General Motors was hit with a class action lawsuit over claims that a defect in the brake vacuum pump used in certain GM full-size trucks and SUVs renders them too dangerous to drive.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, identifies six vehicles that allegedly have “irreparable and defective” braking systems because the brake boosters suddenly and unexpectedly lose their vacuums. This makes the brake pedals hard to press and the vehicle difficult to slow down. The lawsuit claims that GM has known about this safety hazard for a long time but failed to correct the problem.

Affected vehicles include:

  • 2015 to present Cadillac Escalade
  • 2014 to present Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2015 to present Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2015 to present Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2014 to present GMC Sierra
  • 2015 to present GMC Yukon/Yukon XL

The lawsuit was filed by a consumer who purchased a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 in June 2017 at a Florida GM dealership. In 2019, he says he was traveling downhill when his brake pedal suddenly became difficult to press and he had to use all his force to get the vehicle to slow down, nearly losing control and narrowly missing a ditch. The GM dealer found that the vacuum pump had failed and charged the man $500 for the repair. But the plaintiff says the problem wasn’t fixed because the vacuum pump was replaced with the same allegedly defective part.

Persistent problems

In 2015, GM issued a technical service bulletin that warned of the problem and instructed dealers to replace the vacuum pumps, the vacuum lines between the boosters and the pumps, the brake boosters, and the master cylinders. The plaintiff’s lawsuit claims that even after issuing additional bulletins about the problem, the repairs did not fix the obvious defect.

In November 2018, General Motors launched an investigation into its brake motor pumps in more than 2.7 million vehicles after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received 111 complaints about the issue in select Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles. In September 2019, GM recalled 3.7 million vehicles following reports of 110 crashes and 13 injuries linked to brake vacuum issues.

Earlier this year, General Motors was hit with a similar class action lawsuit over the brake vacuum pumps in certain GM vehicles in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Class action lawyers

Beasley Allen continues to work on numerous auto defect class actions against many of the major automobile manufacturers like VW, Toyota, General Motors, Ford and even some suppliers. These cases continue to be filed because of corporate misconduct in designing and manufacturing unsafe vehicles that are purchased by consumers, corporations and state agencies. We continue to investigate these automobile problems for class relief treatment. For more information or to discuss a claim, contact Clay Barnett in our Atlanta office.

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