GM Recalls More Than 200,000 Vehicles; May Have Gas Trapped in Brake Lines

The trapped gas could cause reduced braking performance and increase stopping distance

GM Recalls More Than 200,000 Vehicles; May Have Gas Trapped in Brake Lines
Image: General Motors
September 24, 2018

General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Chevrolet Equinox, Impala, Cruze, Volt and Bolt EV vehicles, GMC Terrain vehicles, Buick Lacrosse and Regal vehicles, Cadillac XTS and XTS Professional vehicles and 2018 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles. The rear brake caliper pistons may have an insufficient coating causing gas pockets to form, potentially reducing rear brake performance and increasing the chances of a crash.

What's the problem?

The manufacturer of the brake pistons failed to properly chrome and temper the brake pistons during the manufacturing process. In this condition, hydrogen gas can remain trapped in the piston body. When the vehicle is assembled and a piston that contains trapped gas contacts brake fluid, this gas can be released into the vehicle's brake system. If gas is present in the brake system, rear-brake performance may be reduced, increasing the risk of a crash.

If gas is present in the brake system, the driver will notice a soft or spongy feel when applying the brake pedal even though stopping distances may not be affected. According to GM's supplier, all trapped gas in a defective piston should be released within 23 days of vehicle assembly and will be noticeable to the driver within 15 days of assembly.

What happens next?

GM will notify owners and dealers will bleed the vehicle's brake system free of charge. GM currently is experiencing a shortage of DOT 3 brake fluid and has authorized its dealers to use the higher grade DOT 4 fluid for a limited time.

Owners may contact Buick customer service at (800) 521-7300, Cadillac customer service at (800) 458-8006, Chevrolet customer service at (800) 222-1020, or GMC customer service at (800) 462-8782. GM's number for this recall is 18279.