WASHINGTON -- About 6 million General Motors Co. pickup trucks and SUVs are under federal scrutiny for possible brake-line failure due to corrosion.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said its preliminary evaluation, the first stage of a formal investigation, covers Chevrolet Silverados, Avalanches and Suburbans and GMC Sierras, Tahoes and Yukons from the 1999 to 2003 model years.
NHTSA has received 110 owner complaints of “loss of braking effectiveness,” 37 of which were confirmed by dealership inspections, according to the agency’s Web site this week.
Three complaints allege that corroded brake line failure led to crashes, the agency said.
GM is cooperating with NHTSA, GM spokesman Greg Martin said in a statement.
In addition,189,000 heavy-duty pickups are being investigated for the same issue.
One complaint alleged that the brake line “burst in an area that was weakened by corrosion,” leading to a “large increase in stopping distance and with the brake pedal pushed to the floor,” a NHTSA document said.
The complainant contended that after the failure, an inspection of the vehicle determined the cause to be a rusted brake line that occurred under normal driving conditions with six years of service, NHTSA said.