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GM Recalling 210,000 Brand-New Cars for Brake Defect

Clifford Atiyeh
Photo credit: Car and Driver

From Car and Driver

General Motors is recalling more than 210,000 cars in the U.S. to fix faulty brakes.

According to a preliminary filing obtained by Automotive News, the problem affects 10 different models including the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu; 2018–2019 Buick Lacrosse and Regal; 2018–2019 Cadillac XTS; 2018–2019 Chevrolet Bolt, Cruze, Equinox, Impala, and Volt; and 2018–2019 GMC Terrain.

Hydrogen gas can become trapped within the pistons on the rear brake calipers, which can lead to a soft or squishy brake pedal feel and impede braking performance. A total of 210,628 cars are affected. GM did not cite how many cars were in dealer inventory or indicate a stop-sale. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet published the recall.

GM said the brake assembly, manufactured by ZF, was improperly chromed and tempered (two metallurgical processes that improve toughness and reduce friction). ZF had investigated the problem since at least May, when Volkswagen first notified the company of the defect. GM began investigating in June after an employee alerted the company in early May to three vehicles that "failed pre-delivery inspection because of soft brake pedals," according to the filing. BMW and Fiat Chrysler vehicles may also be affected, but to date, no automakers aside from GM have yet initiated recalls in the U.S. for the faulty ZF brakes. The company said it has received at least 375 warranty claims relating to the defect. All of the GM vehicles built after July 17, 2018, have working brake calipers, according to the filing.

At an unspecified date, dealers will replace the rear calipers and bleed the brake system to clear the lines of trapped gas. You can use your VIN to check if your car is impacted by the recall here.

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