General Motors (GM) is recalling an estimated 292,879 Chevrolet Cruze vehicles because an internal “brake assist” function may be faulty, requiring the driver to use extra effort when pressing the brake pedal, which has led to a number of auto accidents.
The Chevrolet Cruze recall (PDF) was announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on August 14, and includes the 2011 and 2012 “P” models equipped with 1.4L dual overhead cam gasoline turbo engines and 6T40 FWD automatic transmissions.
The affected 2011 models were manufactured from May 10, 2010 through June 20, 2011, and the 2012 models have manufacture dates of April 6, 2011 through August 7, 2012.
The recalled Chevy Cruze vehicles have an Electric Vacuum Pump (EVP) system which provides a supplemental vacuum to allow for a “brake assist” function. If the EVP system fails it will require the driver to use a greater amount of force to press the brake pedal in, causing a more delayed braking time than the driver is used to. This may cause an increase accidents and injuries.
To date, at least 27 reports have been received involving accidents that may be related to the malfunctioning EVP systems, with most involving low speed crashes in driveways and parking lots. The reports do not indicate whether any injuries resulted from the collisions.
The company began investigating the problem in July 2012 after a complaint.
GM is currently working with the National Highway Traffic Administration to contact dealers and owners to schedule a repair that will consist of removing and replacing a microswitch in the power brake vacuum pipe assembly. Owners of the affected vehicles will be also be reimbursed by GM for repairs.