got was yes and if you park your car in your home garage you never know what could happen. Well with this scenario painted so vividly I buckled on my original conviction and allowed them to perform the extraction of the wire harness which will render the heated windshield washer system defunct.

First off I like to be told the truth and after some thought about this issue, once the key is off and the positive power is no longer available to this circuit ( the heated washer doesn't work unless the car is turn to the on position) there is no way the car is going to become an inferno. Second, I drive this truck in the Northeast, I have been on highways in ice storms where the windshield starts icing up from both sides of the windshield, the wiper blades start to cake up with ice and yes the defroster is on hi with the climate control up to max temp and the only way I was able to proceed was to press the little button creating heated wiper fluid. I was impressed that the system went through three discharges, the perfect amount to de-ice the windshield. I was not impressed with the lack of heated air from the defrost vent to the far left and right of the windshield. It would seem the form won over function with regard to the width of he defrost vent. So I figured that instead of redesigning the defrost vent, GM installed this fancy heated washer fluid system to compensate. OH and by the way, you don't travel in the Northeast without de-icer windshield washer fluid in the winter.

Now I have read through all this technical electrical stuff and with out posting my resume lets just say I could take this vehicle completely apart put it back together again as good as new. DC car electrical systems are not that complicated. Someone made a mistake in the design of the part or the related wiring. GM is responsible for integrating all the parts and subassemblies into the car. It is the failure of the department or departments at Cadillac responsible for the procurement and integration of this assemble.

The point is I bought a Cadillac. NO compromises. It is not acceptable to have a button on my dash that does nothing after it worked so well. It is so far away from the branding that represents Cadillac. Cadillac owners do not compromise. This is not a good solution to the problem.

GM giving me $100 dollars to have this none functioning assemble is almost embarrassing. $100 is what I tip the service guys each time I have the EXT serviced for a job well done. They are supposed to represent the best.

And I will think twice about using the expression "It's the Cadillac of all........." I guess I will have to say it the "Mercedes of all......" boy that almost turns my stomach.

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This thread started on June 21 and we are still seeing venting in September. Who among us understands that GM would not discontinue a feature if they had any feasible way whatsoever to fix it?

In post #8, Vnique asked whether this was a voluntary or Federally mandated recall. Since vehicle safety is a remote consideration, and vehicle fires are the reason for the recall, I think I can safely say that it doesn't matter. If GM didn't do a voluntary recall on a vehicle fire issue, it would become Federally mandated. Thus it is likely a voluntary recall, though.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Here is a possible solution to the heated windshield washer problem...

Let GM take out the one made by microheat...then "YOU" can install this one...if you really want the heated washer.

I am not recommending this be done...just posting it a possible option...

http://alphathermusa.com/heatedwash-AT-37GM.html

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Hmmm. The AlphaTherm offering looks like a GM-negotiated solution to me. Anybody have a read from GM Customer Relations regarding the AlphaTherm replacement unit?

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Hmmm. The AlphaTherm offering looks like a GM-negotiated solution to me. Anybody have a read from GM Customer Relations regarding the AlphaTherm replacement unit?

No idea about GM customer relations...but supposedly the Alpha Therm unit is a direct "PLUG N PLAY" unit for the ones GM is taking off.

Some of the guys on the "OTHER" board have already used them.

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Hmmm. The AlphaTherm offering looks like a GM-negotiated solution to me. Anybody have a read from GM Customer Relations regarding the AlphaTherm replacement unit?

No idea about GM customer relations...but supposedly the Alpha Therm unit is a direct "PLUG N PLAY" unit for the ones GM is taking off.

Some of the guys on the "OTHER" board have already used them.

There's your solution. If you've already taken the $100 from GM and had part of the harness removed, call AlphaTherm and ask them what to do, but I would get the connector at a recycling yard and put the wires back.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Well here's my take:

Every time an Auto Manufacturer adds a new accessory or any improvement, there is always a risk that they may find somewhere down the road that it is not performing as they had hoped or designed it. It is their duty to either inform the public and repair the problem or modify the accessory so it no longer poses a threat. In this case I would imagine that GM had so many things on their plate due to the economy, the health of the Company, and times in general, they decided that it was not worth spending the capitol to redesign the system that was a non essential one in the first place. Now I am not saying it is not nice to have the heated fluid in the windshield washer, but certainly it is no great inconvenience to anybody if it were disabled. I live in the Northeast and have gone through many severe winters without this system. Just add some W.W. antifreeze and you're good to go! I am sure down the road someone will probably redesign one that is safer, but I thought the fact that the Company did show good faith in reimbursing customers the $100.00 was at least a step in the right direction. I do not have this system in any of my 4 GM vehicles, and if I was a "victim" of this recall I might feel a wee bit upset, but I would be happy the Company did something! Remember, not every new accessory is going to work 100%. This is just reality, so take the 100 bucks and have a good dinner with your wife. Anyway, that's my .02 cents.

Regards,

twocoltbob

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