Trucks & SUVs

These GM Vehicles Just Got Involved In a New Brake Failure Lawsuit

There is a new class-action lawsuit alleging that quite a number of General Motors vehicles suddenly lose vacuum in the brake boosters. This causes the brakes to immediately become too hard to press. Drivers are forced to stand on the brakes in a panic situation in an effort to get them slowed down. If the driver is lucky enough to get the vehicle to stop it takes a much longer distance than in a typical power-boosted braking situation. The new brake failure lawsuit also alleges that GM has known about the problem since at least 2014 but chose to hide the magnitude of the issue.

The vehicles involved in potential brake failures are:

~2015 to present Cadillac Escalade

~2014 to present Chevrolet Silverado

~2015 to present Chevrolet Suburban

~2015 to present Chevrolet Tahoe

~2014-present GMC Sierra

~2015 to present GMC Yukon/Yukon XL

This is one of many brake failure examples listed in the complaint:

In 2018 a 2015 Chevy Tahoe had a sudden brake failure issue while the plaintiff was backing out of her driveway. She said the brakes were very hard and she couldn’t slow down. A collision ensued when the Tahoe backed into a car adjacent to the driveway. The Tahoe suffered damage as a result of the collision.

A parking lot with multiple new Chevy Silverados
GMC and Chevrolet pickup trucks sit in a parking lot outside the GM Fort Wayne Assembly Plant | Joshua Lott/Getty Images

The same brake failure experience happened again while pulling out of a parking space. The woman had to stand on the brake pedal with all of her weight. After the Tahoe came to a stop she turned off the ignition. When she turned it back on the brakes were back to normal. Backing out again the same thing happened.

Later she took the Tahoe to the dealership but the same thing happened backing out of her driveway. When she called the dealership about the braking failure issues she was told that the warranty had run out four days before. The dealership did send a person to pick up the Tahoe to be checked out.

After a thorough inspection, the technicians found a problem with the brake booster

After a thorough inspection by the technicians, they told her they couldn’t find a problem. She asked them to check the brake vacuum. After they did a verification sheet indicated problems. It stated that when the Tahoe was sitting the pressure was at “9”, and when turned on it was “3”. The dealership advised her that the brake pressure should be “13”.

A “replacement part” was installed costing the plaintiff $400 but she says that the new part didn’t fix the problem. 

There have been numerous technical service bulletins released for brake system issues

GM has released a number of technical service bulletins centered on the braking systems of many GMC and Chevy trucks. They are 2015-2016 Cadillac Escalades, 2014-2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500s, 2015-2016 Chevrolet Suburbans, 2015-2016 Chevy Tahoes, 2014-2016 GMC Sierra 1500s, and 2015-2016 Yukons. 

Among those was TSB PIT5361B issued in February 2015. It specified that with hard braking issues there may be fluid in the booster or booster vacuum line. In that case, technicians are to replace the brake vacuum pump, vacuum line between the booster and pump, brake booster and master cylinder.

In September 2019 GM issued a recall for over 3.4 million SUVs and trucks concerning hard brake pedals involved in crashes and injuries.