• Apr 5, 2010
It isn't a recall at the moment, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reportedly looking into more than six million General Motors pickups and SUVs over brake line corrosion concerns. According to The Detroit News, the models in question date from 1999 to 2003, and they have been noted in 110 complaints and three alleged crashes due to a loss of braking performance. In 37 of those cases, inspecting dealers have confirmed brake line failures.

GM is apparently cooperating with NHTSA's investigation, and while 110 reported issues is a tiny fraction of 6.2 million, if you have one of the vehicles in question don't be afraid to have it looked at.

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh, 16.4 million dollar fine. It must be done. Taxes fix everything, doncha' know?
        • 4 Years Ago
        And spend, spend, spend and no taxes worked so well for the last guy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      what about the rusty boxsides? how many 1999-2002 silverados do you see with that?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Apparently I need to start taking my out of warranty vehicles in to the dealer when things break. What I've always thought of as run-of-the-mill part failures that tend to happen on old vehicles are getting all kinds of attention lately.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, it is kind of strange. I just got rid of my 10 year old car because parts were breaking on it. Was I bizarre to think that somehow 10 year old cars would have parts that wear out?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hmm, no kidding, just a few months back, my wifes 99 Blazer suffered from this. Figuring this was an 11 year old truck, I didn't even think recall. Was disappointed in it, seems like a bad deal, since the one that rusted was the long line from front to back.

      Dealer said it would cost $225 just for them to fabricate the line, and another $200-300 for install. Seems they cant buy them, they use raw line and fabricate them in place. So, I sourced line, fittings, and a flaring and bending tool for about $100, and fabricated and installed my own. PITA, but it needed done.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just did the same thing. It becomes really pretty easy as soon as you give up on following the factory routing...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a 2003 2500hd and I have definitely noticed what I consider to be excessive corrosion on the brake lines. Far from scientific or conclusive, but next time I'm down there I'm going to look closer.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It cost me >$2500 to replace my 1999 Sierras with less than 50000 miles on it.. The brake lines are on top of the frame so they have to lift the cab off the frame .First thing I did when I got it back was use 2 cans of spray undercoating and coat those thins good.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The brake lines are on top of the frame so they have to lift the cab off the frame"

        Now THAT's forward thinking on the part of GM. Nice. Reminds me of when owners of some GM models had to unbolt motor mounts to lift the engine in order to replace plugs. Inexcusable. Poor engineering.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ah, so I can expect to see rows of undriveable recalled trucks parked next to the rows of undriveable recalled vans (mostly school busses, eesh) at the local Chevy dealer.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't you picture Ray "the stooge" LaHood screaming "Don't drive it! Don't drive it!" Oh wait, this is a Gov't Motors product....
        • 4 Years Ago
        HAHA! The stooge! Ooohhh, that guy is such a moron...
      • 4 Years Ago
      1999 to 2003? Wear and tear?
        • 4 Years Ago
        That car sitting out in the field for the last twenty years, yes. A 7 - 11 year old truck or SUV, no.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here in the salt/rust belt of upstate NY, brake lines on almost anything rust off in about 6 or 7 years. I've put on more rusted brake and fuel lines than I can count. "Them's just the breaks here folks." Pun intended.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a 2001 GMC Sierra and have had this problem. I was on RT 1 in Maine last Summer and went to stop and the pedal went to the floor. i drove around the vehicle in front of me and stopped using the emergency brake. Luckily I was only at 30 MPH. The dealer found the line at the junction box on the frame under the drivers side door completely rusted. Nothing 300 bucks in cost couldn't fix. However I do live near the ocean.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Completely unrelated, since it was a Chevy car and not an SUV, but my grandmother's '99 Cavalier (with only 15,000 miles on it in 2008) had its brakelines corrode, then beached, and the brakes failed on it... luckily, it was when I was driving it, and I managed to use the handbrake to coast the car to a stop...

      It was an extremely unnerving experience...
        • 4 Years Ago
        LS2LS7:

        I had it happen on a vehicle recently as well. In my case the line burst right before I parked the vehicle. I noticed a slightly squishy pedal the last time or two I stopped, but didn't think too much of it. I believe at that point I was braking with half the system. Then while the vehicle sat, the reservoir drained itself out the broken line. When I next drove the vehicle, it only had one or two more reasonable stops before the brakes became nearly useless. Of course when I climbed into it and started it, the brake warning light told me that something was wrong. I was prepared before taking off.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's pretty creepy. With split braking systems, how do you end up in a situation where the handbrake must be applied? If the fronts go, the rears still work and the handbrake won't really add anything as it doesn't activate the fronts and the rears are already on. If the rears go, the handbrake will add more force, but since the fronts do most of the work anyway, you shouldn't need to apply it anyway.

        So is the line from the pedal to the master cylinder going?
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