As GM Objects To Recalling Another 1.8 Million Trucks, One (Ex) Customer Says "Enough"

Tyler Durden's picture

After recalling over 28.5 million cars this year already, one would have thought GM has 'kitchen-sink'ed it - but no. As NY Times reports, even after receiving over 1000 complaints via NHTSA since 2010, GM has yet to recall almost 1.8 million full-size pickups and sport utility vehicles from the 1999 to 2003 model years for corrosion-related brake failures. The company claims rusted brake lines were an industrywide problem (as assertion that is not supported by complaints filed with

So the question is - after all these recalls, who (apart from vacant dealer lots and the government) is buying GMs; because it's not this previous owner:

"I will not be purchasing any further GM vehicles since GM does not stand behind vehicles when a serious malfunction occurs... My children and I could have been fatally injured due to the disintegration of the brake line."

So far over 28.5 million vehicles recalled in 2014...


But, as The NY Times reports, there is more they are not telling us...

the automaker has yet to recall almost 1.8 million full-size pickups and sport utility vehicles from the 1999 to 2003 model years for corrosion-related brake failures.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been investigating the issue since 2010, and the agency has now received about 1,000 complaints from owners, some of whom report narrowly avoiding crashes.


“Hit brakes and a line blew. Almost hit car in front of me,” the owner of a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado wrote in a complaint filed in June.


“Like all G.M. trucks in snow country my brake lines rusted through along with my rear backing plates. I don’t know how many people have to be killed from blown brake lines for them to do anything. I guess a lot since they held off 10 years on their current problem.”


G.M. has resisted recalling the pickups and S.U.V.s., telling federal regulators that rusted brake lines are a routine maintenance issue. In addition, the automaker says, the vehicles have dual brake lines, so “the affected vehicle would be capable of stopping.”

But GM's defense is simple - "It's not just us" -

In a statement this year about the issue, the company said that rusted brake lines were an industrywide problem.

“Brake line wear on vehicles is a maintenance issue that affects the auto industry, not just General Motors,” the company said. “The trucks in question are long out of factory warranty, and owners’ manuals urge customers to have their brake lines inspected the same way brake pads need replacement for wear.”

General Motors’ assertion that rusting brake lines are an industry issue is not supported by complaints filed with, Mike Wickenden, its owner, wrote in an email. He said the website had received 56 complaints about the 1999-2003 Silverado, compared with five for the Dodge Ram, two for the Ford F-Series and none for the Toyota Tundra.

It appears the owners have had enough...

Some owners of much newer G.M. models have also filed complaints, although in far smaller numbers, including one owner of a 2012 GMC Sierra. “At 81,000 miles the rear steel brake line from the frame to the rear end rusted out and burst,” the owner complained to regulators early in 2012.

Many owners are also unhappy that G.M. will not help with repair bills, which can exceed $2,000. They included a Silverado owner in Maryland, whose letter to the automaker was included in the agency’s investigatory files.

“I declined to take your offer for a voucher toward a new vehicle because I will not be purchasing any further General Motors vehicles since G.M. does not stand behind vehicles when a serious malfunction occurs,” the owner wrote the automaker in July 2012. “My children and I could have been fatally injured due to the disintegration of the brake line.”

*  *  *

This recall would take GM over the Maginot Line of 30 million vehicles recalled - good for overtime we assume? not so good for margins...


So as we asked rhetorically before - aside from the government (whose orders surged in June), vacant dealer lots (as channel stuffing 2.0 begins all over again), or the subprimest of the subprime quality borrowers (as incentives surge and GM is more than willing to chase the rabbit of credit risk in the medium term in exchange for short-term gain) - who is buying GMs?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
stant's picture

I came to that decision in 2008. Gov motors indeed

AlaricBalth's picture

Broken brakes? Do you know how much damage a hulking piece of metal moving at 50 mph can do? Imagine the effect on GDP. Krugman must be elated.

TBT or not TBT's picture

We have a broken Republic, and the UAW was instrumental.  Let every car sales guy you meet, from any car maker, you won't buy UAW ever again.   Tell every rental car agent you meet you won't drive UAW made vehicles. 

max2205's picture

Just think of the showroom traffic!

wee-weed up's picture



Hell, the old Soviet Union put out better quality cars...

With those ugly autos they made back during the Cold War...

Than the crap GM is producing now.

fervent in spirit's picture

Drive a 10+ year old Jeep with no power options, and standard everything so I can either do my own repairs or have them done at most non-dealer shops. Maintain it faithfully, drive it responsibly, and don't worry about the high costs of ineptitude and incompetence on the factory line.

The Black Bishop's picture

So, how many of these "american" cars are actually made in the USA?

