When you hear about a car recall, fear is often the first reaction. You want to know which systems of the car are involved, and you want to know the extent of the danger, and what you should do. Sometimes it is hard to find all of this information, and you also may have already been injured due to a malfunctioning part or system in a vehicle, and you need the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney. Call Anthem Injury Lawyers; we serve the Las Vegas region and offer free initial consultations. Call us now: (702) 857-6000.
General Motors 2019 Recall
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the government’s road safety agency, General Motors is recalling almost 3.5 million pickup trucks and SUVs due to a default in the brake system. GM estimates that 2 percent of the autos out of the 3.5 million recalled are almost certainly affected by this issue. This recall includes GM’s popular Chevy Suburban and Chevy Silverado models. The same recall was issued to 310,000 vehicles in Canada in June of last year, but American owners were notified on September 6th.
According to Consumer Reports, the NHTSA launched an investigation into malfunctioning brakes on GM vehicles after receiving over 100 complaints last November. The 10-month long investigation revealed 133 accidents and 13 injuries related to the brake issue. The investigation did not reveal any fatalities.
GM spokesman Dan Flores said in a statement that even with the problem, the brakes “continue to function and exceed the requirements of the appropriate federal motor vehicle safety standard.”
The recall took effect in September 2019 when certain GM vehicle owners were notified if their car needed repair. Although no fatalities have been reported yet, it is important to understand exactly what a recall means, see if your vehicle is affected, and know what steps to take next.
The Brake Issue
The main issue is with the power-assist brakes in certain GM makes and models from 2014-2018. In correctly operating vehicles, the powered brake-assist system reduces the amount of effort a driver needs to exert to stop their vehicle. A vacuum pump allows a vehicle to have this power-assisted braking, and therefore it is a very important component to the overall safety and handling of the vehicle.
Unfortunately, as the pump ages, it can produce less vacuum power than is necessary to properly stop a moving vehicle. The vacuum assist pump is lubricated with engine oil that flows into the pump through a filter screen. Over time, oil sludge or other debris can clog the screen, reducing oil flow and causing the pump’s vacuum output to drop. If there is less vacuum power the driver may find that the brake pedal takes more effort to push and that it takes more distance for their vehicle to stop.
The NHTSA found that the brake problem is more likely to happen at low speeds. Consumer Reports reviewed some of the driver complaints submitted to the NHTSA and found that many of them reported their brakes suddenly feeling different when turning into parking lots or when approaching crosswalks.
A faulty brake system can be very dangerous as it could increase the risk of a crash or collision.
Before the brakes malfunction, drivers may experience certain warning signs:
- You might feel a vibration in the brake pedal
- You might suddenly need to exert more pressure on the brake to get the vehicle to stop
- A ticking noise coming from inside the engine compartment
- Unintentional activation of the secondary hydraulic brake assist system
- If the vacuum level drops to a level below 10kPA, a “Service Brake Assist” message might appear in the Driver Information Center within five minutes
If you experience any of these things, get your car checked out immediately.
With perhaps conflicting reports and a lot of information to sort through, it can be difficult to understand exactly what a particular recall entails. Let the experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Anthem Injury Lawyers help you with recall-related cases. If you have been the victim in an accident with a car that’s found to be defective, you’ll want to talk to our legal team. Don’t wait. Let our attorneys determine if you have a case. Call to schedule your free initial consultation: (702) 857-6000.
What Does a Recall Mean?
A recall occurs when a manufacturer, or in GM’s case the NHTSA, determines that a certain vehicle model or several models have a safety-related defect or a compliance issue with a federal motor vehicle safety standard. This includes vehicle components, equipment, car seats, tires, etc. or any other part of a vehicle that creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards.
The United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety (Title 49, Chapter 301) defines motor vehicle safety as “the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.” A defect includes “any defect in performance, construction, a component, or material of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment.”
When a recall happens, the automaker will alert owners to the problem usually in a letter detailing the safety issue and how to resolve it. The recall letter should include the following information:
- Description of the defect
- List of makes or models affected
- The risk or hazard posed by the problem (including the kinds of injuries it can cause)
- Potential warning signs
- How the manufacturer plans to fix the problem
- When the repair will be available and how long it will take
- Instructions regarding what you should do next
Vehicles Included in the GM Recall
Over 3.5 million GM vehicles were affected. Prior model years used a different brake assist system design and vehicles manufactured after 2018 were not equipped with the affected vacuum pump design.
- Chevrolet Silverado (2014-2018 model years)
- GMC Sierra pickup trucks (2014-2018 model years)
- Chevrolet Tahoe (2015-2018 model years)
- GMC Yukon (2015-2018 model years)
- Chevrolet Suburban (2015-2018 model years)
- Cadillac Escalade SUVs (2015-2018 model years)
What you can do next
Although GM states that all of the vehicles affected in this recall are safe to drive, it is imperative that you get your brakes checked out and fixed for your own safety.
Here are some steps to take to ensure the safety of your vehicle:
- Enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website to see if your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed
- Check GM’s Owner Center website by entering your Vehicle Identification Number
- Call your local dealership to ensure they are equipped to make the repair
- Bring your SUVs or pickups back to the dealership where they will recalibrate the electronic brake control module or reprogram the braking software free of charge
Even if you did not receive a recall letter, but are the owner of a GM vehicle, you should check to see if your car is included in the recall. Sometimes a recall can get missed because your vehicle registration isn’t up-to-date or your current mailing address isn’t on file.
If you want further information or have any questions, owners of affected vehicles can contact Chevrolet at 800-630-2438, Cadillac at 800-458-8006, or GMC at 800-462-8782.
GM’s number for this recall is N192268490 and the NHTSA campaign number is 19V645.
Experienced Las Vegas Car Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been in an auto accident in the State of Nevada because of a recalled auto part or vehicle, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who is licensed in Nevada as soon as possible. They can help you determine what steps to take next.
The law firm of Anthem Injury Lawyers has a dedicated team of car accident lawyers and staff who are ready to help you with your car accident case. We are experienced in all types of car accidents, including ones involving manufacturer recalls.
We offer free case evaluations. Our office is conveniently located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley, including North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Spring Valley, Anthem, and the Strip. Contact us today for a free consultation at (702) 857-6000.