General Motors has not had the greatest track record in 2014. The company has recalled approximately 30 million vehicles since the start of the year, and more are constantly being added to that list.
The Impala seems to be at the heart of General Motors’ problems. The 2014 Impala was recalled in February because of a transmission problem that would allow a parked car to roll away. In June, some versions of the car had to be recalled because of ignition problems, or a joint fastener not torqued to specification.
Recalls continued in July when other Impalas exhibited a problem with power steering, and earlier models had the potential for air bag failure.
Now, General Motors is recalling over 220,000 Cadillac XTS and Impala sedans due to an issue with the brake pads.
The newest recall involves 2013-2015 model Cadillacs and 2014-2015 model Impala’s. Roughly 200,000 of the General Motors vehicles are in the U.S.; the rest can be found in other countries.
According to the Detroit-based automaker, the electronic parking brake arm doesn’t always fully retract after use. The purpose of the electronic parking brake arm is to apply pressure to the back of the brake pads. When it doesn’t fully retract while the car is in motion, the friction could cause excessive heat that might lead to a serious, or even deadly, fire.
The recalled cars “may experience poor vehicle acceleration, undesired deceleration, excessive brake heat, and premature wear to some brake components. If the brake drag is significant or if the vehicle is operated for an extended period of time in this condition, there is a potential for the rear brakes to generate significant heat, smoke, and sparks,” General Motors stated.
The brake issue was investigated by General Motors after NHTSA opened an investigation in April. The investigation was opened to “investigate allegations of inappropriate autonomous braking while driving.”
“In response, General Motors reviewed its warranty records for cases of autonomous braking. This review revealed a potential condition relating to parking brake drag,” GM said.
The troubled company bought a defective car from one of its dealers in May, “after analyzing the vehicle, General Motors determined that the parking brake software was defective. General Motors continued to investigate the potential safety and compliance implications of the software defect.”
As far as General Motors knows, there have been no reports of accidents or death as a result of the defect. General Motors has also reported that they will repair the affected vehicle at no cost to the owners or their insurance companies.
NHTSA is currently investigating the various recalled cars.
[Image courtesy of CBS News]