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GM Resists Recall of Trucks Prone to Rusted Brake Lines

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Tina Robinson3 years ago

Are rusted brake lines in older vehicles an issue of owner maintenance or safety? That question is at the heart of the debate as safety and policy advocates continue to urge General Motors to recall older model trucks that are prone to brake line rust.

Subaru Recall Undermines GM Argument

In a recent article posted by the National Legal Policy Center (NLPC), the group notes that a recent recall issued by Subaru affecting model year vehicles ranging from 2005-2013 for a similar issue undermines GM’s argument that brake line rust is a cost associated with normal wear and tear. For years, GM has insisted that brake line rust in its older trucks is a “maintenance” issue and not a reason to conduct a recall.

Four years ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into GM trucks made between 1993 and 2003. Owners have long complained about rusted brake lines which can pose a serious risk of crashing under the right circumstances. The NLPC also notes that based on hundreds of complaints in the NHTSA database, there is evidence that the issue persists in vehicles with model years 2004-2007.

Why Won’t GM Issue a Recall?

Ever since the GM ignition recall first began in February of this year, the automaker has been under intense scrutiny. After it was learned that the company knew of defects with the ignition switches in the Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion for more than a decade, GM began an extensive safety review that has resulted in nearly 30 million vehicles recalled this year.

However, the NLPC points out that an analysis of the types of recalls the automaker has issued tends to be associated with low cost repairs. The brake line rust issue, on the other hand, is estimated by GM to cost about $500 per vehicle.


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