General Motors (GM) has issued a recall involving 3.8 million cars in North America, with 3.46 million pick-up trucks and SUV affected in the US alone. The move, according to Reuters, is to address a vacuum pump issue that may potentially make braking more difficult, and the problem has been linked to 113 accidents and 13 injuries.

In documents sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), GM said that the amount of vacuum created by the vacuum pump may decrease over time, thereby affecting braking in “rare circumstances.” An NHTSA statement said the “vehicles may experience brake boost failure, which would require increased brake pedal effort, leading to a hard brake pedal feel, and potentially increased stopping distance.”

As part of its rectification measure, GM said its dealers will reprogramme the electronic brake control module to improve how the system utilises the hydraulic brake boost assist function when vacuum assist is depleted. The vacuum assist pump is lubricated with engine oil that flows into the pump through a filter screen, but GM said the design may cause the system to lose effectiveness over time due to debris such as oil sludge accumulating on the filter screen.

GM also told NHTSA that earlier models used a different brake assist system design, and cars manufactured after 2018 were not equipped with the affected pump design. Affected vehicles include cars made from 2014 to 2018, particularly the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon.


The 2015 GMC Yukon is also affected by the faulty vacuum pump

Earlier in June, GM recalled 310,000 vehicles in Canada for the same issue, but did not provide as explanation as to why the Canadian recall occurred over two months before cars in the US were recalled.

Meanwhile, GM also revealed that it is recalling 270,000 more cars in three smaller recalls, including 177,000 units of the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu that are equipped with the 1.5 litre turbocharged engine. The move is to address an error in the engine control module software, which may result in the fuel injectors being disabled.

It is also recalling 91,000 units of the 2019 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vehicles because the seatbelt-unfastened warning light will not illuminate for approximately five seconds after the ignition is moved to the “on” or “start” position, which means they are not in compliance with federal motor safety regulations.