Car News

Chevrolet Recalls Subcompact Models for Faulty Warning Chime

General Motors' Chevrolet brand is recalling nearly 1,900 examples of its Sonic, Trax and Spark models to fix a warning chime that may fail to remind the driver of a key left in the ignition, or a seatbelt left unbuckled.

The recall covers cars previously recalled for the same problem; GM and Transport Canada say this smaller number of cars, sold as 2013 through 2016 models, must be inspected and repaired again.

This is a software matter, and its cause is apparently an unexpected consequence of performing a very particular sequence of actions not unlike a cheat code that unlocks secret features in a video game. Transport Canada says the fault tends to come up when the driver turns off the engine while the headlights or hazard flashers are on and then restarts the car while the radio is going through its "sleep" sequence, whatever that is. Rare as we imagine this scenario is, it must be common enough that GM is worried it will increase the risk of car theft due to keys left in the ignition, or drivers unwittingly not doing up their seatbelts.

As with the previous recall, dealers are reprogramming the radios in the affected cars with updated software.