GM is recalling 3.5 million trucks and SUVs in America due to potentially faulty brakes.
At issue is the vacuum pump which helps braking action. According to the NHTSA, “vehicles may experience brake boost failure, which would require increased brake pedal effort, leading to a hard brake pedal feel, and potentially increased stopping distance.”
An investigation was opened back in November of last year after reports of 9 crashes resulting in two injuries. The investigation continued into July when it became clear there was a larger issue at play.
GM reports that the vacuum pump is lubricated by engine oil, and that sometimes debris can get caught in the pump filter. This will cause the vacuum pump to lose effectiveness over time, decreasing in power until it just doesn't want to work at all.
In total, 113 accidents and 13 injuries have been discovered as a result of this problem.
Affected vehicles are 2014 to 2018 model year vehicles, including the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Suburban, and GMC Yukon.
Dealers will fix the issue by reprogramming the electronic brake control model to improve hydraulic brake boost assist when the system detects vacuum assist is depleted.
A further 310,000 vehicles in Canada were already recalled last June for the same issue. It seems that the Canadian authorities are faster to investigate than the NHTSA.
GM also announced two smaller recalls on Wednesday. The first is 177,000 Chevy Malibus built for the 2018 model year with a 1.5-L 4-cylinder turbo engine. An error in the engine control module could result in the fuel injectors turning off, which will obviously result in loss of engine power and/or engine stall.
A further 91,000 Chevy Express and GMC Savannas built in 2019 are also getting recalled due to the seatbelt unfastened warning light not blinking for the federally prescribed 5 seconds. Expect GM to start contacting owners to bring their vehicles in for repairs shortly.