New GM Recall: 3.5 Million Trucks Affected By Brake Vacuum Pump Problem

No set date for when the company will notify affected owners

GM recall: 3.5 million trucks affected by vacuum pump issue
  • General Motors announced a recall campaign affecting 3.46 million trucks Wednesday over a vacuum pump system defect.
  • Affect models include the 2014 – 2018 Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Sierra, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.
  • Dealers will reprogram the brake control module.

Owners have reported over 100 accidents.

General Motors announced Wednesday it would recall nearly 3.5 million trucks in the U.S. to address a serious vacuum pump issue. GM says the amount of vacuum may decrease over time, requiring more braking effort to stop. According to a Reuters report, the problem has been linked to 113 accidents and 13 injuries.

The recall affects certain 2014 – 2018 model year vehicles. Those vehicles in that range include the Chevrolet Silverado, Tahoe and Suburban; the GMC Sierra and Yukon; and the Cadillac Escalade SUV. No 2019 models are under recall for this specific issue.

2018 chevy chevrolet tahoe suburban v8 6.2L 10-speed transmission
This issue also affects 2014 – 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade models, as well as GM’s light duty pickups. [Photos: Chevrolet]

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the problem in November 2018. In the course of that inquiry, the agency gathered nine reports of accidents from the problem, with two related injuries. The NHTSA provided field reports to GM that compelled the automaker to launch its own investigation.

According to the Reuters report, GM says the vacuum assist pump could deteriorate over time. The pump is lubricated with engine oil, and could lose effectiveness as debris accumulates on the pump’s filter screen. As the screen clogs up, the pump isn’t able to put out as much vacuum assist, causing the loss in braking power. The company told the NHTSA it did not use this design in older model trucks, and those manufactured after 2018 use a different pump design.

GM dealers will reprogram the electronic brake control module as part of this recall. With the change, the module should make better use of the hydraulic brake booster when the vacuum assist has depleted. However, there is currently no specific timeline detailing when GM will notify owners about the recall campaign.

H/T to Reuters for the information in their report.