Pontiac Engineering Analysis EA13005: Brake Light Switch/Sensor Malfunction

2005 Pontiac G6

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Brake Light Switch/Sensor Malfunction

Exterior Lighting
Exterior Lighting:Brake Lights
Exterior Lighting:Tail Lights

On May 14, 2014 General Motors (GM) announced a recall action (14V-252) involving model year (MY) 2004-12 Chevrolet Malibu, MY 2004-07 Malibu Maxx, MY 2005-10 Pontiac G6 and MY 2007-10 Saturn Aura vehicles.An increased resistance can develop in the Body Control Module connection systems and result in voltage fluctuations in the Brake Apply Sensor (BAS, or brake light switch) circuit that can cause the brake lamps to malfunction.As a result, and according to GM, the brake lamps may illuminate when pedal application is not being applied or may not illuminate when pedal force is applied.Additionally, the cruise control may not engage or if it is engaged it may require increased pedal travel to disengage.Pedal application may not be required to move the shift lever out of PARK or additional travel may be required to move the shift lever out of PARK. Traction control, electronic stability control (ESC) and panic brake assist features may also become disabled. These failure conditions may increase the risk of a crash.The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened Engineering Analysis EA13-005 on June 6, 2013 to further investigate complaints alleging that the brake lights did not operate properly on MY 2005-08 Pontiac G6 vehicles.The BAS in these vehicles produces a single analog voltage output proportional to the brake pedal's position.The BAS signal is used by various systems to determine both pedal position and rate of displacement, so a failure or inaccuracy of the signal may affect multiple systems.ODI also received similar complaints on MY 2009 Pontiac G6, MY 2004-11 Chevrolet Malibu and MY 2007-09 Saturn Aura vehicles that use the same BAS.All of these above models were included in the subject vehicle population of ODI's Information Request (IR) letter to GM.Prior to the recall announcement date, ODI received 855 reports of brake light malfunction resulting in one or several of the failure conditions.Eight (8) of the reports alleged crashes, with 1 resulting in an injury. Of these crash allegations, 2 were roll-away incidents, in which the shift interlock was moved out of PARK without pedal application and the vehicle rolled into another object.Three (3) crashes involved rear-end hits, which were believed to be due to brake light reversal.ESC/Traction Control failures were the alleged cause of 2 incidents, which resulted in unresponsive brake application and in 1 case caused the vehicle to leave the roadway.One (1) crash allegation was not counted as the circumstances of the crash were not related to any of the failure modes.ODI notes that it is difficult to determine the actual cause of incidents where brake light reversal or ESC/Traction Control failures were the alleged cause.In response to ODI's IR, GM submitted 2,268 unique reports that related to brake lamp malfunction. Combined with the data submitted during Recall Query 13-001, a total of 4,664 unique complaints were submitted.Twelve (12) of the GM reports alleged a crash, with 2 reporting minor injuries and 4 alleging property damage.Of the 12 reports, 3 involved brake light reversal allegations, 4 involved roll-away incidents and 2 involved ESC/Traction Control malfunctions. ODI did not include three (3) reports that involved allegations inconsistent with the alleged defect. This investigation is closed on the basis of GM's announcement of safety recall 14V-252.The ODI complaints cited above can be reviewed at: www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID, see the attached list for ODI numbers.
Documents (21)

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Date Opened
JUN 06, 2013
Date Closed
JUL 01, 2014
NHTSA Recall #
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