By on July 8, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In today’s General Motors Digest: Replacement ignition switches are shipping to dealership service bays in boxes that may not reflect the contents inside; GM hands over 2 million documents to the United States House of Representatives; and certain truck owners are on their own as far as rusty brake lines are concerned.

Automotive News reports in a June 24, 2014 memo by the automaker to its 4,300-strong dealership network, GM would be shipping the ignition switches related to the February 2014 recalls in ACDelco boxes “due to the unprecedented volume of parts being shipped and the resulting shortage of GM Parts boxes.” The memo was composed to allay doubts of authenticity that might arise when the shipments arrive. As of June 25, 2014, 296,462 of the 2.6 million vehicles affected by the recall have been repaired, while GM expects to have the parts ready for the majority of the affected by October.

Over in the Beltway, The Detroit News says the automaker has turned over 2 million pages of records in relation to the February 2014 recall to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee as part of the latter’s ongoing investigation. Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, who is in the early stages of planning an auto safety overhaul bill, states that he wants to wrap up the investigation prior to making such a bill available for consideration. In an interview with WJR-AM, Upton is considering a national registry to easily track recalled vehicles in the repair stage, as well as when affected vehicles pass into the used car market.

Finally, Bloomberg reports that while General Motors has issued recalls left and right, it has not done so with 1.8 million light trucks and SUVs made between 1999 and 2003 affected by rusting brake lines. Further, the automaker says it’s the owner’s responsibility to prevent rusting and, if need be, replace the lines with a $500 MSRP kit. The defect has hit Salt Belt owners the hardest, where failed brake lines make up 43 out of 100,000 units sold, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

36 Comments on “General Motors Digest: July 8, 2014...”


  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Dang, thats a purdy truck.

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      Sounds like they were incredibly lucky to get it stopped to take the picture.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Haha true.

        Thats just the last nice GM pickup before the bloat set in.

        • 0 avatar
          SayMyName

          Agreed, though this is also the generation of piston slap and paper-thin sheetmetal. GM cost slashing is very apparent on the GMT800s.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Wasn’t piston slap resolved early on? It’s certainly better than the GMT900 AFM voracious appetite for oil.
            Likewise I always found the GMT900 sheet metal to be thinner than the 800s, at 180lb I shouldn’t have to worry
            About leaning against a truck but the GMT900s set a precedence for cheap. I have no faith the K2XX are better

          • 0 avatar
            morbo

            You forgot defective wheel bearings, broken fuel gages, and Pyongyang grade polymer dash!

            But I grant, it’s the last normal sized truck. Although the Frontier, Tacoma, and new Colorado are approaching the ‘old’ normal sized truck in 4-door, long bed configurations.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “You forgot defective wheel bearings, broken fuel gages, and Pyongyang grade polymer dash!”

            Not just the fuel gages, that was usually caused by a bad signal from the fuel pump assy, the rest of the cluster was a complete POS too. The gage motors died right and left, bad signal from the ignition causes the whole cluster to randomly reset itself while driving, and as usual it took a class action suit to force GM to respond by marginally increasing the cluster warranty.

            These trucks sold a lot of Tundras.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @morbo: It’s funny you should consider everything after the 800’s to be too big, when neither Chevy nor Dodge/Ram has really gotten much bigger in terms of width and wheelbase. Front overhang has gotten worse on all models, and Ford gained 6 inches of cab (and therefore overall length)from 2003 to 2004 that they probably should have just left out, but 75% of the percieved size increase in full-size trucks over the past 20 years is just that–perception. I blame the freight-train front grilles. The other 25% is the increased rate of 4×4 models bought.

            Really only the Toyota full-sizers have seen significant increase in size (and capability) over the past 20 years. The T100 was marketed as Toyota’s first full-size, but was no bigger than a midsize Dakota. The 2000 Tundra was kind of a 7/8-scale pickup, if you consider compact to be 1/2 and midsize to be 3/4. The bloated ’07 Tundra was pretty much the same dimensions as a contemporary F-150.

