General Motors issues another round of recalls for brake assist system

Pleasanton, CA – November 25, 2020 – General Motors (NYSE:GM) has recalled 14,620 vehicles that operate with either 5.3L or 6.2L V8 engines. In each case, the  power of the mechanical vacuum pump  – which helps the engine with several key functions, including braking – may decrease. This may negatively affect the brake assist system. The recall includes:

  • 2018  Cadillac Escalade sedans
  • 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trucks
  • 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs
  • 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks
  • 2018 GMC Yukon SUVs

Recall summary  

Among other functions, the mechanical vacuum pump provides power to the brake assist system. Due to a design error that was not addressed during a previous recall for the same issue last year, “the output” of the pump can drop over time, making the power brake assist system less effective.

There are several factors that alert the driver to the brake assist issue:

  • The brake pedal may vibrate when the driver applies the brakes
  • Braking requires more effort
  • A ticking sound is emitted from the engine compartment when the brakes are applied
  • The driver may see a “Service Brake” message pop up on the dash

Risks 

If the brake assist is not operating correctly, the driver must press on the brake pedal with more effort and depress it further to be able to stop the vehicle.

This change in braking ability increases the risk of a crash. Drivers may not be able to brake quickly enough to slow or stop the vehicle. GM notes that the problem is more apparent at low speeds when a driver applies soft pressure to the brakes.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to inspect the Electronic Brake Control Module and reprogram the system. The recall free of charge and began on November 16.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 14,000 vehicles are included in this General Motors recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydGeneral Motors issues another round of recalls for brake assist system

General Motors recalls SUVs for blocked fuel pump nozzle

Laguna Hills, CA – November 16, 2020 – General Motors (GM) (NYSE: GM) has recalled 2,781 midsize SUVs which may have a blocked fuel pump nozzle that could stall the vehicle. The recall includes:

  • 2020 Buick Enclave
  • 2020 Cadillac XT5 and Cadillac XT6
  • 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2020 GMC Acadia

and concerns the fuel tank pump module (MODULE – F/TNK F/PMP, #84702674).

Recall summary  

The issue stems from the fuel pump, which supplies the vehicle’s engine with the gasoline it needs to run. A tube inside the fuel pump may be blocked by burrs left over from the manufacturing process. This could keep fuel from getting to the engine, particularly if the gas tank is already running low. If the engine is starved of fuel, the car could unexpectedly stall while driving.

Risks

A car that stalls in moving traffic, especially at high speeds, can get hit from behind as other drivers may not have enough time to react. Even if the driver safely gets to the shoulder, they are still at risk of being hit. This raises the risk of injuries or death for everyone involved.

For information on what to do if your car stalls, please see this article.

The repair

Owners will be notified about the recall by mail starting on November 30. GM will replace the fuel pump module for free, but this service is not yet available. In the meantime, owners who are not comfortable driving their recalled car may be eligible for courtesy transportation through their vehicle’s warranty.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 2,700 vehicles are part of this GM recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandGeneral Motors recalls SUVs for blocked fuel pump nozzle

Excess glue caused problems in GM trucks

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 20, 2019 – General Motors LLC is recalling certain 2019-2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks. The B+ battery positive cable rings may have an excess of glue, increasing the likelihood of an intermittent electrical connection

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 350,371.

The Defect

While driving the vehicle, the glue may soften so that the nut that attaches the battery cable to the alternator loosens, causing an intermittent electrical connection. A bad connection could cause the vehicle stall and also cause arcing, which could generate enough heat to start a fire. The defect was caused by an excess of glue that should have been removed from around the B+ battery cable rings during the supplier’s assembly process. The excess glue resulted in glue contamination.

Timeline of Events

General Motors’ Canadian Brand Quality Manage found a case where a 2019 GMC Sierra stalled because it was missing the nut that secures the B+ cable to the alternator stud. On August 20, 2019, the Brand Quality Manager submitted a report to General Motors’ Speak Up For Safety (SUFS) program. GM opened an investigation on September 10, 2019. The investigation found warranty reports of related field incidents. Between September and November, GM experts analyzed parts to determine the cause of the defect and conducted a torque-curve study. Field data analysis was completed November 25, 2019, finding one case of a related fire.

On December 5, 2019, General Motors’ Safety and Field Action Decision Authority decided to conduct a safety recall.

The Solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified and told to take their vehicles to a certified General Motors dealer for repairs, free of charge. Dealers will use a black light to inspect for glue and other contaminants at the B+ cable attachment alternator. Dealers may clean the connection and then reattach the B+ cable connection. If any damage has occurred to the alternator, cable or nut will replace the damaged parts. Secondary black light inspection has been implemented in production to catch the defect moving forward. Secondary inspections began November 14, 2019 at General Motors’ Fort Wayne plant and November 22, 2019 at their Silao plant.

Dealers will be notified of the recall beginning on December 12, 2019, while owners will be notified on January 27, 2020.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit motorsafety.org.

Sean ReyesExcess glue caused problems in GM trucks

General Motors trucks recalled for a software error

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 20, 2019 – General Motors LLC is recalling certain 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Cadillac CT6, and GMC Sierra 1500 vehicles. The Electronic Brake Control Module (EBCM) may have a software error that could disable the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Antilock Brake System (ABS).

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 463,995.

The Defect

The affected vehicles have a software defect in the EBCM that will disable the ESC and ABS for a single ignition cycle. In situations where the ABS and ESC are disabled, the vehicle diagnostic’s telltale lamps won’t light up, leaving the driver unaware of the problem. Driving without knowledge of a defective ABS or ESC may increase the risk of a crash. In addition, the lack of warning of a defect puts the vehicles out of compliance with S5.3 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 126 and S5.1 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 135.

According to General Motors, an estimated one percent of the total vehicles for each model are affected.

Timeline of Events

On November 15, 2019, General Motors’ EBCM supplier, ZF TRW, informed the company that they had found a software error while investigating a related product. On December 5, 2019, General Motors’ Safety and Field Decision Authority decided to call for a noncompliance recall.

The Solution

General Motors will provide dealers with a list of affected vehicles through GM GlobalConnect Recall Reports. General Motors dealers are expected to reflash all affected EBCMs, updating the software and correcting the problem. Moving forward, the software error has been corrected for the 2020 model year.

Because all affected vehicles are the current model and under warranty, General Motors will not have to provide reimbursements. Owners can check to see if their vehicle is being recalled by searching their VIN number at www.vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/. In some cases, courtesy transportation may be provided to affected drivers. Dealers will be notified of the recall December 12, 2019. GM will begin notifying individual owners January 27, 2020.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesGeneral Motors trucks recalled for a software error

GM Recalls Pickup Trucks Due to Seat Belt Fire Fears

Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 21, 2019 – Well over a half-million pickup trucks manufactured by General Motors LLC are poised to be pulled from the marketplace over safety concerns related to the front seat belt pretensioners. When passengers strap themselves in, a hot gas may emit from pretensioner bracket opening. This could cause a fire within the interior of the vehicle. The potentially compromised models in question include the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Although GM has yet to announce when motorists will be officially notified of this safety issue by mail, the automaker intends to send mailers alerting registered owners shortly. Recipients are urged to have their cars examined by an area dealership so this problem can be resolved, if one exists. The repair comes at no charge.

The Defect

According to documents submitted to and distributed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, GM is recalling approximately 556,399 pickup trucks nationwide whose seat belt pretensioners – both on the driver and passenger side of the car – may be compromised. Upon the belt’s deployment from the assembly, a flammable gas may emanate out of the bracket aperture. Such a scenario may lead to a fire. All the suspect vehicles have carpet floor mats, which are not fire retardant. Those with vinyl floor coverings are not in any danger.

The specific automobiles included in the GM seat belt fire recall are the following:

  • 2019-2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
  • 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500
  • 2019-2020 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2020 GMC Sierra 2500
  • 2020 GMC Sierra 3500

Chevrolet Silverados represent the lion’s share of the GM seat belt fire recall at 355,878, based upon NHTSA records and estimates.

Timeline of Events

This issue first came to GM’s attention July 25, when corporate headquarters was briefed about a fire occurring within the cab of a GM-manufactured pickup truck. Internal fire investigators participated in the inquiry as well and determined approximately five days later that the problem may be linked to a similar event that involved the same make and model.

GM and the internal fire experts referred the case to GM’s technical center for follow-up analysis and a more in-depth breakdown as to the nature and cause of the conflagration and how best to resolve it. This subsequent investigation took place in September.

