General Motors is recalling 638 000 US sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks because a wheel-speed sensor could fail and cause unintended braking. Photo: AP

WASHINGTON – General Motors is recalling 638 000 US sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks because a wheel-speed sensor could fail and cause unintended braking, it said Thursday.

The recall covers 2015-2020 Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe, and Yukon and 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 vehicles equipped with a 5.3-liter engine, a 3.08-ratio rear axle and four-wheel drive.

The sensor failure could result in unintended activation of the driveline protection system, and cause unintended braking of the wheel on the opposite side of the failed sensor. That could cause the vehicle to pull to one side unexpectedly, increasing the risk of a crash, the Detroit automaker said.

GM said it was not aware of any crashes relating to the issue but found 150 field claims alleging the condition caused unintended braking or lateral-vehicle motion.

A GM dealer in May submitted a warranty report relating to the issue in a 2018 GMC Yukon, and two day later, a GM brand quality manager submitted the report to GM’s Speak Up For Safety program that tracks potential safety issues, which prompted a GM investigation and testing.

The company recently reported that its third-quarter net profit fell 7 percent as a strike by the United Auto Workers union brought its US factories to a standstill. The Detroit automaker made $2.35 billion, or $1.60 per share, but the strike cost it 52 cents per share of earnings.

Most of the impact from the 40-day strike will hit in the fourth quarter. GM said the strike will wind up costing it $2.86 billion in net income for the year. That forced the company to cut its full-year pretax profit guidance from $6.50 to $7 per share, to $4.50 to $4.80.

Reuters