Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 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. The field action includes certain 2015-2020 Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe and Yukon vehicles, as well as certain 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 vehicles equipped with a 5.3-liter engine, a 3.08-ratio rear axle and four-wheel drive.
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.
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. Those with further questions may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1 (800) 630-2438, GMC customer service at 1 (800) 462-8782, or the NHTSA hotline at 1 (888) 327-4236.
For more information on additional GM recalls, and other news from the automotive industry, be sure to read MotorSafety.org regularly.