In mid-October, those leading the inquiry determined the most likely cause was a hot gas that vented from the pretensioner opening, which subsequently ignited carpet fibers found on the floor. These findings were then submitted to GM open investigation review board Nov. 4. Three days later, the automaker decided a safety recall was appropriate. No known crashes, deaths or injuries have been reported as a result of this seat belt glitch.

The Solution

While General Motors dealers have since been notified about this safety alert, motorists soon will be, according to the automaker’s  records. There’s no official date as of yet, but GM expects mailers being distributed sent out in the first or second week of December. Those informed are asked to bring their automobile to a local dealer. If deemed necessary after inspecting the suspect seat belt unit, the pretensioner aperture will be closed off, thus stopping the gas’s outflow.

For more information on the GM seat belt fire recall or additional recalls recently announced by the Detroit, Michigan-based automaker, please visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesGM Recalls Pickup Trucks Due to Seat Belt Fire Fears

GM Recalls Numerous Vehicles Due to Electronic Stability Control Malfunction

Laguna Hills, CA. – November 1, 2019 – General Motors recently informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of a recall involving five different vehicle models, all of which share the same defect.

Affected vehicles include:

  • 2015 – 2020 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2015 – 2020 Tahoe
  • 2015 -2020 Yukon
  • 2014 – 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • GMC Sierra 1500 vehicles equipped with a 5.3-liter engine, a 3.08-ratio rear axle and four-wheel drive

The defect

According to the official report regarding this issue filed by GM with the NHTSA, the vehicles involved in the recall contain a defect caused by incorrect axle-ratio calibrations in the vehicles’ electronic-brake control module (EBCM).

The flaw can cause the module to incorrectly calculate the speed of a wheel that has a faulted wheel-speed sensor. In specific operating conditions and vehicles, this can trigger the vehicle’s driveline protection system at an inopportune time.

“If a wheel-speed sensor fails in these vehicles, a software error in the vehicle’s EBCM can cause the vehicle’s driveline protection system to activate when (i) the vehicle’s electronic transfer case is set to four-wheel drive or automatic mode, and (ii) the vehicle is driven between the speeds of 41 and 60 MPH,” stated GM’s report on the matter.

“If the [system] activates, the driver will experience unintended braking on the wheel on the opposite side of the failed sensor … increasing the risk of a crash.”

Timeline of events

The first report involving the recall arrived May 21, when a GM dealer submitted a warranty report to the manufacturer involving a 2018 GMC Yukon whose owner reported that, while driving between 40 and 45 MPH, the brakes were involuntarily applied and caused the vehicle to pull leftward.

A test of the vehicle confirmed the report, and further investigations revealed all the vehicles which might contain the defect.

“GM and ZF (the EBCM supplier) isolated the condition to certain K2 platform vehicles equipped with 5.3 liter engines, four-wheel drive, and 3.08-ratio rear axles, and to specific operating conditions,”
the chronology report provided by GM explained.

The decision to conduct the recall was made official Oct. 17. 

The solution

Owners of vehicles involved in the recall will be notified sometime in the near future, although the exact schedule has yet to be set. Authorized dealers will reprogram the EBCM for affected automobiles on behalf of GM, free of charge.

To find out if your vehicle is part of this recall, use MotorSafety.org’s free look-up tool.

Sean ReyesGM Recalls Numerous Vehicles Due to Electronic Stability Control Malfunction

General Motors Recalls Various Vehicles Due to Vacuum Pump

Laguna Hills, CA – September 17, 2019 – The possibility that vacuum pumps on various General Motors vehicles may fluctuate in performance over time has caused the company to conduct a vehicle recall.

According to the “Frequently Asked Questions” document provided by the manufacturer, General Motors has decided that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in the following vehicles:

  • 2014 – 2018 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2014 – 2018 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2014 – 2018 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2014 – 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2014 – 2018 GMC Sierra
  • 2014 – 2018 GMC Yukon

The defect

Within the vehicles that contain this defect, the engine-mounted mechanical vacuum pump output may decrease over time, diminishing the power brake assist and therefore increasing the distance required to stop the vehicle.

This ultimately leads to an increased possibility of crash or collision.

According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of vehicles that potentially contain the defect is greater than 3,450,000, with GM estimating that 2 percent of the autos in that total are almost certainly affected by this issue.

