U.S. highway safety investigators are probing an alleged defect in 2.7 million pickups and SUVs built by General Motors that are getting into collisions due to braking issues.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation on Tuesday of trucks and SUVs including GM’s best-selling Chevrolet Silverado after receiving over 100 complaints from consumers. The power brake vacuum pump in the models can degrade which makes it difficult to stop and avoid possible collisions. There have been at least nine crashes related to the problem and two serious injuries according to the NHTSA.
The current investigation involves the 2014 to 2016 model year Chevy Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe; GMC Sierra and Yukon; and the Cadillac Escalade. GM has been monitoring field reports and other data on the vehicles and will cooperate with NHTSA to evaluate them further, said company spokesman Tom Wilkinson.
The scale of Detroit automakers’ pickup sales follows that when there’s an issue with the trucks, recalls can be quite costly. GM’s rival Ford Motor Co. called back about 2 million F-150 pickups in September, and the North American safety campaign cost the company about $140 million. That recall involved faulty seat-belt pretensioners that sparked fires after crashes.
Unfortunately, General Motors is not only having issues with its brake pumps. They are also recalling more than a million big pickup trucks and SUVs in the U.S. because the power-assisted steering is having issues as well. The power-assisted steering is briefly shut down at random and this puts drivers at a higher risk of having a collision. This recall covers certain 2015 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra 1500 pickups as well as Chevy Tahoe and Suburban SUVs. 2015 Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon SUVs are also under investigation.
GM says the power steering may fail momentarily during a voltage drop and suddenly return, mainly during low-speed turns. The company didn’t mention any crashes in documents filed with the government. However, dealers will update the power steering software at no cost to owners but there has yet to be a set date for the recall to begin.