GM Recalls a Million Pickups and SUVs Amid Flurry of Accident Reports

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

More than a million, actually. A recall of 1,015,918 Silverado and Sierra pickups, plus their full-size SUV cousins, was issued yesterday by folks at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This recall affects machines from the 2015 model year. They are being summoned to repair centers thanks to electrical and software issues that could play havoc with the power steering system.

General Motors is recalling certain 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Tahoe, and Suburban trucks. From the GMC family, the Sierra 1500 and Yukon/Yukon XL are affected. And, thanks to parts sharing, owners of Cadillac Escalade SUVs from this model year are wrapped up in the same recall.

According to the NHTSA, affected trucks may momentarily lose their electric power steering (EPS) assist, followed by a sudden return of this assist, particularly during low-speed maneuvers such as navigating through a parking lot. The loss and sudden return of EPS assist is said to typically happen within a 1 second period and is caused by an electrical/software issue.

Events that demand high current, such as low speed turns, can cause temporary low voltage conditions. When the system voltage drops below 8.8 volts for more than 1 second — e.g., during low-speed turns — EPS assist is disabled until voltage returns to 9 volts for a minimum of 40 milliseconds, at which point EPS assist returns.

If power steering assist is lost and the vehicle reverts to manual steer, a driver information center message may alert the driver to an EPS problem. Also, other electrical sub-systems may shut down at the same time or just before the event, which the NHTSA filing says could temporarily disable the radio, the A/C, or Stabilitrak.

The automaker says it is aware of 30 accidents and 2 injuries related to the problem.

GM recalled model year 2014 trucks last year for a similar issue. Apparently, stouter negative battery cables and steering system grounds – amongst a few other changes – were made to more recent models of these trucks in an effort to quash the problem. GM also ran numerous tests at GM’s Milford Proving Ground to further understand and quantify the severity of the problem.

The General rolled out its new-for-2019 Sierra and Silverado this year. At the end of Q2 2018, sales of the trucks rose 1.7 percent and 10.7 percent respectively compared to the same time last year, about 60,000 units adrift of the F-150 which sold just over 450,000 copies in the first half of this year. Thanks to the lack of monthly sales data from GM, we won’t know more recent numbers until the end of this month.

The company plans to notify owners, with dealers ordered to update the EPS module software, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners of affected rides are encouraged to contact Cadillac at 1-800-458-8006, Chevy at 1-800-222-1020, or GMC at 1-800-462-8782.

Dealers will perform a reflash of the EPS module software. GM’s number for this recall is 18289.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • El scotto El scotto on Sep 13, 2018

    Oh My Lordy; this must mean that DeadWeight was banned for good.

    • Lie2me Lie2me on Sep 13, 2018

      Yeah, where is he? He lives for this stuff

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Sep 13, 2018

    Ford has nothing to do with it but I start worrying about DW - he should be all over this news by now, but 20 comments passed by and there still no word from DW. And many of us prepared popcorn in anticipation - very disappointing. I blame steering failure on Climate Change. With increasing temperatures we will see more and more issues like that. It is time to take Global Warming seriously!

  • Golden2husky Have to say he did an excellent job on the C7, especially considering the limited budget he was given. I am very happy with my purchase.
  • Marty The problem isn't range; it's lack of electricity in multi-unit building parking. All you need is level 1 - a standard 120v wall socket - and if you're plugged in 10 hours overnight you get 280 miles per week or more. That's enough for most folks but you can use public charging to supplement when needed. Installing conduit circuits and outlets is simple and cheap; no charge stations needed.
  • 2manyvettes Tadge was at the Corvette Corral at the Rolex 24 hour sports car race at the end of January 2023. During the Q&A after his remarks someone stood up and told him "I will never buy an electric Corvette." His response? "I will never sell you an electric Corvette." Take that Fwiw.
  • Socrates77 They're pinching pennies for the investors like always, greed has turned GM into a joke of an old corporate American greed.
  • Analoggrotto looking at this takes me right back to the year when “CD-ROM” first entered public lexicon