Brake Defect Forces GM Recall of 3.5 Million SUVs and Trucks

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General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) notified the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Tuesday that it will recall 3.456 million vehicles to fix a defective vacuum pump in the vehicles’ braking system. GM estimates that about 2% of the vehicles being recalled will have the defect.

According to GM, the amount of vacuum created by the pump may diminish over time. When that happens, the brake assist function declines, making it harder to push the brake pedal, extending the distance it takes to stop the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash.

GM did not indicate whether the defect has caused any crashes or injuries, although the NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation had received 111 reports of “hard brake pedal effort accompanied by extended stopping distance” in some vehicles. The NHTSA said that nine of the reported incidents involved damage resulting from collisions.

The vehicles’ braking system includes a hydraulic power brake assist system that is activated when the pump’s vacuum drops but the assistance provided at low speeds is “limited.” GM noted that the vehicles’ braking system “remain[s] functional and exceed” the federal standard.

The company will notify owners of the vehicles to take them into a dealer where the electronic brake module will be recalibrated to improve the level of assistance provided by the hydraulic backup system, particularly at low speeds.

Here are the model years and numbers of vehicles affected by this recall:

  • 2015 through 2017 Cadillac Escalade: 130,939 vehicles
  • 2014 through 2018 Chevrolet Silverado: 1.77 million vehicles
  • 2015 through 2018 Chevrolet Suburban: 202,637 vehicles
  • 2014 through 2018 GMC Sierra: 696,097 vehicles
  • 2015 through 2018 GMC Yukon: 296,748 vehicles
  • 2015 through 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe: 356,043 vehicles


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