COSMOS's picture

their intake manifold is cheap plastic no thanks dochen

de3de8's picture

All could be made a non issue by spec'ing stainless but oh no, would ding margins by a few bucks. Hopefully shortsightedness will get them.

JLee2027's picture

In the 1970's I had a Chevy whose transmission came apart one gear at a time while crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. I started crossing at 50, dropped to 30, finally crawled to the other side at about 15 MPH with cars blazing by me honking horns. That was enough GM for me. Never again.

I see 40 years later nothing has changed. 

Coletrane's picture

yeah because OBVIOUSLY other makes/models do not break down....


JLee2027's picture
Coletrane Member for
1 week 6 hours
Are you old enough to make that comment?
knukles's picture

Oh Fuck Me, now we got GM trolls?

Wait What's picture

he's just 1 of the dozens upon dozens of GM vehicle owners I saw while cruising around over the 4th of July weekend. I stopped counting when I hit 50 in a 10 sq. mile area. Escalades, Denalis, CTS', Sierras, Silverados... you name it, it was on the road. all those owners are 'social proof' and anyone who criticizes the vehicle they own might as well be a terrorist.

chumbawamba's picture

In my (then) limited experience with cars when I first became of proper age, my general overall assessment was that American cars sucked because they broke down more often and wore down in basic stuff (seat covers, carpets, facades, etc.) quicker and more drastically than foreign cars, especially compared to Japanese cars, which seemed to be very reliable and aged better.

I have only owned for myself either Hondas or Toyotas.  I'm lazy, I hardly take care of my cars inasmuch as I can get away with it.  I tend to run them into the ground.  Hondas and Toyotas just last.  Yeah, they break down, but in my experience they run without complaint whether you care for them or not.  The lack of maintenance tends to come out of the fuel economy though.  There was one time my radiator blew on my old 4Runner because the thermostat went bad (someone installed the seal wrong and it ended up lodged in the valve flap, forcing it always open) but I was able to take care of that myself for under $400.  I had a major issue with the crankshaft one time but that's because the knucklehead who worked on it prior didn't tighten a nut to specifications.

So bottom line, I like Japanese cars, and fuck American cars.  Until an American car company can make me a car that will be as reliable as a Japanese car and hold up as well, and convince me to actually buy it, I will stay with what works for me.  Which is a god damn shame, because I prefer to buy local/domestic.

I am Chumbawamba.

hidingfromhelis's picture

What's an American car company?  Don't some of the "foreign" car companies have higher domestic content than the "domestics?"

chumbawamba's picture

True, there was NUMMI in Fremont, California (, which is now Tesla Factory.  But from 1984 to 2010 it was a joint venture between GM and Toyota, assembling cars for both brands.  The East Bay lost a lot of jobs when that plant closed.  I'm sure only a small percentage of them went back into Tesla.

I'm guessing there was no reason for Toyota to close that plant (they pulled out after GM did) other than for reasons of taxes and regulations, both local and federal.  California is a mother fucking joke when it comes to capitalism.


COSMOS's picture


Good thing you weren't driving a Honda either you schmuck

Coltrane may not be here as long as you, but he doesn't put his big fat stinky foot in his mouth like you do either.  Go to Japan dude, and bask in the glow of your love for their cars.

JLee2027's picture

Honda never had problems like GM did, so I miss your point. What was it again?

JLee2027's picture
Member for
9 weeks 5 days
in4mayshun's picture

Hmmm JLee, instead of answer a legit question, you attack their credibility???
You sound like a politician.

JLee2027's picture

Maybe you failed to notice, but there wasn't a question to answer.

ceilidh_trail's picture

coletrain- 2003 impala: 37 months- ac line ruptures due to chafing against engine, engine gaskets rotted due to dexcool (dealer tells me he never heard of the issue!) I got stuck with the bill.  Next, internal transmission "actuator" goes- $1800 more dollars gone. Next- another engine gasket (upper or lower, can't remember the order of 'em) rotted- another big bill for me.  The rear window defogger dies- after replacing a bunch of relays/breakers, the dealer tells me the only thing left to do is replace the rear window. I declined. Also, driving in heavy rain on I91 in Vermont, the front defroster dies due to water dripping on the switch electronics in the dashboard- great fun! This has had to be repaired twice now at a couple hundred bucks each time. Also- window motors on both front doors have had to be replaced. Now- valves all knock when engine first starts due to corrosion from earlier coolant leaks according to my local (nondealer) mechanic. He has me using a Lucas oil conditioner that he says slows the oils dripping back down from the top of the engine. This is a car that I maintained. Otherwise, it would not have made it this far (175k miles). You would think that I would have learned from my prior experience with my 1982 Olds Cutlass that blew a gasket at 52k miles and my 86 Olds that did the same at about 50k miles... I had switched to ford (a few alternators, batteries, brake jobs) 11 years/145k miles in between and like a fool, then bought the impala...

saltedGold's picture

Dexcool... that shit is criminal!  No dealer will admit to the failure and damage that dexcool does even though it's well documented.  Swapped the hoses in friend's Cavalier last month... full of "mud" and scale just like in the pictures.  Maybe they can recall every vehicle from 1995 when they started using that crap.

peter4805's picture

The last good GM I had was a '69 Pontiac. The few I've owned since then were complete pieces of junk. Poorly made with one problem after another. So I got sick of these fugitives from the junk yard and started buying Japanese cars. I've never been happier. Just today I took delivery on a 2014 Toyota Corolla. I anticipate years of trouble free driving from this car.

chumbawamba's picture

And that, my friends, is why America is dying.

