GM Faces Safety Probe for Brake Problems

General Motors GM corporate building


As the auto industry continues to struggle with its safety regulations, expectations and promises to consumers, U.S. safety regulators have begun an investigation into a possible brake failure in General Motors vehicles. The probe could affect up to 6 million trucks and SUVs sold between 1999 and 2003 model years. The timing on such a probe isn’t so great–Toyota is still facing a great deal of scrutiny for its brake problems, but GM has issued its own recalls earlier this year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary probe, according to Reuters, after receiving 110 consumer complaints regarding the corrosion of brake lines on Chevrolet and GMC trucks and SUVs. The damage increased difficulties in drivers topping their vehicles. So far three crashes have been reported, but no injuries to date.

This of course highlights the power of consumer reports when it comes to products, as well as the level of commitment shown by safety regulators. There’s little room for error with organizations such as NHTSA, or corporations such as GM. Especially as consumer beliefs around automobiles is heightened in the safety department.

Combine that with the level of examination taking place with the corporate decisions made around the automobile industry, and there’s plenty of reason for consumers to be concerned. The future of the auto industry is currently undergoing a revolution, and the growing pains of pushing technologically advanced vehicles during a time of economic strife is wearing on all of us. Having to look back at the corporate decisions that occurred before the economic strife and the fall of the auto industry is only making matters worse.

As far as GM’s take on things, the company has begun to install smart brakes to reassure customers of its dedication towards a safe driving experience. Other measures are underway for addressing the brake and other issues found in recalled or questioned GM vehicles, in effort to maintain good rapport with consumers. Several car manufacturers took similar steps to win over consumers, in reaction to the public’s dismay with Toyota.

While other car companies have found themselves in the same boat despite their preemptive measures, the auto industry as a whole needs to take a few steps back and reassess its relationship with the public. While the decisions being made behind corporate doors are rarely shared secrets, the dealings of having to face the public can be a true conscious for many executives in any industry.

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