WASHINGTON - General Motors is recalling more than 500,000 light trucks so dealers can disable features that were not permitted in the vehicles under federal safety regulations.
The trucks have devices, called mechanical overrides, which permit the key to be removed from the ignition with the shifter in a position other than park and allow the transmission to be shifted out of park with the ignition in the off position.
But federal antitheft rules, administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, authorize the overrides only in vehicles with locking steering columns.
GM installed them on some trucks without locking steering columns. The affected models are the 2002-03 Chevrolet TrailBlazer and TrailBlazer EXT, GMC Envoy and Envoy XL and Oldsmobile Bravada, plus the 2003 Hummer H2.
The overrides are useful because they permit the movement or towing of a vehicle with a dead battery or other power failure, NHTSA says.
NHTSA listed GM plans to disable the unauthorized overrides in its monthly report on safety recalls.