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 Carcomplaints.com).
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."
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 Carcomplaints.com, 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?