Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra owners who only tried to do the right thing by getting a recall fix applied to their truck are now at risk of losing all braking function. And it only takes activating one feature you probably use all the time.
Last month we reported on GM recall N192268090, which among other things, was packaged with an update that fixed a long standing issue that incorrectly reported a lower than accurate percentage of brake life left in the vehicle’s driver information center. Some owners, us included, noted the electronic brake wear indication system, which bleeds down from 100% to 0%, dropped far too fast. In our case, the electronic indicator lost nearly 20% in the first few weeks of ownership. At 24k miles, our Silverado only had about “10%” of its brake life left according to the system. The recall addressed other safety issues in the braking system itself as well.
As you might imagine, many owners were pretty happy to get a working brake life indicator and happily took their vehicle in for the recall. In fact, so did we. But shortly after talking to the service advisor, we realized the recall fix was in fact far more risky than not having the recall applied at all.
Apparently, after the software updates for the recall are applied, a driver can effectively brick his entire braking system by simply using the OnStar Remote Start feature. Yes, by simply remote starting your truck, you can lose all braking power and potentially have to get towed to the dealership. After a remote start is attempted, apparently the peddle goes hard and won’t recover with a restart.
Perhaps even more terrifyingly, the dealership still applied the update to our Silverado. Just a simple “hey don’t do this” caveat was mentioned.
Other folks on our forum are also having the same issues. While GM is providing free courtesy rentals for anyone having brake problems, the estimated date for a fix to be released is still up in the air. GM is aware of the issue and also attributes a low battery voltage as a potential trigger. Which also means, don’t disconnect your battery.
We’ll update you if we find out anything else or happen to brick our Silverado’s brakes by accident.