If you own a 2021 Cadillac CT4, CT5, XT4, a Buick Encore GX, or Chevy Trailblazer, you should probably park them, too.

It’s 2020 and vehicle safety is more important than ever. You would think that as advanced as we are as a civilization, we’d be able to nail something as simple – in a generalized way – as vehicle safety. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and that’s why GM has placed a recall and stop-sale on the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette, 2021 Cadillac CT4, CT5, XT4, the 2021 Buick Encore GX, and the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer. So what’s the deal? Well, if you own any of these models, you just might go to hit your brakes, just to realize that you suddenly can’t stop.

Brake by Wire Is Supposed to Be Safer

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Brake by wire systems are supposed to be safe. But, when automakers – in this case, GM – source all of their parts from the lowest bidder, things don’t always go as well as planned. You know the old phrase “you get what you pay for, right?” Well, that’s exactly what happened here.

According to Motor Authority, which quotes Chevy spokesman Kevin Kelly, a specific material used to create a sensor connection within the electronic brake boost system, may have been contaminated during production and could lead to an interruption of communication between the sensor and the brake boost system under certain conditions. What that means in non-cover-our-ass talk, is that the vehicle may apply the brakes because there isn’t communication throughout the system. Missing the old-school vacuum assisted brake boosters and hydraulic brake systems yet?

How Do Brake By Wire System Work?

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Vehicles like the C8 Corvette, and the other Cadillac, Chevy, and Buick models included in this recall all operate under the same principals. Instead of having a combination of mechanic and hydraulic links between the brake pedal and the brake caliper, braking on these vehicles is done – mostly – electronically. When you press the brake pedal, a sensor tells the computer how much pressure you’re applying (or how hard you want to stop). The computer then tells the brake booster how much pressure to apply to the brakes and for how long. The models listed in this recall could suffer from a loss of connection within this system, which is, essentially, like pressing the brake pedal on an older car with no brake fluid – the car simply won’t respond.

Is My Vehicle Affected By the Chevy Brake Booster Recall?

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As of now, Chevy hasn’t given us full specifics, but we know that 674 2020 C8 Corvettes are affected, including those already in customer hands. If you’re waiting to take delivery of a 2020 Corvette, you won’t be allowed to have it until the recall is addressed. GM will begin notifying owners of all vehicles affected in the very near future, and you can probably contact your local dealer with your VIN (located by looking at the dash through the lower driver’s side corner of the windshield) to determine if your vehicle is affected. Alternatively, you can check with GM’s website as well.

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So far, GM hasn’t said if the brake booster issue has caused any accidents or injuries and is expected to replace the electronic brake boosters on all affected models free of charge. With that said, if your vehicle falls on the list below, you should probably park it until you can be sure it’s either not included in the recall or has been repaired:

  • 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette
  • 2021 Cadillac CT4
  • 2021 Cadillac CT5
  • 2021 Cadillac XT4
  • 2021 Buick Encore GX
  • 2021 Chevy Trailblazer
Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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