GM Recalls Over 3.46 Million Pickup Trucks, SUVs to Fix Brake Issue

By The Associated Press

General Motors is recalling more than 3.46 million pickup trucks and SUVs after reports of crashes and injuries relating to a brake issue.

The company said it received 113 reports of crashes and 13 injuries in the United States and Canada.

GM, which is home to notable brands such as Buick, Cadillac, GMC, and Chevrolet, is recalling 3.46 million vehicles in the United States. In June, the company recalled 310,000 sold in Canada.

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

Chevrolet pickup trucks sit in a parking lot outside the GM Fort Wayne Assembly Plant on May 30, 2019 in Roanoke, Indiana. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

The Detroit-based company said the problem is that a vacuum pump in the power-assist brakes could decrease in power over time, requiring more effort to come to a stop, which can lead to a higher risk of a crash.

The recall in the United States comes 10 months after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation last year and two months after the recall in Canada. The agency said it received 111 reports of hard brake pedal effort accompanied by extended stopping distance involving certain models made by General Motors. Nine cases out of the 111 resulted in crashes.

GM said the problem is rare and occurs mostly at low speeds, such as driving in parking lots. GM spokesman Dan Flores told the Associated Press that despite the issues, the brakes “continue to function and exceed the requirements of the appropriate federal motor vehicle safety standard.”

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.

General Motors cars are displayed at the Sierra Chevrolet auto dealership in Monrovia, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Flores said the trucks have a secondary power brake assist system which activates when the main system malfunctions, but it is limited at lower speeds. A reprogramming will make the secondary system activate faster.

He added that GM won’t replace the pumps because the part’s failures are rare and are already covered by an extended warranty. “This remedy will improve brake performance in any situation where brake vacuum drops,” he said, adding that dealerships will reprogram the Electronic Brake Control Module for free.

The company also said it will notify vehicle owners who are affected by the recall.  No notification schedule has been released at this time.

GM’s number for this recall is N192268490.

Owners may also contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-630-2438, Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006, or GMC customer service at 1-800-462-8782.

NTD Staff writer Guanqing Pan contributed to this report.