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General Motors recalls almost 3.8 million pickup trucks over brake problem

13 September 2019

General Motors Co said Wednesday it was recalling 3.46 million USA pickup trucks and SUVs to address a vacuum pump issue that could make braking more hard and that has been linked to 113 accidents and 13 injuries.

The Cadillac Escalade from 2015-17 and the GMC Yukon, Chevy Suburban, and Tahoe from 2015-18 are also included, according to Fox Business.

As part of its rectification measure, GM said its dealers will reprogramme the electronic brake control module to improve how the system utilises the hydraulic brake boost assist function when vacuum assist is depleted.

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Owners began receiving notifications of the recall on September 6.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the USA government's road safety agency, began investigating the problem past year after getting 111 complaints from owners of poor brake performance.

GM said the vacuum assist pump, which is lubricated with engine oil that flows into the pump through a filter screen, can in some cases lose effectiveness over time, as debris such as oil sludge can accumulate on the filter screen. The problem with the vehicles' vacuum pumps has been linked to more than 100 accidents and more than a dozen injuries, according to Reuters.

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The trucks, he said, have a secondary power brake assist system which works when there are problems with the main system, but it is limited at lower speeds. The issue is that the pump output can drop quickly and result in a loss of brake assist for the vehicle.

The recall comes 10 months after NHTSA opened its investigation and over two months after the recall was announced in Canada. Asked why it took that long to do the recall, Flores said only that the company has been co-operating with NHTSA and providing data.

Drivers may experience a vibration in the brake pedal if their truck or SUV has the problem. Reuters reports that GM is also recalling 270,000 other vehicles in the USA, including 177,000 2018 Chevrolet Malibu cars with 1.5L turbo engines because an engine error can disable the fuel injectors and 91,000 2019 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vehicles due to a seatbelt-unfastened warning-light issue.

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General Motors recalls almost 3.8 million pickup trucks over brake problem