GM trucks losing another fuel economy feature due to chip shortage

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General Motors will begin building some full-size trucks without a key fuel-saving feature next week due to the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage affecting the industry.

The Chevrolet Tahoe is built at GM’s Arlington, Tex., factory. (GM)

The start/stop function shuts off the engine when the vehicle is not in motion and automatically restarts it when the driver takes their foot off of the Brake. It is common on many internal combustion engine-powered vehicles today.

A GM spokesman told The Detroit Free Press that the change would result in a 1 to 2 mpg drop in the combined fuel economy rating for the trucks and that the price would be reduced by $50.

The change affects certain trim levels of the following 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8-powered models with 10-speed automatic transmissions, including Base, High Country, Denali and AT4:

Certain trims, including Base, High Country, Denali and AT4, 

  • Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban
  • GMC Yukon and Yukon XL
  • Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • GMC Sierra 1500

In March, the shortage led GM to remove a cylinder deactivation feature from the 5.3-liter V8 that is also aimed at improving fuel economy by cutting fuel to some cylinders under light loads and said it wouldn't return until the 2022 model year trucks enter production later this year.

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GM has been building some trucks without all of the necessary chips and storing them until supplies become available. It is now adding several stalls at the Fort Wayne Assembly plant in Indiana that produces the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 to speed up completion of the key models.

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