You want to turn America back into a strong and true nation?  Learn how to make something with your own hands, and learn how to make it well.

I am Chumbawamba.

SofaPapa's picture

A happy owner of Hondas and Toyotas here, and I am in full agreement about the quality differences with Japanese / American cars.

That said, however, your comments in favor of Japanese cars followed by this comment suggest that Japan should not be dying, which is demonstrably not true.  I figure you know this, but it just struck me as odd.

Freddie's picture

That is a scary ass bridge to have your tranny fail.  GM makes total shit. Anyone who buys UAW-GM_Obama or Chrysler-Fiat-UAW is a retard.

Ever wonder how that Fiat deal happened?   Agnelli family lost control to son in law.

Tribe member.

thatthingcanfly's picture

Let's not exaggerate the position fellas. Plenty of these vehicles DO NOT suffer catastrophic failures and last upwards of 200,000 miles.

Six months ago, I bought a GMC Sierra. I've put 6000 miles on it; and am still pleased. During the relatively harsh winter we had here in north Arkansas, the 4WD transmission case functioned flawlessly, and kept me out of the ditch when my coworkers were sliding all over the road. I'm getting 21-22 MPG - not bad for a full size crew-cab truck.

The truck was caught up in only one of the recalls - the one-time check of the transmission oil cooling line. Mine was fine. I used that trip to the dealership for my first wheel rotation and oil change. All free.

The message for me, as an ex Navy helicopter pilot, is: preflight your vehicles. In you live in salt-spray country, and you have metal braided brake lines, you need to be inspecting these regularly. Nobody takes care of YOU better than YOU.

I loathe the UAW; but the Sierra purchase made sense for me at the time. And I am most definitely not a "retard." (Well, unless you ask my ex.)

COSMOS's picture

That is so true, checked the brake pads on my folk's cars and those puppies were hair thin, did a quick run to the store and replaced them (the rotors were still glass smooth so didnt bother taking them off for turning).  Had I not had the inspiration to check it would of cost a lot more when it got down to metal to metal.  Its amazing how many people just drive oblivious.  Checked the rear drums they had almost as much material as the new shoes so took the new ones back and will change them in another year or two.

philipat's picture

Once you have driven a German car, there is no going back. And I would rather drive a five (Or even 10) year old Merc or BMW than a new GM model.

Rootin' for Putin's picture

Its all point of view, when i moved to the US the first thing i did was buy a great big American pickup (chevy).  I didn't want a crappy euro style car, Black Mans Wheels, or a doleys (welfare) Mercedes.
Still driving that truck 18 years later.

saltedGold's picture

Germans make fine machinery, but once you've had to pay for maintenance on a German car, there is no going back.

cynicalskeptic's picture

BMW's have plastiic impeller blades in the water pump.  It falls apart in time - car overheats.  If you don't stop in time you also blow the radiator and maybe head gaskets as well.....

The transmission on Mercedes SUV's runs $7000 when it goes (it WILL go - not  matter of 'if')



in4mayshun's picture

Are you kidding? My wife's 2003 Jetta was the biggest pile of junk we've ever owned. Started breaking down with 40,000 miles. But the point is, all car manufacturers had/have some bad years.

RafterManFMJ's picture

I hear ya, same here. 2004 Jetta TDI.

Recall for heated seats that could overheat and scorch the leather, recall for rear doors that could pop open, recall for water pump, had continuous carbon build up on plugs, broke down on an interstate when another water pump failed.

The roadside assistance provided by VW could not find me.

Even though I gave them the two exits I was between on an Interstate highway. Even though they were operating out of Florida and not the Philippines...took them 7 hours to get me a wrecker then they explained that delay by saying they had to send a flatbed.

For some reason RA thought the Jetta was AWD.

But the killer wast the rear running/brake lights would just stop working. Then after a period of hours or days, start again.

Me: Tail lights stop working, already been pulled over twice by the cops.

Dealer: Well, no way we can trouble shoot unless you bring it in when it's not working.

Me: I see. So, are you open after dark?

Dealer: No you'll just have to keep checking them and bring it in when you notice it's not working...

