Under scrutiny from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Congress, and the car-buying public, General Motors has issued an unprecedented number of recalls in 2014, now affecting nearly 26 million vehicles. But Bloomberg reports the company has been hesitant to take action on a safety issue that has been under investigation by NHTSA since 2011. The agency received reports of brake line corrosion and failure in ’99-’03–model fullsize trucks and SUVs. A total of 1.8 million vehicles could be potentially affected. The agency has received reports of 26 crashes, three injuries, and 10 instances where the vehicle had to be steered off the road or into another lane to avoid a collision.
According to the report, GM offers a repair kit for the brake lines available to both dealerships as well as independent repair shops. The repair typically costs $500. GM says regular inspection of the brake lines is recommended in the vehicles’ owner’s manual.
Reports of brake line failure have been much more common in the so-called “Salt Belt” states, including areas of the Midwest and East Coast where road salt is commonly used as a traction aid in cold weather. Since the investigation is ongoing, neither NHTSA nor GM had any official comment on the matter.