Recently, certain vehicle manufacturers issued a recall related to brake line corrosion, and NHTSA just closed an investigation into brake line corrosion issues with several older-model SUVs. One item of particular interest in the closing report from NHTSA warned that the problems seen in the SUVs in question—made by GM—were not exclusive to those models.

This discovery has made several vehicle owners nervous, and it’s no wonder. Brakes are your primary defense from accidents and other dangers on the road, and the thought of a sudden brake failure makes most people’s blood run cold.

What You Need to Know About Brake Line Corrosion

What we’ll tell you first is not what you want to hear—if you drive an older vehicle (NHTSA mentioned vehicles from 2007 and earlier), you are at risk of brake line corrosion. Why? Our salted roads in the winter can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s undercarriage and, after several winters, the effects can be hazardous for the integrity of your brake lines.

Furthermore, there has not been a recall for a majority of these older vehicles simply because there is no actual defect. The corrosion is a standard response to years of salt and chemicals on the road, and proper maintenance and prevention is enough to protect you from issues. This means that if you suffer a brake failure as a result of this corrosion, you will likely be held liable for any damages that result.

In addition to regular maintenance on your vehicle, there are steps you should take to ensure that your brakes are operating in peak condition (and let’s face it—in this neck of the woods, we need our brakes to be in top shape!):

  • Regularly wash your car’s undercarriage, especially following winter months
  • Be vigilant to possible leaks in your brake lines, often characterized by leaking brake fluid or brakes that suddenly feel “mushy”
  • If serious corrosion is present, do not replace just one section of the brake line—replace the entire assembly to prevent further damage

If you are injured in an accident that was the result of another vehicle’s brake failure, your case will need to be carefully examined to determine who is to blame. Contact my firm today to learn more about liability in accidents involving parts that may have been recalled; we can be reached by phone, by live chat, or by filling out the short online contact form.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer