General Motors is issuing a vehicle defect recall for an additional 14,620 trucks and SUVs because their brakes may suddenly become difficult to use. According to Consumer Reports, the recall addresses a flaw with the power brake-assist system, which reduces the amount of effort a driver needs to exert to stop the vehicle. If the system fails, he or she may find that the brake pedal takes much more effort to push.
Drivers may also find that it takes more distance for their vehicle to stop, which could lead to a collision, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says. The problem is more likely to occur at low speeds such as when maneuvering in a parking lot or slowing down for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. GM said in a statement that drivers may observe some other issues immediately before the brake pedals malfunction such as a vibrating brake pedal, a change in the amount of pressure that is required to depress the brake pedal and a ticking sound coming from the engine compartment. They may also get a “Service Brake Assist” message on the dashboard instrument cluster.
Expansion of Existing Recall
This announcement is essentially an expansion of an earlier recall of 3.5 million vehicles. It includes additional models including the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs and Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Yukon 1500 pickup trucks from the 2018 model year that are equipped with a 5.3L or 6.2L V8 engine. GM says these vehicles should’ve been part of the original recall last September. The need for this expanded recall was found after the automaker got complaints of brake problems on vehicles that had not been recalled for the issue.
NHTSA launched a probe into GM brake problems back in November 2018 after it received 111 complaints from drivers. At the time, 113 crashes and 13 injuries were reported due to this problem. No new incidents have been reported since. In the vehicles recalled then and now, the power brake vacuum pump may generate less pressure over time because of the buildup of debris. Because of this, the output for the power braking system may decrease. When the recall begins, dealers will update software in vehicles at no charge to owners.
Auto Product Liability Issues
If you have been injured in a crash, which you suspect was caused by a vehicle defect, please preserve the vehicle in its current condition so that an expert can thoroughly examine it for defects, malfunctions and other evidence. You may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. If you have lost a loved one to a defective auto, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.