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Old 07-26-2007, 10:28 AM   #1
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Exclamation Hitch Failure on 2002 GM 2500 Vehicles

I found this on the Good Sam website. It didn't look like it has been posted here before:

Quote:
NHTSA Action Number: PE07025 Make/Models: Model/Build Years: Chevrolet/Avalanche 2500 2002 Chevrolet/Silverado 2500 2002 Chevrolet/Suburban 2500 2002 GMC/Sierra 2500 2002 GMC/Sierra 2500 HD 2002 GMC/Yukon XL 2500 2002 Manufacturer: General Motors Corp. Component: Trailer Hitches

Summary:

ODI has received four consumer complaints alleging the factory installed (OEM) trailer hitch receiver failed. Two owner reports allege bending/deformation of the pin box area while towing. One owner report alleges welds failed around the pin box area and another report alleges complete weld failure of the pin box leading to a full separation of the trailer from the tow vehicle. In this last report, the trailer safety chain and emergency brakes were not activated as both safety features were still attached to the two openings in the pin box that broke off with the trailer. No crash or injury resulted as the vehicle and trailer were maneuvering in a storage lot. An investigation is being opened for further assessment and study of this issue.

For more information, owners may contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327 4236 or visit www.safercar.gov.
Randy
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:45 AM   #2
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Hmm, hope that doesn't eventually apply to my 2002 GMC 1500.
Thanks for the info.
Dave
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:48 AM   #3
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We tow our Aistream with a 2005 Suburban 2500. The factory hitch receiver developed cracks (see photo) at the welds. It scared us, and I replaced the receiver with an aftermarket Class V. I had intended to take this matter up with GM, but have just about decided that it's not worth my time as all they would do is replace the factory receiver with another piece of Class III junk.

After this experience, I have decided that in the future I will put a Class V receiver on each new tow vehicle that I buy. I will keep the OEM junk to put back on when I trade or sell the TV. Our beloved Lucy is well worth $300 for an adequate hitch receiver.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:49 AM   #4
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Opp, I forgot to post the photo.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:40 AM   #5
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Visual Inspection Recommended

Dave and other GM folks. This safety issue described above is worth a few minutes of your time. We have a 2002 Tahoe, a 2003 Tahoe and a 2005 Yukon. All have the same hitch and all three have cracked the weldment between the 2 inch receiver tube and the main transverse tube that transfers the load to the two side frame members. These cracks are readily visible. We tow a 5000# GVW 22ft International. These hitches look the same as what is used on the 2500 series trucks/SUVs.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:44 AM   #6
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They are the same on GM 2500's. We have the '05 Suburban 2500 and an '04 Tahoe. The OEM hitch receivers are the same.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:09 PM   #7
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This receiver issue really makes one wonder how much the vehicle designers know "or don't know" about the science of towing.

If GM had taken the time to actually hook up a TT with a WDH to one of those totally inadequate, lame brain excuses for a piece of hardware do you think they would have put 100's of thousands of them on vehicles???

It is easy to understand why SAE is getting into the tow rating analysis game. Relying on auto makers alone is not enough.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:10 PM   #8
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Thanks all, I'll check into it.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:25 PM   #9
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Upon rereading the original post, I remembered an additional item reagrding this issue. After my scare with the cracked welds on the receiver, I decided that I needed to attach the trailer emergency brake cable to the bumper of the TV and not to the hitch as I had always done. If the hitch box were to separate, the cable would go with it and the emergency trailer brakes would not activate.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:32 PM   #10
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I just replaced my factory receiver with class V that I purchased from eTrailer.com. For about $225 and less than an hour install time, I feel much better towing with the new one. I never liked the design of the factory hitch – single sided welding, about an inch of drop between the cross tube and the receiver, with relatively thin steel holding the receiver in place. My trailer hitch wobbled in the receiver quit a bit which I did not like to see. Just for comparison, I would guess that the new receiver weighted 10+ pounds more than the factory unit – much heavier steel is used all around.

Some advice, if you do change the receiver: Measure the height before and after installation. My new hitch is 1 inch higher than the old, requiring adjustment to the shank and the ball mount.

Rick
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:44 PM   #11
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Good Timing!

Great timing for your posts. I'm going out to my 1500 Suburban to check the welds. It just so happens I'm sitting in the waiting room of a Chevy dealer in Baltimore with my 1994 Suburban having them do a repair to my windshield wiper under NHTSA recall #03023 98V150001. It took heaven and earth to get them to honor this. The recall info is on the NHTSA website. Thanks for this headsup on the tow hitch!
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:45 PM   #12
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Interesting that this seems to be tied to the 2500 - with no mention of the 3500. Is there a difference in the two hitches???
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker
Interesting that this seems to be tied to the 2500 - with no mention of the 3500. Is there a difference in the two hitches???
I belive they were all the same until the '07's came out. The 2007 3500's come with the new receiver that has a 2.5" receiver and uses an adapter for 2" hitch bars.
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:48 PM   #14
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Those of you who have had problems with your hitch - At what mileage did you notice it, and if you can, give me some idea how much towing your vehicle has done.
Mine has had minimal towing, I inspected it today, the welds look like new still. The truck has 72K miles. I guess I'll be doing a periodic inspection.
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