GM’s Latest Recall Shows It Still Sells A Lot Of Old-School American Vans

The classic American style of full-size vans may be on their way out, largely replaced by European models like the Mercedes Sprinter and Ford Transit. But US automakers have still sold a lot of them in recent years, as this latest recall goes to show.

According to a notice released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, General Motors is recalling 207,483 of its big vans in the US for a problem with water leaking into electrical components.

The recall affects the 2014-17 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana – two of the last such models of this type still on the market. It only affects those fitted with power windows, moisture leaking into which could cause “high electrical resistance” and potentially lead to a fire.

Fortunately the fix will be as simple as replacing the driver’s side window switch. The manufacturer has yet to define a schedule for the recall. But once it does, owners can expect to receive notification on when they can bring their vans into their local dealers for service.

Last year, Chevy sold nearly 70,000 Express vans in the US, and GMC another 30,000 Savanas. That makes the Express the second best-selling full-size van in the US, behind only the Ford Transit and well ahead of the older Ford E-Series (Econoline) and the Euro-style Ram ProMaster. Even the Savana outsold the Mercedes Sprinter and Nissan NV last year. Not bad, considering that GM has been making these models, virtually unchanged, since 1995. That’s over two decades now.

GM doesn’t offer a European-style model to compete with its big vans in the US. But it does sell the smaller City Express, based on the same underpinnings as the Nissan NV200.

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  • Michael_66589

    So good sales only shows how lazy are GM, Ford and FCA not making new fresh version of that vans from many years. With new model based on Silverado platform, with new V6 and V8 engines, new technology taken straight from pickups and full size suvs they will win big profit. Not everybody want and need Ford Transit or Mercedes Sprinter.

    • Harry Nimmergut

      New versions would have lower profit margins for GM. I’d much rather they keep the old vans around and use some of those profits to redesign other types of vehicles, maybe even keeping sedans in the lineup.

    • ChrisInIL

      If they had new chassis, new engines, they would still be giant boxes on wheels (which is what it’s supposed to be).

      Yeah, GM, Ford, and FCA aren’t lazy, they’re smart. They have almost half the US market in vans because they sell what people want.

    • Status

      The Silverado chassis (not platform) cannot be adapted for van use, and no, the Tahoe/Suburban are cannot be made into a new Express.

      GM’s vans, and like most vans, have engines that are located lower and further ahead than of the Silverado. Secondly, the vans have a lower floor height, and (obviously) more cargo area.

      • That must be one reason holding Chevy back – the need to develop a new platform. I imagine that the engine/transmission and the rest will be the same?


    I bought a Promaster…because serious headroom and you sit higher. The V-6 has plenty of pep & hauling capability.And it converts from work truck into a spacious camper…and back, without having to commit too much time or money.

  • Ken Lyns

    Delphi garbage strikes again.

  • smartacus

    Someone notify
    Bob Wells of

  • The fact is that those old vans – which do have new engines and transmissions – are a gas to drive and are as reliable as hell. Plus unlike the Ford and others they have good clearance and a solid ladder and frame suspension which is what I need because I go off road a lot. The body is unchanged but as I noted they have new engines – (6 cylinder/2.8L diesel and new transmissions, stabilitrack came in in the last five years, and now they have new safety features).

    A major downside is that there’s only one height option and improved MPG is a must when Chevy comes around to making a new van. There’s a reason they’re still selling well – these are solid vans!

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