General Motors has issued a recall for 638,068 Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks from 2014-2018 and Chevrolet and GMC SUVs from 2015-2020. Also included are the 2015-17 Cadillac Escalades. The recall concerns a faulty wheel speed sensor that could, if it fails, cause the brake to engage on the opposite side of the faulty sensor. This might cause the vehicle to veer to one side unexpectedly at speeds from 41 to 60 miles per hour. So far no injuries have been reported as caused by this problem.
Only vehicles equipped with a 5.3-liter V8 engine, four-wheel drive, with a 3.08-ratio rear axle are included in the recall. GM’s number for this recall is N192261050. Chevrolet and GMC dealers will reprogram the brake system software free of charge.
The recall comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating the problem last year after getting 111 complaints from owners who reported poor brake performance. The vehicle was tested and engineers were able to duplicate the condition by disconnecting one of the wheel speed sensors.
A failed wheel speed sensor will also activate warning lights for the electronic stability control and anti-lock braking systems and a message will display, “Service StabiliTrak.” A driver can avoid the problem by driving the vehicle in two-wheel-drive until the dealership performs recall repairs. The automaker says the underlying cause of the problem relates to incorrect axle-ratio calibrations in the electronic brake control module which cause the module to incorrectly calculate the speed of a wheel with a failed speed sensor.
An auto recall occurs when a manufacturer or the NHTSA determines that a car model has a safety-related defect or does not comply with a federal safety standard. When this happens, the automaker will alert owners to the problem and usually offer a free repair. When a recall is issued, manufacturers will do their best to contact all affected owners. If you don’t receive a car recall notice, however, you can search through current safety recalls on the NHTSA’s site. And whether you received a letter or not, the manufacturer is still obligated to repair the defect free of charge to you.