Uh-huh. A shame as that car was a cruiser and routinely got 55 MPG highway and 40+ mixed driving. So ditched it and got an 05 Honda Element; had to buy wipers, brakes, and oil during the last 120K miles. And nothing else.

COSMOS's picture

I tell you what, I dont understand this German manufacturing miracle, their products are shit.  I would first take a Japanese car made in Japan, then a Japanese car made in USA, the American car made in USA, and the last shit I would ever want is a German designed car.

nofluer's picture

Rafterman - I owned an early VW diesel Rabbit. The engine was made in Germany - the car made in PA. When the engine passed the 55k mile break-in period, my mileage went to 65 hwy, 55 mpg town. The CAR, however was crap. I painted a huge yellow lemon on the driver's door of the brown car. (One of the actions that led to my divorce. ;-D)

Ignition switch froze in start position at 5 degrees F (in Iowa) - burned out the $300 + starter motor. (Wrong grade of grease in the starter switch.)
The $15 radiator fluid overflow tank sprang a seam leak and since it was mounted BELOW the top of the radiator, it drained the fluid in same to below the top row of core tubes - which had plastic ends - which top row of ends melted. $300 + for a new radiator.

But the issue that should interest you most is the intermittent open in the main fuse box. When it decided to take a nap, internal lights (dash & etc) went out, radio died, tail lights/parking lights went out, windshield wipers stopped wiping, etc. Having recieved the same "we can't fix it until it's doing it when we see it" routine, I was so frustrated by the issue, one night it pulled its favorite stunt (popping off in a rain storm). The fuse box was convieniently located on the left side of the inside firewall. I began kicking the shit out of the fuse box... and LO!!! Everything started working again!!!!! After that night, that was my "fix" everytime it happened - and a heavy boot to the box (repeat until desired effect accomplished) never failed me. It was still doing it when I traded it for an '81 3/4 T Chebby PU, which was traded back less than a year later (after starting to make funny engine noises) for a "special order" 1T crewcab with NO "extras" (A/C, radio, etc). After changing out the entire engine only three times, it still runs 30 years later. Yes... it has problems... but who puts a lot of money into a 30 year old truck? I do - a new one would cost $70K. It has a fairly new clutch, I just had the starter re-wound, relatively new clutch, relatively new exhause and almost new tires and for convenience, it has a hole in the floor to dump cold coffee into without pulling over.

Oh... and for those who want to talk about car thefts... some advice... buy a vehicle with a std transmission. Most of today's hoodlums can't even START a stick, much less drive one.

COSMOS's picture

Ignition switch froze in start position at 5 degrees F (in Iowa) - burned out the $300 + starter motor. (Wrong grade of grease in the starter switch.)

LOL you think the Germans would of learned that by now since the winter war in the Soviet Union.  Oh well, I think their cars are crap.

Wait What's picture

German OR Japanese... LUXURY vehicles.

everything else is garbage with a short-shelf life.

Infinity and Lexus will give Merc a run for it's money, but Beamers are over-rated.

DESMO_RR's picture

Totally agree! 2009 ML550 with 61000 on it now and 0,I repeat, ZERO problems! Nothing! My previous car was a 2004 Volvo XC90 T5. Now THAT was a pile of shit! Swedish car company, owned by Ford, with a GM transmission! Biggest problem was the trans. Second biggest problem was everything else! I would have ditched much sooner but it really was the best handling, most comfortable SUV I've ever had. When it was running!

Boozer's picture

MB c230 - Bought new in 98, nearly 300k miles, NO major issues and runs fine on shit gas.

SAT 800's picture

Classic GM management style. They've been using the 15cent bolt where they needed the 35 cent bolt for twenty five years. Stainless Steel brake lines exist; they aren't the stuff of science fiction; they aren't even expensive. Look in a major catalogue auto parts supplier, they sell stainless steel brake line by the foot.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

Funny that you should mention that. I have yet to see a decent lift kit for any Chevy/ford/keep etc that didn't include stainless brake line extensions. I've even asked if its cheaper to forgo them, the answer is always no, Te companies that make good lifts pretty much just throw them in there. Not hard to throw on there. Funny that if lift manufacturers are throwing them in there, GM, which is selling you a 50k truck can't just put 'em on there to begin with

tarsubil's picture

It is American corporate culture. If we save 10 cents on these lines on a fleet, I get 1 million. If a couple hundred people die, I still get 1 million. Tonight I'm using the money to have real baby back ribs.

Postal's picture

"Real" baby back ribs--to me anyway--suggests a limited-diet, under-age stripper. Not that I have personal experience, mind you.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Has it occurred to any of you the possible explanation for this behavior is the simple fact that GM wants you ... to die?

booboo's picture

Yea, connect the dots, Government.........strings................union.............operated