NHTSA Lists 1,895 Complaints for GM Brake Lines, GM Denies Problem

bake line rustGeneral Motors continues to deny that there is a problem with rusting brake lines on its vehicles, as noted here yesterday. GM’s new Vice President of Global Safety, Jeffrey Boyer, claims that brake line rust “is a maintenance issue that affects the entire automotive industry.” However, a search of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website shows that GM vehicles have about ten times the complaints for brake lines than Ford, Toyota and Honda combined!

NHTSA has a tool to allow searches for complaints by keyword. While there is an ongoing NHTSA investigation on model year 1999 to 2003 GM trucks, the investigation has never been expanded to include newer models which also seem to be plagued by brake line corrosion which leads to brake failure. Here are the figures from a NHTSA complaint search using the keywords “brake line.”

Chevrolet models, model years 1999-2008: 1,372 complaints.

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GM Resists Recall for Brake Line Defect in Chevy Silverado, Other Vehicles

General Motors has finally responded to our May 13 request that it recall 6 million Chevy Silverados and other light trucks and SUVs. In a letter from Jeffrey Boyer, Vice President for Global Safety, GM is sticking to its longstanding claim that a brake line corrosion problem results from “wear and tear.” From Boyer’s letter:

Brake line wear on vehicles is a maintenance issue that affects the entire automotive industry. As with every vehicle part, our safety personnel regularly investigate brake line complaints for possible defects.

This statement is directly refuted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data.  The kind of corrosion affecting GM vehicles does not plague the rest of the industry. In the only other situation with any similarity, Subaru last year undertook a recall.

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Tesla Enthusiasm for Battery Swap Wanes After Subsidies Disappear

Elon Musk IronManNLPC has extensively documented how Tesla Motors has taken advantage of market distortions to reap revenues – including government mandates, subsidies, and taxpayer support – not the least of which have been so-called “zero emission credits” from the state of California. But much of the revenue Tesla enjoyed last year – which often meant the difference between profit and loss – was credited based upon theoretical technological capabilities and not ones actually put into practice.

CEO Elon Musk has also relied on accounting gimmicks to enhance his bottom line over the last 18 months, during which a couple of quarterly earnings reports even showed a profit – albeit under non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Those handsome returns were achieved in part thanks to a scheme administered under the California Air Resources Board in which additional zero emission credits are awarded to vehicle manufacturers based upon the ability for models to “fast … Read More ➡

Subaru Recalled Vehicles With Brake Line Corrosion; GM Should, Too

General Motors has still yet to acknowledge that it has a problem with brake lines that are subject to rust on many of its vehicles. Model year 1999 through 2003 trucks, primarily the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, are currently under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and multiple complaints have come in for newer models up to model year 2007. It has now been about a month since we notified GM and NHTSA of the issue and requested a recall of vehicles that are putting motorists in harm’s way. I now suggest that GM look at how Subaru handled a similar issue with its vehicles so that this serious safety issue gets resolved.

It is not debatable that GM has far more complaints than any other manufacturer for brake failure from brake lines that burst due to corrosion. Whether you do a Google search on the … Read More ➡

GM CEO Mary Barra Ignores Brake Corrosion Safety Issue

Barra photoWell, it looks like New GM is not much different than Old GM when it comes to addressing serious safety issues on its vehicles. The Associated Press reports that General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, claims that GM has not turned up any other major safety issues. I guess Ms. Barra feels that two tons of steel traveling at high speeds with brake lines that can burst at any moment is nothing to be concerned about. The continued denial by GM that there is no safety issue with their trucks that are prone to brake line corrosion proves that the company has a long way to go before they change a culture that puts profits ahead of motorists’ safety.

Last month we sent a letter to GM and Ms. Barra requesting that GM trucks that are prone to brake line rust be recalled. The problems plague Chevy Silverados, GMC Sierras … Read More ➡

GM Internal Investigation Does Not Absolve Management of Criminality

Brooke's carThe long-awaited General Motors recall report, which was compiled by attorneys with longstanding and lucrative ties to the company, has been released with few surprises. GM-hired attorneys claim that no high-level executives at the company were responsible for the deadly ignition switch recall delay that cost at least 13 people their lives. The report does nothing to vindicate GM. The company’s management must be investigated by the Justice Department.

