Around 3.5 million vehicles need to visit the dealer.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), General Motors is recalling almost 3.5 million pickup trucks and SUVs because their brakes may suddenly become difficult to use. So far, 13 related injuries and 113 crashes have been linked to the issue and involve some of GM's best selling 2014-2018 vehicles, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, and the Cadillac Escalade. The recall is to address an issue in the vacuum pump for the power-assisted brake system.
If the system fails, the driver can find themselves suddenly having to exert a lot more pressure to get the desired effect from the brake pedal. The NHTSA also points out that means drivers could find it takes a further distance to stop, which could lead to a crash. The association also says the problem is more likely to show itself at lower speeds in places like car parking lots and at pedestrian crossings.
In a statement, GM says that drivers could have irregularities show before the brakes malfunction, such as the brake pedal vibrating, a change in the pressure needed to depress the brake pedal, the "Service Brake Assist" light showing on the dashboard, or a ticking noise emanating from the engine compartment.
The fix is for the electronic brake control module to be reprogrammed to alter how the system uses the hydraulic brake boost assist function when vacuum assist is depleted. According to GM, the vacuum assist pump is lubricated using the engine oil after passing through a filter screen. Over time, like any filter, debris can build up on the filter screen. GM tells the NHTSA that vehicles built after 2018 use a different pump design.
Meanwhile, the Center for Auto Safety and Consumer Reports is asking awkward questions of GM as a recall was issued in June for Canadian owners while American owners are getting one three months later.