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Policy Group Urges GM to Recall Vehicles with Brake Issues

Tina Robinson2 years ago

One group is putting pressure on General Motors to issue a recall for 6 million older trucks and SUVs. According to the Detroit News, the National Legal and Policy Center has urged GM to recall these vehicles that have braking issues caused by brake-line rust.

Longest-Running NHTSA Investigation

In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into 1.77 million GM trucks and SUVs including the 1999-2003 Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Sierra, GMC Tahoe, and GMC Yukon. The investigation focused on vehicles sold in states known as “salt-belt” states – those where roads are salted in the winter. The salt is believed to increase brake-line rust and result in braking problems in those vehicles.

The investigation was upgraded in January of 2011 to an engineering inquiry where it has been pending ever since. In the meantime, GM responded by creating a brake-line replacement kit that costs about $500. A spokesman for GM, Alan Adler, noted that brake-line wear is something the company urges owners to have inspected frequently and is a maintenance issue. Adler also noted the vehicles involved “are long out of factory warranty.”

NHTSA said that in 2011 the agency had received 890 complaints of braking issues; 761 of those complaints came from salt-belt states. About one-quarter of complaints said the brake failure occurred without warning. At least 26 of the incidents were believed to be factors in resulting crashes.

Massive GM Recalls

If GM were to decide to issue a recall for the brake problems, it would add to the already 7 million vehicles recalled by the company this year. Most notably is the roughly 2.6 million older compact cars recalled due to faulty ignition switches. The GM ignition recall has prompted numerous investigations and inquiries into why the automaker delayed recalling the dangerous vehicles for over a decade.

GM has acknowledged 13 deaths that resulted from the defective switches which can be pushed out of the “on” position while running. The result is lost power, brake failure, airbag failure and other steering defects that some say has caused hundreds of injuries.

Possible GM Compensation Fund

Victims and their families have been lobbying for a GM fund that could be used to compensate those injured or killed in accidents involving the recalled vehicles. In April, GM retained the services of attorney Ken Feinberg to help the company explore options in that regard. 


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