General Motors Brake Recall Hits Chevy Volt, Bolt Too


General Motors has issued a recall for several 2018-2019 models due to a brake problem that could lead to a collision.

Models with the issue are said to have defective brake pistons. According to GM (via GM Authority), the supplier (ZF Group) that provides the specific brake parts didn’t “properly chrome and temper the brake pistons,” which may lead to hydrogen gas being released into the brake piston and then trapped. This could cause the driver to feel “spongy” braking and rear-braking power may be reduced.

While GM is not reporting any incidents caused by the problem, it’s noted that as the rear-brake performance lessens, a driver could lose control of the vehicle. Some 230,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada are impacted by the problem, including the 2018 and 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV, as well as the 2018 and 2019 Chevrolet Volt.

To find out if your car is affected, visit Once you enter your VIN, you’ll be able to find out if your car requires service. Fortunately, it appears that the fix is simple. It just involves bleeding the rear brakes to get rid of the trapped gas.

Interestingly, ZF Group has already been looking into a similar issue with cars from other manufacturers. However, the supplier didn’t notify GM right away or include the automaker in its recent report of vehicles with the particular calipers related to the recall.

Source: GM Authority


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29 Comments on "General Motors Brake Recall Hits Chevy Volt, Bolt Too"

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If this were Tesla the s#&* would hit the fan. Since its GM – they will get a pass like all of the other companies that have also been bankrupt save for Ford. T had some issues with the first release of the 3 and stopping distances – fixed it with an over the air update. That’s obviously is not going to happen with GM products.

What are you talking about? This is all over the news! They don’t talk about evs because this affects most of their gas lineup.

I wouldn’t Snap your suspenders too hard there ‘Without ICE’… A brake piston defect could never be fixed by an over the air update.

Ask recent Tesla owners how many of their Door handle actuators were repaired with OTA’s, or how many 12 volt batteries were replaced with OTAU’s or how many drive units were changed out.

It would better if they could. Since GM products will most likely NEVER need drive unit replacements nor 12 volt battery Changeouts (at least not until after around 6 years or so), nor door actuator adjustments or replacements – certainly not several times on the same car.

My 50,000 mile, 2014 Caddy ELR has electric door actuators which have always performed flawlessly even after going through a heavy sleeting a few times. They’ll never need so much as an OTAU either.

You guys must have never ever purchased a Tesla since you don’t realize what is important and what is not.

The guys who have been forced to DIY repair on their Teslas out of warranty truly know what is important.

Everyone should keep in mind that recalls are good. They fix the inevitable and unavoidable eventual mistakes in production that no car maker is immune from. We should reward car makers for doing recalls, and at least they got brake pads into these cars, so that’s a step forward.

I much ratter see them fix issues than hiding them and denying them until people die. Proactive is the way to go and should be appreciated.

Defective brake pistons. Not a good thing.
It’s one of those sleepers in that everything could be fine, until.
So get them fixed, set regen on high.

The fix cannot just be bleeding and exhausting the unwanted gas buildup. You need to address the cause which was previously stated as the pistons need to be replaced or the whole caliper Assembly because the pistons were not manufactured properly. How does bleeding the brakes fix bad coated pistons. Do you read and understand what you publish?

threader, you might find this document interesting –

It explains how bleeding the brakes, in this case, is all that’s needed.

Jump to page 4 of the document for the explanation.

The document explains that bleeding the brakes removes the hydrogen gas from the braking system. It does not address wear characteristics of the improperly built pistons or effects on their longevity. This is a cheapest fix they can get away with solution, not a fix the root cause solution which would be to replace the improperly built pistons with normal manufacture pistons. Sure hope there are no problems down the road for these cars…

Hell, I barely use the brakes in my Bolt!

Then you are actually at higher risk than people who regularly use their brakes. People who regularly use their brakes would notice sooner that the brakes were getting spongy and seek out service on their brakes.

Anyone who barely uses their brakes would only find out too late that there is a problem, when they need to use their brakes in an emergency and find they aren’t performing as needed for an emergency stop.

You have one of the early cars, so your brakes have been exposed longer than many other owners. If you haven’t done any hard braking lately, I would suggest finding a safe place away from traffic and try a few emergency stops and make sure your brakes are ready in case of an emergency.

Thankfully most Bolts on US roads are 17s. I have a 17 and I think Bro does too. As of right now the recall is only on the 18 and 19 MY.

But yeah I suppose it can’t hurt to do a ‘brake check!’ every so often lol. Just warn any passengers first!

Problem solved then! Next time you visit the dealer tell them to remove the brakes completely. It’s just added weight.
Bro, i like you enough to worry about your attitude towards this issue.

Was wondering when you’re going to post an apology for your Bolt….
It’ll be “holy hell this is endangers lives” if this was a Tesla.

Bug that “the driver could lose control of the vehicle” – oh no big deal.
Bug that “the vehicle may suddenly stop despite positive remaining battery charge” – oh no big deal. You’ll never see it, lo and behold Edmunds saw it.

Seems like if the problem is gas from improperly chromed brake caliper piston parts (and the piston parts corroding and releasing gas as a result) that bleeding the brakes is a temporary fix at best.

I rarely use the brakes on my Bolt anyways, Still would be nice to know they will work well if I need them.

GM will bleed the brakes for the recall. Once your warranty expires GM dealers will insist urgently that the whole caliper assembly needs to be replaced.

With Goverment motors your first 50 recalls are free!

Existing car makers have a lot of experience they said.
They could crush and bury Tesla any time they said.

They could, but it would not be profitable to do so, so Tesla lives on.

In your dreams.

Went to the GM site. No recall on my 2018 Bolt, so must be a subset of them.

Interesting. 3 days after I picked up my new 2019 Bolt. But I go out the listed web site and it says their aren’t any recalls for my vehicle. Hard to believe if this impacts the 2019 model, it isn’t all 10 of them released so far.

I wonder if electric brakes would be safer/more robust? It would also be one less fluid system to install into an EV. If anyone has the data/comparison on electric brakes, please post.

Many cars do have electric brakes, but only on the emergency brake. These cars, like Tesla, apply the electric brake to one or more calipers when the car is in Park. And, as you probably know, trailer brakes are most often electrically operated.

Eventually, hydraulics will be replaced by electrically operated brakes, but it will take some time. One impediment is regulatory agencies, like DOT, that for now, require hydraulic brakes. Obviously, hydraulic brakes have been used all these years because they operate even with a complete electrical failure.

Here is an article about how electric brakes are moving forward:


Our Bolt was called in. They looked at it and sent us on our way within 30 minutes.

Does make me wonder….. Is this gas going to build up slowly again? Some use brakes more than others so bugging people for service periodically might not work, and is annoying.
And they just started building ’19s, so please tell me those parts will be rescourced or at least made correctly and soon!
We Don’t Want Cheap Parts!

Well, I think I’m glad to hear about this recall. It’s better than reading news about accidents caused by some factory faulty, though. For anyone who have similar problems with their cars, but haven’t been recalled, I think I have just read a good article about lemon law at Hope this helps.

It’s not just 2018-19 models, I have a 2013 Gen 1, were the brake pedal fades when reversing on a forward incline, not only that after a dealer service I get service stabili trak and brake assist messages that when cleared resumes normal operation, but come back intermittently.
GM need to investigate, something not right with TRW brake package on the Volts & I do like my Volt.
But I bet they will force me to spend a huge amount in replacing expensive modules on a 6year old car with less than 30,000 Km.