When it comes to auto recalls, there's no such thing as a minor or trivial problem – there wouldn't be a recall without real risk to drivers – but the issues that come with brake problems are especially easy to imagine. Failing brakes can cause serious harm to motorists, and these recalls are very serious in nature. Consumer Affairs recently noted that Buick is calling back all of its model-year 2016 Buick Envisions due to an issue of this nature – a problem affecting the brake lines.
Under 400 SUVs affected
If there is a silver lining in the Buick recall, it is that there are relatively few of the affected model of vehicle on the road. According to Consumer Affairs, the recall impacts 327 SUVs. With some cars from one model year susceptible to the problem, it will likely be easier to contact all owners and replace the relevant parts than in some of the other high-profile recalls seen in recent years. When flawed parts are used in thousands of vehicles or across multiple makes of cars, recalls will naturally be more challenging to execute.
"Performance may decline, which raises the risk of a crash."
The exact problem with the brakes has to do with the master cylinder brake lines. The recall notes explained that the lines have the potential to crack and leak.
When brake fluid is leaking out of the lines, performance may decline, which raises the risk of a crash. CarComplains.com went into greater detail, noting that when this problem manifests itself, drivers will feel their braking distances increasing and see warnings flash on their dashboard lights. The source also pointed out that the affected vehicles were built between January 19, 2016 and March 18, 2016.
General Motors, Buick's parent company, has announced plans to reach out to every 2016 Envision owner but hadn't revealed the maintenance schedule as of Consumer Affairs' report. The repair work will be carried out by dealers, and will be free to vehicle owners. Fixing the problem only requires one step, namely the replacement of the master cylinder brake lines.
Buick brake recall in 2014
There have been a few different Buick recalls over the past few years. For instance, NBC News pointed to an incident in 2014 when General Motors recalled both Buick and Chevrolet sedans, 8,590 in total. This incident shows the way braking issues can proliferate across different car models, as GM produces both of the vehicles that were involved, the 2014 model year Buick LaCrosse and Chevy Malibu.
The flaw in the brakes involved rear brake rotors being installed in place of front ones. The rear models are thinner by design, and GM noted that with a thin rotor generating an unexpected amount of heat on front-wheel brake pads, those pads may wear out more quickly than is normal.
NBC added that the 2014 recall was carried out without GM becoming aware of any actual crashes caused by the problem. The automaker noted that until the vehicles made it into shops for repairs, it would be unclear how many of them actually possessed the issue in question, but predicted a small percentage.
Importance of brake testing
When manufacturers create brakes and the related assemblies, no amount of testing and preparation is too great. Recalls such as the ones above are potentially costly and time-consuming, and absolutely necessary when flaws slip through. Companies that focus hard on testing their brakes may manage to dodge problems that would otherwise strike their vehicles.
This is where the brake testing offered by Greening Associates comes in. A complimentary brake testing consultation can determine the potential need for testing. Whether looking for flaws on a product that hasn't yet gone to market, analyzing competitors, achieving a certification or achieving any of a number of ends, brake testing is an indispensable service.