The following vehicles make up the group possibly saddled with the vacuum pump problem:

  • Cadillac Escalade 2015 – 2017
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2014 – 2018
  • Chevrolet Suburban 2015 – 2018
  • Chevrolet Tahoe 2015 – 2018
  • GMC Sierra 1500 2014 – 2018
  • GMC Yukon 2015 – 2018

There are certain symptoms that drivers may experience if their car is among those affected by the vacuum pump defect. For instance, they may feel vibration in the brake pedal, or experience a change in the amount of pressure required to depress the brake.

Other possible signs of the problem include a ticking noise coming from within the engine compartment and unintentional activation of the secondary hydraulic brake assist system, according to GM.

Finally, the manufacturer noted that if the vacuum level drops to a level below 10 kPA, a “Service Brake Assist” message will appear in the Driver Information Center within five minutes.

GM has determined that while the defect may potentially increase the possibility of collision, all of these vehicles are otherwise safe to drive before undergoing repair of the vacuum pump.

Timeline of events

According to a chronology provided by GM, the NHTSA opened a preliminary investigation into the subject in November 2018, at which point the manufacturer also began an internal investigation of the same issue.

In December, after reviewing the results of both investigations, GM’s Safety & Field Action Decision Authority decided to extend the warranty on vacuum pumps for all the vehicles listed above.

Then, in July 2019, GM received results of additional investigation into the subject by the NHTSA, which prompted yet another internal inquiry on the part of the manufacturer.

This final study concluded August 29, 2019, when GM decided to conduct an official recall on the automobiles to provide them with new software calibration.

Dealers were notified of the recall in early September 2019, with GM planning to send direct notifications to affected drivers in the near future.

The solution

Vehicles that contain the defect can be brought to a local dealership, where the dealer will reprogram the electronic brake control module with a new calibration that corrects the problem, should the vacuum assist become depleted.

Drivers who own a vehicle involved in the recall will be notified by mail. There will be no cost to vehicle owners for the repair or remedy.

Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesGeneral Motors Recalls Various Vehicles Due to Vacuum Pump

Glass Mix–Up Prompts Recall of GM Vans

Laguna Hills, CA – June 7, 2019 – Over a thousand Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vehicles with model years 2016 to 2019 produced by General Motors LLC, are due to be recalled as a result of the possible wrong installation of tempered glass in the automobiles’ rear windows.

The vans were meant to be installed with laminated glass, which tend to be more resistant to shattering, but instead feature tempered glass. In the event of a serious accident – such as a rollover – the tendency of tempered glass to explode increases the risk of injury.

GM intends to send out advisories to owners of these vehicles, urging them to take the automobiles to their nearest GM dealer for a free repair. It’s unclear as of yet when those notifications will begin.

The defect

According to documentation filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, General Motors is recalling an estimated 1,159 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans, whose model years range between 2016 and 2019.

An internal investigation determined that some of these automobiles may have been installed with tempered glass, described as such because they’re reinforced with heat to strengthen their resilience.

While tempered glass has more safety properties than standard glass, laminated glass – the type the vehicles are meant to have – has an extra layer of vinyl, which enables the glass to hold its shape more effectively in the event of a crash.

This also helps prevent the potential of ejection from the vehicle should motorists not have their seat belts on during an accident.

Because the vehicles in question do not comply with Number 226 of the government’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, which relates to ejection mitigation, GM has decided to pull the 1,150+ vans from the marketplace so that tempered glass can be swapped out with laminated where necessary.

Timeline of events

The flaw in question came to the attention of General Motors March 18 of this year, when an engineer for the company happened to notice that both a Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana had rear-quarter windows installed with tempered glass instead of the correct laminated type.

The engineer made the company aware of the flaw through its Speak Up For Safety, which was formally launched in 2014 and serves as a “see something say something” outlet for GM employees when something is amiss.

A formal investigation was launched roughly a week after the engineer first spotted the flaw, and concluded May 13.

GM’s Field Action Decision Authority determined that, as a result of the findings, some of the cars in question may indeed fail to comply with the ejection mitigation rule established by NHTSA and recommended a recall.

The solution

Although GM has not yet determined when notifications will be distributed, it intends to inform owners of 2016 – 2019 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana to bring their automobiles back to any GM dealer so the proper glass can be installed. The fix will come at no charge to owners.

