Following a 10 month investigation, federal highway safety officials have announced a recall that impacts nearly 3.5 million Chevrolet Silverado, Chevy Tahoe, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra and GMC Yokon vehicles, due to brake problems that have been linked to at least 113 accidents and more than a dozen injuries.
The General Motors recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on September 10, after an investigation determined the vacuum pump in certain SUV and pickup trucks braking systems may decrease over time, requiring additional braking force and longer distances to stop, which may increase the risk of an auto accident.
The recalled GM vehicles are equipped with a powered brake assist system, which are designed to reduce the amount of effort a driver needs to bring the vehicle to a stop. The braking assist system is comprised of a vacuum pump which has been found to wear out over time and decrease braking assist.
According to the auto maker, if the vacuum pump wears prematurely the amount of vacuum by the pump may significantly decrease. Drivers may not recognize additional force is needed to stop the vehicle, which could result in a crash and injuries.
A vibration in the brake pedal, a change in the amount of pressure needed to depress the brake pedal, a ticking noise coming from the engine department, or the “Service Brake Assist” light illuminating on the dashboard instrument cluster may all be signs of vacuum pump failure, GM warns.
General Motors has been aware of the issue for over more than a year, having already issued a recall for certain vehicles in Canada in June 2019.
The NHTSA opened a separate investigation into the issue in December 2018, after receiving more than 100 reported crashes due to braking inability, resulting in several injuries. To date, GM and NHTSA officials are aware of 113 crashes and 13 related injuries.
The recall includes about 3,456,111 model year 2015 through 2017 Cadillac Escalade vehicles, 2014 through 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2500, and 3500 series trucks, 2015 through 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe vehicles, 2014 through 2018 GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 series trucks, and 2015 through 2018 GMC Yukon SUV’s.
The vehicles were manufactured by General Motors of Warren, Michigan. They were distributed for sale throughout the United States to licensed dealers.
To date, General Motors has not yet provided a notifications schedule, but plans to notify owners on how to schedule a repair appointment at their local dealer, who will be instructed to reprogram the Electronic Brake Control Module, free of charge.
Customers with additional questions are encouraged to contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-630-2438, Cadillac customer service at 1-800-458-8006, or GMC customer service at 1-800-462-8782.