NHTSA Issues Corrosion Safety Advisory
Just last week, we published a story about spring cleaning your car after winter weather, with specific notes on how to remove road salt. NHTSA today issued a Safety Advisory and consumer video encouraging owners of model-year-2007 and older trucks, SUVs, and passenger cars to inspect brake lines and thoroughly wash the underside of their vehicles to remove corrosive salt after the long winter in order to prevent brake-line failures that increase the risk of a crash.
The advisory was issued in conjunction with the agency’s closing of an investigation into brake line failures in General Motors trucks and SUVs built in model years 1999 to 2003. NHTSA also issued a closing report that details the investigation’s analysis of state safety inspection data and a survey of about 2,000 vehicle owners. The data indicate that the brake line corrosion seen in the GM vehicles was not unique – similar vehicles using comparable brake-lines experienced similar corrosion issues, especially in states using salt to de-ice roads in winter.
NHTSA’s safety advisory urges owners of trucks, SUVs and passenger cars that are more than seven years old to:
• Maintain their vehicle and prevent corrosion by washing the undercarriage regularly throughout the winter and giving it a thorough washing in the spring to remove road salt and other de-icing chemicals that can lead to corrosion.
• Monitor the brake system for signs of corrosion by having regular professional inspections and watching for signs of problems, including loss of brake fluid, unusual leaks, and a soft or spongy feel in the brake pedal.
• Address severe corrosion, marked by flaking or scaling of the metal brake pipes, by having the full assembly replaced.