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U.S. looking into brake failure possibility in 6 million older GM trucks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a preliminary investigation into brake failure in 6 million older-model Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickup trucks.

The agency is looking at whether corrosion caused by the use of salt in snowy and icy conditions in Northern states is damaging brake controls. GM said it is cooperating in the investigation.

The probe is in response to a motorist complaint of sudden loss of brake power and a longer-than-expected stopping distance after a corroded brake line burst.

NHTSA has received 110 complaints from drivers of 1999 through 2003 model Chevrolet and GMC C/K series pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles. All of the complaints allege the loss of braking effectiveness due to brake line rupture because of corrosion.

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In 37 of the complaints, the brake line failure was confirmed by a dealer inspection. Three of the complaints say the failure resulted in a crash. There were no injuries or deaths resulting from the reported failures.

Over the last three years, NHTSA’s defect and compliance investigations have resulted in 524 recalls involving 23.5 million vehicles.

jerry.hirsch@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesjerry

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