            But yes, a crew cab/6′ bed mid-size is about as long as a 10-year-old ext cab/6.5′ bed full-size.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I agree all new trucks would look better without the front bumper dragging the ground and the frame completely below the body.

            Its like its impossible for them to tuck a frame any more, that and the factory built in plows make trucks look cartoonish and incapable.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            The defective wheel bearings were an issue, but once again my 2005 GMC went 140K before one let go. Big deal, it cost me $500 bucks to have someone fix it. At that point I hadn’t even put brakes in it. One $500 dollar repair in 9 years and 140K, yep I can handle that.

            The stepper motors in the gage clusters is also another issue. My speedo acts up from time to time but even that is a cheap and easy fix if I was that worried about it.

            @Hummer, yes the sheet metal seems a little thinner on the ’07 Tahoe than the ’04 Sierra, but the doors shut a lot nicer sound better. The interior of the 900 puts the 800 to absolute shame. Just look at the headliner in the 2 trucks and go from there. Everything on the inside of a 900 is light years better than an 800. A 900 SUV also drives, rides and stops way better than the 800 models. No comparison between the two. You couldn’t give me a 800 SUV after owning that 900, even with the oil consumption issue. Mine is using 2 quarts every 2K with just under a 100K on it.

      • 0 avatar

        that’s funny!

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Rusty brake lines on 15 year old trucks? You don’t say.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Thanks for saying that danio. I was just wondering if 43 out of 100,000 (<0.05%) 15 year old trucks in the rust belt with rusty break lines is considered statistically significant.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I wouldn’t blink if they said it was 500 out of 100,000. Brake lines rusting out on 15 year old vehicles in the rust belt is just something that’s going to happen as nature takes it’s course, it’s certainly not only a GM affliction.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      This isn’t a problem that takes 15 years to develop, it’s a 10+ year old problem that GM took their usual sweet time before responding to, or in this case not responding to.

      The lines on my buddy’s 05 Silverado were completely shot – rusted, many bulges, scary soft pedal – in just 7 years and Maryland is only barely into the snow belt. GM forums suggest this is pretty much par for course for GMT800s.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        The NYT has a Modica-free article on this”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/08/automobiles/gm-resists-recalling-trucks-over-brake-line-problem.html?ref=business

        In 2010, the owner of a 2003 ran into trouble on account of brake line corrosion. True, 7 years, but what’s a reasonable expectation for this?

        We have no idea how many incidents have gone unreported and no idea how many people had their brake lines replaced at their own expense.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          At what point do your draw the line?

          25-30 years ago a 7 year old car was junk, literally in the junkyard because of rust if you lived in the snow belt.

          I suppose Toyota did the right thing for PR and replaced all of those truck frames, but brake lines…come on. Those are practically consumables to most snow belt owners.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Wow my ’05 Sierra went 150K on the original brakes. Lines are just fine but maybe the fact that it is a 2500HD versus a 1/2 ton has something to do with that.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      15 years? Our W body had the lines rot in 11 years. And in the same climate, my 22 year old Sable still has the original lines. Rotted lines on W bodies is so common that listing their replacement in classifieds is commonplace, just like mentioning a replaced intake gasket. Unlike that gasket however, the brake lines rupture without warning and the pedal goes to the floor. Why this is not a recall when a stupid switch is I just don’t understand. Brakes are more important than powered airbags, no? Brake lines should be a lifetime part. Make the damn things out of stainless if you have to.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Didn’t Subaru just recall a whole bunch of much much newer cars for rusty brake lines? Oh wait, not supposed to say that around here.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    At some point, you’re on your own. Subbies are having brake lines rust out in a couple of years – this is past a decade. Inspect brake lines is standard maintainence, I don’t care who the maker is.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      “At some point, you’re on your own”
      Now if we could get that message to the general “entitled” population of the USA without it being a PR nightmare for the world, everyone would be happier in the end.

      It’s not like rear axles are rusting away and collapsing, oh wait, that was Ford. It’s not like frames are rusting away and getting replaced for free, wait wait, that was Toyota. (I joke really, imagine these issues actually being issues 50 years ago that the consumer thought should be taken care of by the manufacturer?)

      What a strange world we live in.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I worked at Ford during the Windstar rear axle debacle. People were hauling 13 year old Windstars out of the junkyard so they could get 150% KBB value for them when replacement axles were unavailable and Ford was offering buybacks.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Haha. I remember taking my car in for service during that time. It was me and a bunch of rusty Windstars in line. A service tech was telling a lady that she should have probably changed the oil 25K miles ago and that tires DO wear out.

          She just got the recall fix, and didn’t do anything else.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Where did you get your assertion that Subaru brakes are rusting out in a couple years? Their recall was not the result of an NHTSA investigation, nor were there any accidents or injuries. “Subaru says it discovered the potential problems in its own testing. Brake lines could perforate after exposure to seven or more winter driving seasons.” Subaru didn’t send a bunch of people careening down the road. Subaru wasn’t investigated by the NHTSA. Subaru issued a recall and made things right for its customers. Maybe caring who made your car would get you a better car and you wouldn’t have to rationalize ignoring decades of evidence when buying the wrong car.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Gee, multiple posters here defending GM over this issue.

        One poster even dared to bring up the rusty brake lines in their mother’s Toyota Camry.

        Yet with all of those posts, you singled mine out.

        You really do love me.

        But since you now feel compelled to defend Subaru as a loving wonderful company, such a shame people died to due to their defective seatbelts (do a search).

        Never mind discussing that Subaru legendary quality, minus head gaskets, rusted out unibodies, self-destructing CV boots and joints, turbo failures…

        I knew you just couldn’t resist. So where is the line? 10 years? 15 years? 20 years? At what point does a regular maintenance item (gee, brakes 101, inspect the brake lines at every oil change) and at what point does it become a problem.

        I mean gee, Honda is ignoring their CR-V rusted brake lines:

        https://www.google.com/search?q=Honda+CRV+rusty+brake+lines&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb#channel=fflb&q=Honda+CRV+rusted+brake+lines&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&spell=1

        But nope – you had to single my post out. It’s growing really old actually, and I’m sorry, but I’m in a committed monogamous relationship.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          I replied to you because you made up a parallel with Subaru that doesn’t exist. If you’re suggesting that you weren’t the only one lying, then maybe you know a bit much about the local GM shill business.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    No recall for you!

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Dear Bloomberg News,

    Mark Modica? Really? Is that the best you can do?

    Sincerely,

  • avatar
    bufguy

    15 out of 100,000? Are you kidding me? 15 years down the road I would expect to have to replace items such as this. In 2011 my Mother’s 96 Camry with only 60,000 had to be stopped by running into the curb because the brake lines were rotted. In Buffalo, that simply means its time to get rid of the car, not expect the manufacturer to pick up the tab.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It seems that we’re heading toward permanent leases where the manufacturers literally own the cars and all their problems for life.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        @ Danio, ahh… the sweet smell of stagnant wages.

        Maybe if vehicles and repair costs weren’t such a big deal it might not be such a big deal or maybe it’s just the unprecedented level of ass-kissing and raised expectations that goes with current day retail?

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Soft lines yes, hard lines no.

      An unreasonable request being from south eastern VA I guess where cars with 25 years or more in age don’t have an issue with rusted out brake lines.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Old_WRX: @Lie2me, “I have no idea what that is” That, I believe. Figuring out the point is left as an...
  • lstanley: I love anecdotes because they prove nothing, but the only guy at the c-store this morning not wearing a...
  • deanst: For some reason their look reminds me of Hans and Franz from SNL.
  • slavuta: Cheapos. Couldn’t they price Mexican-made sedan just under 20K????
  • Art Vandelay: I’ll not have you sullying Beavis and Butt-Head with this nonsense. (Incidentally, they are...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber