NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2002 Cadillac Escalade

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2002 Cadillac Escalade, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Brake line corrosion failure

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA11001

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: January 05, 2011
    • Date Closed: April 08, 2015
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Foundation Components:Hoses, Lines/Piping, And Fittings

    Summary: On January 11, 2011, ODI opened EA11-001 to investigate allegations of premature brake line corrosion failure in model year (MY) 1999 through 2003 General Motors (GM) full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles sold or registered in the following region of the United States that NHTSA has viewed as salt states for investigations of corrosion related issues:Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.The subject vehicles represent the first five MY's of GM's GMT800 platform production, of which approximately 2,038,504 vehicles were sold in salt states (the subject vehicles).The GMT800 platform includes the following vehicles:1999-2007 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 series pick-up trucks; 2000-2006 Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon sport utility vehicles; and 2002-2006 Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Avalanche sport-utility vehicles.General Motors produced a total of approximately 10,427,062 GMT800 vehicles for sales in the United States, including almost 5 million that were sold in salt states.Although there are over 60 different brake pipe routing configuration used in GMT800 vehicles, with the exception of the rear crossover pipes in MY 200x-2007 vehicles that changed from rear disc to drum brakes, all of the vehicles use brake pipes from the same supplier with a common double-wall, brazed steel pipe design with a combination of hot dip Zinc-Aluminum corrosion protection coating and Aluminum paint outer layer known in the industry as AlGal (ASTM-B750). ODI analysis of field data regarding GMT800 vehicles identified a total of 3,645 complaints of brake pipe corrosion failures, including 107 alleging crashes, and 40 injuries.Though only 20% of total GMT800 production, due to age and region the subject vehicles account for a disproportionate share of the failure experience; with 2,702 of the complaints (75%), 88 of the crashes (82%) and 20 of the injuries (50%) reported in those vehicles.Analysis of the complaints showed strong correlations to vehicle age and region.For vehicles with less than 8 years of service, the complaint rates were minimal for all regions.In the salt states the failure rates begin to climb as the vehicles advance in age, particularly in the Northeast corner of the United States.The complaint rates in the salt states go from less than 0.1 incident per thousand vehicles (IPTV) at 7 years in service to over 1.0 IPTV after the 12th year of service for the subject pickup trucks and utility vehicles.Most of the failures reported to ODI occurred in vehicles with more than 10 years in service.ODI-s investigation did not identify any specific defect conditions that were causing or contributing to the brake pipe failures.Nor did the analysis isolate the problem to any subject vehicle sub-populations when analyzed by vehicle type or production range.The investigation found that vehicles experiencing brake pipe corrosion failures were likely to have general patterns of excessive corrosion on the majority of the brake pipe assembly and appear to be occurring due to expected wear out for the brake pipe coating material used in the subject vehicles and the environmental conditions in severe corrosion states.A safety-related defect has not been identified at this time.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.The agency will monitor this issue and reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.For additional information, see the closing report in the investigation document file.


    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE05020

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Antilock
    Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Antilock:Control Unit/Module

    Summary: In a letter dated August 29, 2005, GM notified ODI that it was recalling certain model year 1999 through 2002 C/K pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles to correct a problem with anti-lock brake system (ABS) wheel speed sensor corrosion that may result in unwanted ABS activation and extended stopping distances during low-speed braking (recall 05V-379).GM's recall covers approximately 804,000 vehicles currently registered in the following 14 "salt-belt" states:Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.the recall procedure will involve removing the sensor, cleaning the mounting surface, applying a rust inhibitor (zinc-X) to the surface, and reinstalling the sensor.if necessary, the sensor will be replaced. The population and failure report data given in this resume are for the full region that has been considered by ODI as the "salt-belt."that includes Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia in addition to the 14 states included in 05V-379.the states covered by GM's recall have the highest incident rates for the subject condition, accounting for 91% of the incidents, but only 24% of subject vehicle sales in the United States.ODI's analysis determined that 840 of the complaints, 244 of the crashes, and 16 of the injuries identified in this investigation occurred in those states.the resulting incident and crash rates are 96.2 and 28.0 per 100,000 vehicles respectively (note:rates are based on vehicle sales, not registered vehicles). The corresponding numbers in the excluded portions of the "salt-belt" are 399,000 vehicles, 81 incidents (20.3 per 100,000 vehicles), 3 crashes, and no injuries.the statistics in the remaining 30 states are 2,406,000 vehicles, 168 incidents (7.0 per 100,000 vehicles), 31 crashes, and one injury.GM and ODI are continuing to monitor the problem experience in states that are not included in the recall.GM will provide ODI with updated complaint, field report, and warranty data in November 2005.ODI and GM will review that data and assess the appropriateness of the current scope of the recall at that time.


    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA02015

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: August 01, 2002
    • Date Closed: January 12, 2004
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control:Linkages

    Summary: This investigation involves the General Motors corporation (GM)throttle body (TB) utilized in model year (MY) 1999-2002 Silverado, Sierra, Tahoe, Suburban, Avalanche and Yukon (subject vehicle(s)) with 4.8L, 5.3L, and 6.0L engines. The TB valve may intermittently stick in a closed position.in such a situation, an operator may apply additional accelerator pedal force to increase engine speed.the application of additional accelerator pedal force, to open a stuck throttle valve, may open the throttle valve more than intended and, in turn, accelerate the engine and vehicle more than intended and reasonably expected by the driver.on August 1, 2002, the Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI), of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), opened this engineering analysis.the investigation revealed that two factors may cause the defect: 1) TB manufacturing process problems; and 2) accumulation of deposits (a PCV system by-product) on or around the TB throttle valve and bore.ODI concludes that the TB performs in a defective manner after analyzing GM's data submissions, and test data collected by the Vehicle Research And Test Center (VRTC).fifty-nine crashes are alleged to have occurred as a result of GM's TB defect.the majority of the crashes involve a single vehicle, engaging in a close quarter vehicle maneuver (or low speed), and causing only minor property damage.four out of the fifty-nine crashes involve injury, and those injuries were minor.although GM's TB is defective, based on the evidence gathered, ODI has found that the accelerator pedal force required to open a stuck throttle valve is negligible, and the throttle valve does not stick in the open position.therefore this engineering analysis (EA02-015) will be closed at this time.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.for a detailed discussion of the TB component and testing, please see the attached report.

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