To find out if your vehicle is part of this recall, use MotorSafety.org’s free look-up tool.

The recall number is N192218960.

Sean ReyesGlass Mix–Up Prompts Recall of GM Vans

GM Recalls GMC Sierra 3500 And Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Trucks for Fueling Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – March 27, 2019 – General Motors is recalling certain 2016 – 2018 GMC Sierra 3500 and Chevrolet Silverado 3500 pickup trucks equipped with gasoline engines and dual fuel tanks.

If the fuel level sensor in the front tank becomes stuck in a low-level position, the fuel transfer pump may continue to pump fuel from the rear tank to the front tank even after it is full, causing an overpressure condition in the front tank. As many as 18,574 vehicles may be affected.

The defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, the fuel level sensor in the front tank may stick in a low-level position, allowing the rear tank to overfill the front tank.

In rare circumstances, the front fuel tank could expand and contact a moving drive shaft, which could create a hole in the front fuel tank and allow fuel to leak.

If this happens in the presence of an ignition source, a fire could occur. Customers may hear a grinding or knocking noise if the over pressurized front fuel tank contacts the moving drive shaft.

Timeline of events

GM originally recalled certain 2011 – 15 heavy duty trucks equipped with gas engines and dual fuel tanks for the same issue starting October 12, 2017.

Although the automaker saw no indications at that time that the condition existed in similar trucks built after 2015, it began to monitor field data for later model years. GM conducted an initial review April 16, 2018 and a subsequent review October 28.

GM’s Open Investigation Review board looked at potentially relevant new field reports identified through the monitoring process November 28 and decided to open an investigation into applicable 2016 – 2018 trucks.

The investigator reviewed the new field data with GM’s subject matter experts.

It was found that the problem may be present in vehicles built before the carmaker began using a new low pressure fuel pump in October 2017, but there was no evidence that the condition existed in vehicles equipped with the new fuel pump.

As with the previous recall, the issue was limited to heavy duty trucks with gas engines and the dual-tank option, and the only trucks produced with those options were the 3500 series chassis-cab vehicles.

The Open Investigation Review board reviewed the results of the investigation on January 28, 2019.

As a result, GM’s Safety & Field Action Decision Authority decided on January 31 to launch a safety recall for heavy duty trucks built between 2016 and 2018, before GM began using the new low-pressure fuel pump.

The solution

The recall began March 5, 2019 when owners were sent an interim notification. A second notification will be issued when the remedy becomes available. Dealers will replace the rear tank fuel pump module free of charge.

Dealers will also inspect the front tank and replace if necessary. Courtesy transportation is available for customers whose vehicles are involved in this recall and are within the warranty coverage period. GM’s number for this recall is N182204190.

The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V088000.

To check if your vehicle is part of this recall, use MotorSafety.org’s free look-up tool.

Sean ReyesGM Recalls GMC Sierra 3500 And Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Trucks for Fueling Issue

GM Recalls More Than 150 Vehicles for Damaged Airbag Modules

Laguna Hills, CA – December 27, 2018 – General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab and GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab vehicles due to potential issues with airbag modules. The potential number of units affected is 154.

The defect

According to the NHTSA notification, these vehicles have a retainer ring within the passenger-side airbag module that may have been damaged during the assembly process.

This damage could allow gas to escape during airbag inflation and deployment, which would reduce the amount of gas available to fill the airbag.

Since the passenger-side frontal air bag module in affected vehicles may have been damaged during assembly, possibly resulting in the air bag not inflating properly in the event of a crash, the risk of injury is significantly increased if a crash does occur.

Timeline of events

On December 6, 2018, the manufacturer notified GM of the issue. On December 17, 2018, General Motors LLC (GM) informed the NHTSA. On December 26, 2018, the recall began.

This recall is not connected to the widespread Takata airbag recall which has been ongoing, and affected certain Saab, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn, and GMC models.

The solution

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger side air bag module, free of charge. The recall began on December 26, 2018. GM’s number for this recall is N182198820.

Courtesy transportation is available for customers whose vehicles are involved in a product program and still within the warranty coverage period. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-868.

To find out if your vehicle is part of this recall, use MotorSafety.org’s free look-up tool.

Sean ReyesGM Recalls More Than 150 Vehicles for Damaged Airbag Modules