GM recalls over 3.4M pickups, SUVs to fix brake issues | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

GM recalls over 3.4M pickups, SUVs to fix brake issues

Associated Press
1658668_web1_1658668-1915866772e2468690f37b2d3fb347db
AP
Under pressure from the federal government, General Motors is recalling more than 3.4 million big pickup trucks and SUVs in the United States to fix a brake problem.

DETROIT — Under pressure from the federal government, General Motors is recalling more than 3.4 million big pickup trucks and SUVs in the United States to fix a brake problem.

The recall covers the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups from the 2014 through 2018 model years. Also included are the Cadillac Escalade from 2015 to 2017, and the GMC Yukon and Chevy Suburban and Tahoe from 2015 through 2018.

GM says that as it ages, the pump in the power-assist brakes can put out less vacuum power than needed, increasing stopping distance and the risk of a crash.

The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating the problem in November of last year.

Dealers will recalibrate the electronic brake control module at no cost to customers. Owners were to be notified starting Sept. 6.

NHTSA, the government’s road safety agency, began investigating the problem last year after getting 111 complaints from owners of poor brake performance. At the time the agency had nine reports of crashes that had caused two injuries.

GM says the problems occur rarely and mostly at low speeds like driving in parking lots. Even with the problem, the brakes “continue to function and exceed the requirements of the appropriate federal motor vehicle safety standard,” GM spokesman Dan Flores said.

The vacuum pump is lubricated with engine oil that flows through a filter screen. In some of the trucks, oil sludge or other debris can clog the screen, reducing oil flow and causing the pump’s vacuum output to drop, Flores said.

The trucks, he said, have a secondary power brake assist system which works when there are problems with the main system, but it is limited at lower speeds. The reprogramming will activate the secondary system faster.

GM isn’t replacing the pumps because pump failures are rare and already are covered by an extended warranty, Flores said. “This remedy will improve brake performance in any situation where brake vacuum drops,” he said.

The recall comes 10 months after NHTSA opened its investigation. Asked why it took that long to do the recall, Flores said only that the company has been cooperating with NHTSA and providing data.

Drivers could feel a vibration in the brake pedal or a change in pressure required to push the brake pedal if their trucks have the vacuum pump problem. If the problem surfaces, owners will see a message on their dashboard telling them to service the brake assist system, Flores said.

Although the recall is a large number, the cost will not be high enough for GM to report it to the Securities and Exchange commission as an event that will materially affect earnings, Flores said. He said he didn’t know the cost.

Categories: Business | News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.