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General Motors recalls 600,000-plus pickups, SUVs for unintentional braking

The recall affects models from both Chevrolet and GMC.

2019 Chevrolet Tahoe
The SUVs and pickups could lock one wheel up while braking, due to faulty software.

General Motors has issued a new recall that affects hundreds of thousands of Chevy and GMC pickup trucks and SUVs. The recall, filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week, declares a software error could result in unintended braking.

Included in the recall are some of the automaker's most popular trucks and SUVs. The 2014-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500, 2015-2020 Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, 2014-2018 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2015-2020 GMC Yukon all may house faulty electronic brake control module software.

In total, the problem affects 638,000 vehicles. GM added the issue is present only in SUVs and trucks with a 5.3-liter V8 engine, 3.08-ratio rear axle and four-wheel drive. In these vehicles, a wheel-speed sensor failure may not play nice with the wonky software, and the driveline-protection system could activate. 

If it does activate, drivers will experience unexpected braking from the wheel opposite of the wheel that houses the failed speed sensor. This might occur when a driver selects four-wheel drive or travels between 41 mph and 60 mph, according to the automaker. GM added the brake control modules in affected Chevy and GMC vehicles have incorrect axle-ratio calibrations, which leads to the inability to properly calculate wheel speed, and thus, unlock issues with the driveline-protection system. If the unintended braking occurs, the vehicle may pull to one side unexpectedly, which increases the risk of a crash.

If a wheel-speed sensor fails, drivers will see the electronic stability control and antilock brake lights (ESC and ABS) illuminate on the dashboard. A message reading "Service StabiliTrak" will also appear. If this occurs, GM said owners can eliminate the risk by not placing their truck or SUV in four-wheel drive mode before the recall repair.

GM will notify owners of the affected Chevy and GMC models via mail, though the automaker hasn't produced a schedule yet. The fix will see a technician reprogram the EBCM for free.

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