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GM Recalling 3.5 Million Vehicles Over Brake Issue

General Motors (GM) has announced it is recalling nearly 3.5 million pickup trucks and SUVs to fix a problem related to the braking system.

The recall targets some 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade SUVs, 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks, Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and 2015-2018 GMC Yukon vehicles.

The problem lies with the amount of vacuum power produced by the vacuum pump, which can decrease over time. When that happens it could require more pressure to get proper braking power, translating into longer stopping distances. This is in turn increases the risk of an accident.

According to GM, the problem usually crops up at lower speeds when the brakes are being applied gently.

The source of the problem is accumulation of debris such as oil deposits on a filter, which reduces air flow to the vacuum pump. GM says that neglecting to have oil changes done at regular intervals can cause this accumulation.

2015 Chevrolet Suburban
Photo: Chevrolet
2015 Chevrolet Suburban

Vehicles are equipped with a second hydraulic braking system, which is initially calibrated to come into play at higher speeds. The solution proposed by GM involves recalibrating the programming of the braking module so that the hydraulic braking system functions better.

The problem was first looked into by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) back in November 2018, after it received nine reports of accidents, two of which led to injuries. GM received detailed reports this past July, and the automaker then opened an inquiry into the potential problem. In all, 113 accidents and 13 injuries have been attributed to the problem.

The manufacturer points out that models assembled since 2018 don’t use the same braking system and are not affected.

We are currently waiting for confirmation from General Motors Canada regarding the number of vehicles affected in Canada.