Automotive News

GM 2019 Recall Makes Problem Worse-So There’s Another Recall

You can’t make this up. Back in October, GM issued a recall of almost 550,000 vehicles for brake issues. It covered Cadillac CT6 sedans, Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 pickups; all from 2019. The problem was a software error with the antilock brakes and stability control causing the brakes to fail. Or as GM puts it, “increasing the risk of a crash.”

So far over 160,000 of those vehicles affected have had the software fix. But now GM says that the fix could cause those vehicles to brake, even when the brakes weren’t applied. So, GM is now issuing 550,000 recall notices again because the “fixed” vehicles need to have the fix fixed. And those that haven’t had the recall work done still need to do so, but with the proper fix this time.

GM has issued another recall to fix the fix before the problem gets worse

Some owners are being advised by dealers not to use the OnStar app to start or warm up their vehicles. There is supposedly a connection between the brake issues and the OnStar app. “GM is moving as quickly as we can to get these fixed,” says GM spokesperson Dan Flores to the Detroit Free Press. “GM has notified dealers it has updated the software calibration being used to complete a non-compliance field action GM filed this past December with the NHTSA on certain 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups and the Cadillac CT6. Under the revised repair dealers will re-flash the vehicles’ electronic brake control module with a new calibration that resolves the initial issue and the recent complaints.”

Initial complaints centered around a lapse in brake application-especially in emergency situations. Software glitches cause problems with the communication between the anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. 

After the first GM recall owners started experiencing a worse problem

2019 GMC Sierra | GM

After the first software fix drivers experienced almost exactly the opposite. Sometimes the brakes would apply themselves without the driver’s input. The unintended braking issues were reported by about 1,700 affected vehicle owners after they had a dealer apply the first recall software fix. 

Some owners expressed their own tales of fear to the Detroit Freep. One person told it, “It;’s terrifying. I was only doing 10- to 15-mph but I had my child in the back seat.” Flores responded, “If any customer has a concern with their vehicle they should contact their dealer immediately. I’m sure dealers are frustrated too because their initial fix caused more problems. But we have a fix to the fix that we’re sure will take care of the problem.”

Some owners experienced problems multiple times after the recall

“I was heading to lunch and my dash lit up like a Christmas tree, then my brakes totally went out,” a Minnesota resident told the Freep. This was after the recall fix. “I had to go through a red light at an intersection and was almost clipped by a large cube van.” The same thing happened again later that day. 

Hopefully, the fix for the fix will fix the glitch.