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Why GM is probing 2.7 million GM trucks and SUVs

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NHTSA received 111 customer complaints about braking in the trucks and SUVs. Photo credit: BLOOMBERG

U.S. highway safety investigators are probing an alleged defect in 2.7 million pickups and SUVs built by General Motors that are getting into collisions because drivers are having trouble braking.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation on Tuesday of trucks and SUVs including GM’s best-selling Chevrolet Silverado after receiving 111 complaints from consumers. The power brake vacuum pump in the models can degrade and make it difficult to stop, according to the agency. There have been nine crashes related to the problem and two injuries, NHTSA said.

The investigation involves the 2014 to 2016 model year Chevy Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe; GMC Sierra and Yukon; and the Cadillac Escalade. GM has been monitoring field reports and other data on the vehicles and will cooperate with NHTSA to evaluate them further, said Tom Wilkinson, a company spokesman.

The scale of Detroit automakers’ pickup sales is such that when something goes wrong with the trucks, recalls can be costly. GM’s rival Ford Motor Co. called back about 2 million F-150 pickups in September, and the North American safety campaign cost the company about $140 million. That recall involved faulty seat-belt pretensioners that sparked fires after crashes.

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