The legal team responsible for the “investigation” was headed by Jenner and Block chairman, Anton Valukas. While Mr. Valukas is most often described as a former federal prosecutor by the media, the fact that Jenner and Block are long-time cronies of GM is not often mentioned. The company served as lead counsel for GM during its $15.8 billion IPO. Two former top GM attorneys were also partners at Jenner and Block, as reported by Reuters.

The fact that GM’s current … Read More ➡

GM’s Internal Investigation (Mary Barra’s Whitewash) Prompts Questions

Valukas photoIt is expected that GM’s internal investigation will absolve GM CEO Mary Barra of responsibilty for the deadly recall delay that resulted in at least 13 deaths and 31 injuries.

I don’t think anybody expects an investigation paid for by GM and conducted by lawyers with longstanding cozy relationships with GM to be anything but a whitewash. This only increases the necessity of NHTSA and Congress getting to the bottom of the delay. They owe it to the victims and the public.

People are tired of hearing leaders at the highest levels of responsibility claim that they were simply not aware.

Here are some questions for GM, NHTSA and Congress:

1) Does ignorance of this deadly defect reflect any better on GM’s senior executives than complicity? If nobody in GM’s senior leadership takes credit for this, doesn’t it create huge incentives for executives to remain ignorant of potentially deadly defects?… Read More ➡

Silicon Valley Capitulates to Jesse Jackson Shakedown

Jesse Jackson

It would seem that the heyday of Jesse Jackson Sr., racial shakedown artist extraordinaire, is long over.  Regrettably, some of the largest companies in California’s Silicon Valley are resuscitating his career. Jackson once again is flying high, issuing ultimatums for “diversity” and giving companies a choice: 1) orient hiring, marketing and other activities to favor nonwhites; or 2) get ready for a boycott, picketing, a lawsuit or other bad publicity. This May he gave information technology industry titans the full Jesse treatment – and on their own turf. At shareholder meetings of eBay, Google and Facebook, Jackson issued aggressive calls to hire blacks and other “people of color,” especially for top positions. Two months earlier he had brought his shakedown campaign to Hewlett-Packard. The response from each company was either silence or capitulation.

Jesse Jackson, popularly known as Rev. Jesse Jackson, now 72, more than anyone this side of Al … Read More ➡

Must Someone Die Before GM Recalls Trucks with Rusting Brake Lines?

Mary BarraIt has now been more than two weeks since we sent a letter to General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, requesting a recall for vehicles (primarily Chevy Silverados and GMC Sierras) that have thousands of complaints regarding brake line corrosion. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has had an ongoing investigation for GM truck model years 1999 through 2003. Considering that new research has discovered newer model trucks with the same problem, just what are GM and NHTSA waiting for to recall these dangerous vehicles?

There have not been any reported deaths attributed to brake failure resulting from corroded brake lines; not yet. But serious injury or death will certainly be the result (if it has not already happened) if these defective vehicles are not taken off the roads.

GM’s initial response to complaints of rusted brake lines that cause drivers to lose braking ability has been … Read More ➡

How Warren Buffett Milks Consumers & Taxpayers Through Wind Energy

Warren Buffett photoIn my previous Special Report titled “The Carnahan Wind Deal,” I documented that wind energy is highly inefficient and requires additional transmission lines and back-up gas generators when the wind doesn’t blow. Yet, windmills keep getting built, thanks to government subsidies.

But it is very hard to trace these subsidies. Vague statements about “tax credits” and “mandates” give no hint of the magnitude of returns that these subsidies provide to crony windmillers. Indeed, in the Carnahan Special Report, we had to burrow into financial statements of a foreign company and its subsidiary to understand where all the money was going.  The principal information was buried in an arcane note to these financial statements.

I had heard that Warren Buffett was a fan of green energy, so when an associate of mine accidentally left a copy of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s 2013 Annual Report on my desk a few weeks ago, I … Read More ➡