Recall-plagued General Motors is recalling 140,067 of its 2014 Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedans because the brakes could fail to work correctly.
In a letter to the National Highw
ay Traffic Safety Administration, GM said the vehicles involved have the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and automatic stop/start, which is the base equipment on the car.
They were manufactured between last June 12, and May 2 this year. The part involved is manufactured in the U.S. by supplier TRW.
The car company declined to comment immediately.
In the letter to NHTSA, GM says it discovered the potential problem April 24 while testing an unnamed vehicle not yet on sale, which has a brake system similar to the Malibus. The automaker discovered that a brake vacuum hose can become disconnected, which means the brakes take more force to apply and the vehicle takes a longer distance to stop.
The car company says the brake fix -- a control module is reprogrammed by the dealer -- will be covered under warranty because the cars are new.
GM notified dealers of the problem May 7 and expects to send letters to owners May 30.
According to a calculation by trade publication Automotive News, the latest recall ups the number of GM recalls this year to at least 20, involving about 5.5 U.S. million vehicles. Some vehicles are being called back for more than one potential safety defect.
The major recall this year involves 2.6 million 2003 - 2011 small cars that have faulty ignition switches. The switches can move out of "run" and shut off the engine and disable the airbags. GM links 47 crashes to the switch problem: 12 deaths in 46 accidents in the U.S. and one fatal crash in Canada.
Some of the faster pace of recalls by GM can be blamed on, or credited to, new global safety chief Jeff Boyer. CEO Mary Barra appointed him in March.
He is expected to clean house on recalls, and can report directly to Barra, if necessary, to cut red tape.
The increased number of recalls could be a sign he is successfully finding and dealing with problems that previously would have festere