GM SUVs and Trucks with Rusted Brake Lines

Posted on
Scott McCracken
Brown corrosion building up on brake lines.

NHTSA opened their brake line corrosion investigation way back in 2010. The agency received over 3,600 complaints with 107 linked to crashes. At one point their investigation included 2 million GM trucks and SUVs that all:

  • Were from the 1999–2003 model years
  • Used the same supplier of brake lines
  • Were sold or registered in the notorious salt belt states

Salt belt? That’s a region where road salt is heavily used to melt ice off the roads. That same salt is well known for causing corrosion issues, but what it’s doing to these specific brake lines is downright debilitating.

NHTSA's Delayed Decision

So if brake lines are failing apart at an alarming rate — aren’t owners in danger? Shouldn’t there be a safety recall? And why did it take 5 flippin’ years to make any decision either way?

These are all great questions that deserve answers. NHTSA doesn’t have answers though.

All NHTSA has is a boilerplate statement about “normal wear and tear on 10-year old vehicles.” But … weren’t these vehicles only 5 years old when the investigation started?

NHTSA may write off your complaints, but we won’t. Have concerns about your brake lines? Tell and help spread the word.

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA