We report on a lot of recalls, and most are seemingly innocuous defects that require the solar system to perfectly align before anything catastrophic could happen. Then there are recalls like this one for the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic that appear to be much more dangerous than they probably are.

It turns out that Chevrolet let a few Sonics built between June 2 and November 21 leave its factory in Orion Township, Michigan minus a brake pad. General Motors claims that of the 4,873 Sonics built during that time, some 20 to 30 may be missing either an inner or outer front brake pad. The company says 4,296 of the potentially shoe-less Sonics were sent to the U.S., while 577 migrated north to Canadian customers.

A car minus just one inner or outer brake pad doesn't lose its ability to stop, but its braking performance will suffer and there is the possibility that other elements of the braking system, like the caliper or rotor, could be damaged as a result of their omission.

GM vows to notify all potentially affected Sonic owners and install any missing pads and, if necessary, replace any calipers or rotors free of charge.
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Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
CHEVROLET / SONIC 2012


Manufacturer: GENERAL MOTORS LLC Mfr's Report Date: DEC 22, 2011

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V599000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A

Component: SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:FOUNDATION COMPONENTS:DISC:PADS

Potential Number of Units Affected: 4,296

Summary:
GENERAL MOTORS (GM) IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012 CHEVROLET SONIC VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM JUNE 2, 2011, THROUGH NOVEMBER 21, 2011. ON SOME OF THESE VEHICLES, THE FRONT BRAKE INNER OR OUTER PAD MAY BE MISSING.

Consequence:
A MISSING PAD COULD RESULT IN REDUCED BRAKE SYSTEM PERFORMANCE, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.

Remedy:
GM WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE FRONT BRAKES FOR A MISSING INNER OR OUTER PAD. IF A BRAKE PAD IS MISSING, DEALERS WILL INSTALL NEW INNER AND OUTER PADS, A NEW BRAKE CALIPER, AND A NEW ROTOR. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 14, 2012

Notes:
GM'S SAFETY RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS 11354. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .