GM Recall Linked to Potential Brake Failure in Pickups

Source: Detroit Free Press

DETROIT – General Motors (GM) is issuing an update to a recall because the initial recall has created more problems.

After inquiries by the Detroit Free Press that started earlier this month, GM has confirmed that about 1,600 to 1,700 owners of 2019 Chevrolet and GMC pickups and possibly the Cadillac CT6 have complained of electronic brake failure after they had their dealer perform a GM-issued recall.

About 160,000 more GM customers whose vehicles were part of the original recall could be in danger of brake problems, too.

The software update used in the first recall causes disruption to the electronic brake control module when the customer starts the truck using the OnStar app, GM said. The revised repair will update the software that drives the vehicle’s electronic braking system.

“I’m very, very lucky that I was not at speed on a highway or in heavy traffic when this happened to me,” said Shawn O’Leary, a 43-year-old portfolio manager who lives in Park Ridge, Illinois.

O’Leary had his electronic braking system fail for the first time on Jan. 4 in his 2019 GMC Sierra Denali after he had the recall repair done. He said he had to stop the vehicle by standing on the brake pedal and waiting for the car to coast to a halt.

“It’s terrifying. I was only doing 10- to 15-mph, but I had my child in the back seat,” said O’Leary.

The fix causes problems

A GM spokesman said after affected owners get the revised repair done, the vehicles will be safe to drive.

“We’re very confident in this fix,” said spokesman Dan Flores.

He could not comment, however, on how safe any vehicles are to drive that had the recall done but not the updated fix.

“If any customer has a concern with their vehicle, they should contact their dealer immediately,” Flores said. “I’m sure dealers are frustrated, too, because their initial fix caused more problems. But we have a fix to the fix that we’re sure will take care of the problem.”

The problem arose from a recall GM issued in December covering nearly 550,000 Cadillac CT6 sedans and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups from 2019. GM said that a software error can disable the electronic stability control and antilock brake systems, increasing the risk of a crash.

Flores said about 162,000 of those affected had the original recall done. But GM will send out recall letters to the owners of all 550,000 vehicles advising them to go to their dealership for both the December recall and the updated repair.

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Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.