Nothing quite beats that new car smell, but why do you think that is? Could it be the state-of-the-art features in your new vehicle, that feeling of freshness that had long since worn off your previous car, or the fact that your new car is the vehicle of your dreams? Sure, all valid reasons, but maybe there’s something else to this. That something is the incredibly empowering feeling that safety provides. We’re not just talking about safety on the road, but security in knowing that on your travels from Point A to Point B, whether that’s to work, to pick up the kids from school or an extended road trip, you can be confident in knowing that your vehicle will make it to the other side in one piece.

So what happens when that confidence in performance gets shaken? When your brand new vehicle isn’t functioning as it should, and suddenly you’re stuck on the side of the road trying to figure out what went wrong? It’s a problem we so rarely plan for, and that’s because we expect the most from major automobile manufacturers when churning out new vehicles from their assembly lines.

Typically when these issues occur, an inordinate malfunction that stems from a mishap in the manufacturing process, automobile companies investigate. They search their records high and low in the most detailed of manners, tracking down the specific instance in which the faulty practice or part was implemented. Once discovered, the manufacturer will issue a recall, asking for owners to return their vehicles to local service providers so that the issue can be checked for and corrected if present. This process is designed to ensure that vehicles stay on the road, that drivers and passengers remain safe and that brands can maintain safety reputations that greatly influence their ability to sell vehicles in a competitive marketplace.

The misfortune of a brand new automobile not driving as it should be a very true realization for recent Chevy and GMC owners. General Motors, the American automobile corporation behind these brands, announced a new recall this October that pertains to hundreds of thousands of Chevy and GMC vehicles. The recall, which was filed openly with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the last week of October 2019, pertains to a glitch in the software system that may result in irregular or unintended braking. The total amount of vehicles affected, which includes certain models of the Chevy Silverado, Chevy Suburban, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon and more numbers over six-hundred thousand, making this new GM recall a massive endeavor for General Motors.

We’re going to outline the details of the new GMC recall, as well as steps you can take if you happen to be a GM vehicle owner and want to ensure that your vehicle is secure for driving on the road.

The Details of the General Motors Chevy and GMC Software Error Recall

The particulars of the new GM recall center around a software error in specific recent models of Chevy and GMC vehicles. The specific vehicles affected are:

  • 2014-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500
  • 2015-2020 Chevy Suburban
  • 2015-2020 Chevy Tahoe
  • 2014-2018 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2015-2020 GMC Yukon

It is believed that vehicles in each of these categories may have been exposed to faulty electronic brake control module software and may pose a risk to drivers and vehicle owners. Altogether, around 638,000 vehicles in total are anticipated to be affected. General Motors has also added that the issue has only presented itself in SUVs and trucks that have a 5.3-liter V8 engine, four-wheel drive and a 3.08-ratio rear axle, which greatly focuses the scope of the new recall search. With that said, should you have one of the aforementioned models but not have a 5.3-liter V8 engine, four-wheel drive or a 3.08-ratio rear axle, it’s still worth getting your vehicle checked out by a local dealership to make sure the software is fully up to date.

The specific nature of the problem is that, in the affected GM vehicles, a wheel-speed sensor failure could end up not being compatible with the software, thus activating the driveline-protection system in the automobile. Should this system activate, drivers will start to experience random braking from the opposite wheel from the wheel that contains the failing speed sensor. According to General Motors, this could happen when a driver opts into four-wheel drive and travels between forty-one miles per hour and sixty miles per hour. The automaker has also stated that the brake control modules in these Chevy and GMC vehicles have improper axle-ratio calibrations; this can ultimately lead to an inability for the software system in the vehicle to properly calculate wheel speed, which would also register issues with the driveline-protection system.

Should the unexpected braking end up occurring, this could pose a serious risk for accident and injury, particularly when traveling in the aforementioned speed range. The braking may cause the vehicle to pull from one side to the other, presenting a highly dangerous situation when traveling on highways.

In the event that the wheel-speed sensor does end up failing, drivers should see their electronic stability control (ESC) and antilock brake lights (ABS) light up on their vehicle’s dashboard. They will also receive a message from “Service StabiliTrak”. Should you be driving on a long-distance trip or not be able to get the vehicle into your local dealership right away for a software update and axle recalibration, GM states that you can remove the risk by not shifting your truck or SUV into the four-wheel-drive position.

How Will General Motors Vehicle Owners and Drivers Be Notified?

General Motors anticipates notifying affected owners through the mail, although a timeline has yet to be set up. A tech at a Chevy or GMC dealership will reprogram the EBCM at no cost to the consumer. Should you own a used vehicle that falls within this range, or you’re simply not sure that you’ll receive the new recall notice, feel free to reach out to General Motors or your local dealership for more information on having your vehicle inspected.

Shainfeld Law is Here to Help

If you believe that your dealership is not adequately repairing this new recall notice, or that you’ve been in an accident stemming from the problems outlined in the recall, understand that you may be entitled to legal recourse to resolve matters related to your vehicle and other associated costs. Feel free to reach out to the attorneys at Shainfeld Law Office for more information about whether or not you have a case. With decades of experience between us in consumer protection and automobile-related law, we’ll gladly point you in the right direction towards getting yourself back on the road and on your way.