GM Trucks Rusty Brake Lines, New Fix – Poor Solution?
Rust. One of the worst four-letter words any vehicle owner can hear. Normally it attacks frames and body panels. However, GM truck owners are seeing it on brake lines which can snap. GM is now offering a fix, but owners have to pay for it. Huh?
Going way back to 2009-10, GM owners have been complaining about rust on brake lines. The complaint is that rust can cause the brake lines to deteriorate and snap like a twig. This results in, what owners say, is “mushy” brakes. Presumably this is do to brake fluid leaking out. Then, the owners lose all brake function.
The issue grew so large that the NHTSA started an investigation into the brake tubing on 1996-2009 Chevy/GMC/Cadillac pickup trucks and SUVs. As you probably would assume, the affected vehicles are predominately found in the northern states. For years, these states have been known as the “rust belt” of the automobile industry. Their winter time road treatments are often linked to rust issues. That is precisely what GM is claiming is the culprit. In a statement to 7 Action News, a Michigan TV station, GM says rusty brake lines “can happen over time” and it is the road treatment to blame (see: road, salt). While the NHTSA never released a recall, plenty of consumers have been frustrated by the problem.
The fix, for a long time. was for GM technicians to find or make their own replacement parts. Autos.AOL says that quite often: “Technicians are forced to repair the vehicles by bending straight pieces of steel tubing, so you would pay for time and materials, and this can get expensive. I’ve heard some drivers have been quoted estimates of more than $1,000. Here is a caution, though: the tubing used is the same steel that rotted to begin with, so the problem could reoccur.”
GM says that the problem isn’t that widespread with 1:1000 trucks having the problem. They also say it is “not a safety issue” since, they claim, the brakes will still work.
Now there seems to be a real solution. GM is offering, “what they call a deeply discounted brake repair kit that runs $2-thousand dollars for only $500,” according to the 7 Action News article.
The repair kit includes nylon coated brake lines that are more resistant to rust. The kits can be applied and repaired through your authorized GM dealer or repair shop.
Adding insult to injury, the vehicles this fix applies to are so old now that the standard 36,000 mile warranty or 3 years no longer applies. That’s right, you get to pay for the ENTIRE fix including labor out of pocket.
What do you think? Is this a poor fix for a serious problem?
Filed Under: Auto News