WASHINGTON – General Motors Corp. (GM) said Tuesday it was recalling about 800,000 sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks in 14 northern states because corrosion was affecting the antilock brake system (search), leading to more than 200 low-speed crashes.
GM, the world's largest automaker, said the recall involved the 1999-2002 model years of the Chevrolet Avalanche (search), Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Sierra (search), GMC Yukon and GMC Yukon XL.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (search) opened an investigation in late April of more than 1.2 million GM pickups and SUVs in 20 states because of questions over the antilock brakes. The investigation is pending.
GM spokesman Alan Adler said salt corrosion and road grime can wedge its way into a plastic piece that covers the ABS sensor near the wheel hub.
The corrosion leads the sensors to activate the ABS system at speeds of about 4 miles per hour to about 11 mph, requiring a longer stopping distance. The ABS system is generally started at speeds of 15 to 20 mph, Adler said.
GM said there have been 228 crashes reported through the end of May, including 10 minor injuries.
The recall involves less than 20 percent of the vehicles built during the four model years. The states include: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.