General Motors issued a lot of recalls last year.
According to an article in Consumer Affairs, General Motors issued a lot of recalls last year, but none of them was for rusted-out brake lines, in spite of an outpouring of customer complaints. Owners are saying the brake lines are rusting out faster on their General Motors vehicles than on vehicles by other makers, and General Motors is saying that brake line corrosion is a maintenance issue, and if your vehicles is out of warranty, you just have to keep checking your brake lines and replace them as necessary. The article, written for Consumer Affairs by Jennifer Abel, quotes five dissatisfied GM vehicle owners, including Marsha in Virginia…
Our 2005 Yukon has 116K miles and has been to the … dealership for a total of 37 times since the vehicle was purchased at a maintenance cost of over 8K. In September 2013, my husband replaced the rotors and brake pads himself. October 2013 the vehicle was back in for an oil change and [the dealership] performed their World Class inspection and saw no issues. … October 4 we had the vehicle towed to the dealership and found out the brake lines had rusted, causing the contamination that led to the high bill above.
…and Timothy in Maryland:
I bought my Chevy Avalanche new in 2004. I have not driven it in the winter, I keep it in the garage at my lake house and only drive it around 400 miles a year. This truck has never seen the mud or been in water but still has brake lines that rusted so much. I lost all fluid and could have been killed. Pictures are attached. I would like to know if Chevy will help pay for this repair. If not, this will be the [last] GM product ever purchased for and from anyone in my family. I understand things happen but this is a huge safety concern.
There’s even a blog with the title GM Unsafe Brakes, run by Chevrolet owner Joe Palumbo, who writes:
We are not talking about super high mileage or very old vehicles, this is occurring on GM vehicles as young as 3 years old with less than 40,000 miles on the clock. This problem is especially severe in the snow belt states and Canada where salt is used in the winter …. GM, as well as the NHTSA, has failed to acknowledge that substandard material is being used for the most critical safety component in your vehicle.
Whether General Motors ought to be recalling vehicles and fixing their brake line rust problems or not, we can’t say. Ultimately, that debate belongs to General Motors, vehicle owners and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But while that debate goes on (and other debates about who’s responsible for rust, in other parts and in other vehicles), we’re glad there’s something owners can do about the problem. Rustproofing is an important preventive maintenance measure that many vehicle owners don’t know about yet, but it’s available here in New Hampshire Oil Undercoating® from The Rust Stop Pros. The Canadian Army does it do their vehicles, and the Canadian Automobile Association recommends it. And since the forces that create our weather and climate don’t know about international borders, that means New Hampshire vehicles need it, too. Because when it comes to the weather, New Hampshire is definitely part of Canada.