On August 30, 2018, General Motors announced a recall on 210,628 vehicles in the United States and 19,385 vehicles in Canada because of an issue involving brake pedals. This recall affects different 2018 and 2019 models including the Chevrolet Bolt, Cruze, Equinox, Impala, Malibu, and Volt. It also affects the 2018 and 2019 models of the Buick Cadillac XTS, LaCrosse, Regal, and GMC Terrain as well. Let’s just say this is a huge recall that appears to have had an impact of GM’s stock. It has been heading south since the recall. Why? Recalls cost a lot of money that should be in the pocket of shareholders.
Why the recall?
The cars recalled had rear-brake pistons that were improperly chromed and tempered during the manufacturing process. This can cause hydrogen gas to be trapped inside the piston. If the piston containing hydrogen gas contacts brake fluid, this gas can be released into the vehicle’s overall brake system. This can affect rear-brake performance and increase crash risk.
Around May of this year, a GM quality engineer filed a report noting that three GM vehicles failed pre-delivery inspection because of soft brake pedals. GM investigated the issue in June. ZF, the supplier of the brake calipers, was investigating similar issues involving Volkswagen and Audi cars. However, ZF did not notify GM of this issue until June 14. GM is unaware of any crashes caused by this defect.
It is easy to push this on ZF, right? But the reality is that GM has to be all over it suppliers to make sure their products do what that should do to keep its occupants safe.
How the recall works
The manufacturers determined how many cars were affected by the recall by determining the start and end date of the improper coating process, which correlated with the manufacturing data. According to the recall report, this issue can be fixed by having car dealers drain the brake system of any gas found in it.
How was the recall condition corrected?
Vehicles manufactured after July 17, 2018 contain rear-brake caliper pistons that were properly chromed and tempered.
GM is no stranger to recalls. Last month, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled over 150,000 vans and SUVs in the U.S. and Canada such as the Dodge Grand Caravan, Jeep Cherokee, and Compass models for also having improperly chromed rear-brake pistons. There were also concerns over brake performance similar to this recent GM vehicles recall as well. Fiat Chrysler provided a free recall fix which involves bleeding out the brake system and replacing brake fluid.
Last year, GM recalled nearly 800,000 trucks that would lose power steering. This includes about 690,000 vehicles in the United States and another 100,000 in Canada.
During situations that use up a significant amount of electricity such as low speed turns, steering can be disabled if the truck’s power levels are lowered significantly. This can cause a driver to temporarily lose control of the steering wheel, which can result in a crash.
To solve this issue, dealers would restart the electric power steering system (EPS) software. This would allow the car to use less energy from the EPS module, as to prevent the inability to steer.