The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) doesn't think your rusted brake lines are a big deal. And it took them five long years to reach that salt-in-wound conclusion.
The Longest Investigation
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 CarComplaints.com and help spread the word.