Despite General Motors going so far as to recall cars from 1997 and to even recall previous recalls, the company is resisting recalling full-size trucks and SUVs from 1999 to 2003 for reported brake failure, writes the New York Times.
Approximately 1.8-million trucks could be affected. The vehicles in question suffer from brake lines that could corrode and lead to brake failure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received over 1,000 complaints related to the issue and began looking into it in 2010.
General Motors for its part says the issue is related to routine maintenance, telling the Times that “Brake line wear on vehicles is a maintenance issue that affects the auto industry, not just General Motors.”
Furthermore, General Motors said that “the vehicles have dual brake lines, so ‘the affected vehicle would be capable of stopping.'”
The New York Times reports that the full-size trucks and SUVs being investigated for possible recall are the 2002-2003 Cadillac Escalade, the 2002-2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 and 2500 models, the 2000-2003 Chevrolet Tahoe, the 1999-2003 Chevrolet Suburban, the 1999-2003 Chevrolet Silverado, the 1999-2003 GMC Sierra, the 2000-2003 GMC Yukon, and the 2000 GMC Yukon XL adding that “in a 2012 letter to G.M., a federal regulator asked for additional information covering the 2004- model years.”
Fixes for these vehicles brake lines are available through both the manufacturer and aftermarket, and General Motors spokesman Alan Adler told the Times that repair should cost approximately $500 including labor.
Given General Motors recent spree to recall cars with as few as one complaint, we can’t help feel that maybe General Motors is telling the truth when it claims rusted brake lines are part of a maintenance issue that affects the entire industry; however, the Times notes that Subaru voluntarily recalled over half-a-million cars for fear of brake line failure due to corrosion.
What do you think? Is General Motors right to chalk these brake line failures up to owner failure to perform regular maintenance, or should the company follow Subaru’s footsteps and take action, even if it’s not the manufacturer’s responsibility?