General Motors Co. has announced that it is recalling nearly 340,000 2011-2012 model Chevrolet Cruze cars worldwide because of a possible loss in brake assist in the vehicles. The Detroit News reports that GM has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about 27 alleged low-speed crashes involving vehicles that are being recalled. But, so far, no injuries have been linked to this brake defect. The issue is a concern especially after a cold start of the engine. A majority of the crashes reported in this case involved incidents in parking lots or when drivers were backing out of driveways.
Brake Defects Could Cause Crashes
According to GM, owners of these vehicles should be aware that they may need to use additional pressure on the brake pedal to stop a vehicle. GM has also stated that the brake problem is found in Cruzes with the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and a 6T40 front-wheel drive automatic transmission. The recall covers 292,879 Cruze vehicles in the United States, 44,789 in Canada and 641 in Israel. The vehicles involved in this recall were manufactured at GM’s Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio.
Vehicles built at other plants are not included in this recall. GM first became aware of a report last summer and initiated an internal investigation after more reports piled up. The auto manufacturer issued a technical service bulletin to address the issue and made a design change in the 2013 model that they say will prevent the brake problems. When this recall begins, dealers will replace a microswitch in the power brake vacuum pipe assembly to correct the issue.
Auto Product Liability Issues
All types of brake defects can have serious consequences for vehicle occupants. When the brakes on a vehicle fail to function properly, drivers have a difficult time controlling or stopping the vehicle in time to avoid a collision. Injured victims in such cases can file an auto product liability claim against the automaker seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
In such cases, it is also important that the vehicle is preserved for a thorough inspection by an expert who can examine it for defects, malfunctions and other evidence. The best auto defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.