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Heads Up 2019 Silverado & Sierra Owners! GM Issues Service Update Regarding Rusting Bumpers

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Zane Merva

Executive Editor / Publisher, GM-Trucks.com

April 12th, 2019


A few months ago we started to notice something on our 2019 Silverado that no owner of a brand new vehicle wants to see. Rust. Specifically on our rear bumper, just around the plastic step. It wasn't huge and didn't spread very far from the edge... but we couldn't stop noticing it. There was no excuse for rust on a 8 month old vehicle with less than 10,000 miles. The photo above shows the minimal but noticeable rust patch. It was even happening on both sides and in the same place. The issue seemed odd. 


Unfortunately, we've just been too busy to bring it by to our local dealership for them to look at. Lucky for us, our procrastination has paid off, because in the time between us first noticing the problem and getting off our lazy asses to drive to our dealer, GM has released a TSB about this very issue. 


It appears that on most of the early trucks, production of the bumper was completed incorrectly. The steel assemblies should be bent into shape then chrome plated. But that didn't happen in a small part of the early bumpers. The supplier bent the area around the side step after the bumper was chromed. The new folds in the steel damaged the chrome, cracking it and making the truck susceptible to rusting. 


What's the fix? If your bumper is rusting already, Chevy and GMC will replace it. If it has not yet started to rust, they will apply an automotive grade wax/sealant to prevent rust in the future. 


If you're unsure if your 2019 has this issue we suggest doing the following:

1. Give your truck a bath for heavens sake!

2. Clean the rear bumper step area with a hose or pressure washer. Front and back! We find lots of dirt collects behind our step in the bumper assembly.

3. Inspect around the foot step area and behind the foot step area. We found rust in both areas!

4. If in doubt, wait for it to rust and kindly ask for a new rear bumper. 


Our dealership, Banks Chevrolet in Concord, NH has been great getting our rust issue fixed. Our service adviser Justin has kept us in the loop during the repair and gave us a loaner Silverado LT while they have our truck. He even made sure any other outstanding service updates are also applied to our LTZ while it was in the shop. As it turned out, there were six open issues that needed addressed. 


Here's the official Service Update you can print out and bring to your dealer when you take your Silverado or Sierra in for service. 



Service Update N192212090 Rear Bumper Corrosion 


Release Date: March 2019 Revision: 00 Attention: This service update involves vehicles in dealer inventory only and will expire March 31, 2020. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (New Model) 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 (New Model) This service update should be performed on vehicles in dealer inventory only. Involved vehicles are marked “open” on the Investigate Vehicle History screen in GM Global Warranty Management system. This site should always be checked to confirm vehicle involvement prior to beginning any required inspections and/or repairs. Condition Certain 2019 model year Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 (New Model) vehicles may have rear bumper flanges that were manually bent after chrome plating. This bending could cause microcracking of the chrome plating and ultimately result in red rust forming on the base steel bumper. Correction Dealers are to inspect for rust with step pad in place and apply wax if no rust is present. If rust is present with step pad in place, replace the chrome bumper. Parts IMPORTANT: One can of Cavity Pro Wax will service approximately 150 vehicles. There is a limited supply of this product, order one can per dealer. This material will be shipped to the dealer free of charge



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They seem to still be having these same old issues. My 2010 Sierra did this right from new, as well as spot rust all over the chrome face, my running boards corroded as well. I was issued new ones under warranty, and had the box repainted under warranty as well due to paint flaking. My wife's Canyon did the same thing with the running boards after one year and received new ones under warranty. I think there is enough evidence out there now to say that who ever GM's supplier is for bumpers and running boards is not chroming them properly, or the metal is too thin for the chrome to protect it from corrosion. Surely after replacing a mind-numbing amount of bumpers and RB's over the years you would think they would sort out this issue with the supplier. 

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My dad bought a 2003 brand new.  his chrome running boards look better than mine off of my 2017.  16 new England winters vs 2.


Such a shame

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I think that the subcontractors that make the parts for the manufacturers sometimes cut corners, or let substandard pieces get by while they are having manufacturing issues, as in the above case.


The second part of the equation is the fact that treatments applied to the roads during winter are all oxidizers that will eat into the metal. Salt, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are all used on roads, and they only need moisture and air to activate them, and they'll eat into any metal, including mid and lower-grade stainless steel. If that stuff doesn't get completely cleaned out of every nook & cranny, then every time it rains it re-activates. 


Put both of these conditions together, and you're going to get rust, so the build quality and materials used have to be held to the highest standards.

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