Important Information About Brake Problem Recall

Mark_888

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Genesis Model Type
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Below is a transcript of the recall letter sent by Hyundai to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as required by Federal Law (USA). This is a text copy of the original PDF from the NHTSA website, so there are some formatting differences and there could be minor grammar or spelling differences. Unfortunately, there is no direct link to the PDF file, and the site is not easy to navigate, so I am including the letter here.

October 28, 2013

Ms. Nancy Lewis
Associate Administrator for Enforcement
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C. 20590

RE: Defect Information Report

Dear Ms. Lewis:

Pursuant to Part 573 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Hyundai America Technical Center is submitting information concerning a recall that is being voluntarily initiated. Specific information as required by Section 573.6 is as follows:

573.6(c)(1)
Manufacturer - Hyundai Motor Company
Distributor- Hyundai Motor America
Distributor- Hyundai de Puerto Rico

573.6(c)(2)
Certain 2009 through 2012 model year Hyundai Genesis sedan vehicles produced beginning on April 30, 2008 through March 28, 2012.

Component Manufacturer Identification:

Continental Automotive Corporation
7F Solid Bldg, 220 Pangyoyeok-ro, Bundang-gu,
Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do 463-400, Korea​

573.6(c)(3)
Approximately 43,500 2009 through 2012 model year Hyundai Genesis sedans are affected in the United States. Approximately 25 Hyundai Genesis sedans are affected in Puerto Rico.

573.6(c)(4)
All of the vehicles identified above in 573.6(c)(2) are potentially affected.

573.6(c)(5)
The subject vehicles may contain brake fluid that does not sufficiently inhibit corrosion in the zinc plating on the service brake system's Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (HECU) module. Over time, corrosion may lead to a gel buildup on the module's valves affecting the valve's operation, resulting in low/soft brake pedal with reduced brake effectiveness, which may increase the risk of a vehicle crash.

573.6(c)(6)
In March, 2013 Hyundai launched a service campaign to replace the brake fluid in certain 2009-2012 model year Genesis sedan and 2011-2012 model year Equus vehicles. As of that time, the warranty claim rate relating to the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit for the Genesis sedan was approximately 0.93% and 0.07% for the Equus. Hyundai noted at the time that General Motors had conducted a preventative Customer Satisfaction Program in the United States in 2012 to address a similar issue, and Hyundai filed the Technical Service Bulletin with NHTSA as required by 49 CFR Part 579. To date, approximately 62% of the Genesis vehicles and virtually all of the Equus vehicles have had the brake fluid replaced pursuant to the service campaign.

Upon receiving the Preliminary Evaluation into this issue on October 17, 2013, Hyundai reviewed the service campaign response data and found warranty claims to replace the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit in early production Genesis sedan vehicles following completion of the service campaign. These return claims suggest that due to time in service, affected vehicles built prior to June 01, 2010 may require additional inspection or replacement of the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit. Hyundai has not to date received claims sufficient to indicate a need to inspect or replace the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit with regard to Equus vehicles or Genesis sedans built after June 01, 2010.

To address the potential that the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit may require replacement in the earlier production vehicles, and to ensure that all affected Genesis vehicles have been serviced, Hyundai will conduct a safety recall to inspect, and if necessary, repair the service brake system on Genesis sedan vehicles built prior to June 01, 2010. Hyundai will additionally recall Genesis vehicles built after June 01, 2010 identified above in 573.6(c)(2) that have not already had the brake fluid replaced pursuant to the service campaign.

573.6(c)(8)
Hyundai Motor America will notify all owners of the Hyundai vehicles described in 573.6(c)(2) above to return their vehicles to their Hyundai dealers for service. For vehicles manufactured prior to June 01, 2010 dealers will verify proper operation of and, if necessary, effect repairs to the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit (including replacement of the brake fluid with fluid containing additional corrosion inhibitor additive). For vehicles manufactured after June 01, 2010 dealers will flush the HECU assembly/valves and brake system using Hyundai's dealer diagnostic tool and change the brake fluid with fluid containing additional corrosion inhibitor additive.

Hyundai anticipates that owners will begin to be notified by mail during the fourth quarter of 2013 after NHTSA has approved the owner notification letter.

In accordance with the requirements of Part 573.13, Hyundai will provide for reimbursement to vehicle owners eligible for pre-notification remedies as follows:

573.13(c)(1) Reimbursement Period Beginning Date:
(iii) October 25, 2012, which is one year prior to the date of this Part 573 notice to NHTSA.​

573.13(c)(2) Reimbursement Period Ending Date:
(i) Ten calendar days after the last owner notification has been mailed. This date will be determined based upon the actual final owner notification date and NHTSA will be provided with that date when it becomes available.​

573.13(d) Reimbursement Conditions:

(1) Reimbursement is excluded for costs incurred within the period during which Hyundai's original or extended warranty (where Hyundai provided written notice of the terms of the extended warranty to owners) would have provided for a free repair of the condition addressed by the recall, without any payment by the consumer, unless a franchised dealer or authorized representative of Hyundai denied warranty coverage or the repair made under warranty did not remedy the problem addressed by the recall.

(2)(i)(A) Reimbursement is excluded if the pre-notification remedy was not of the same type (replacement of the HECU assembly or replacement of the brake fluid with fluid containing additional corrosion inhibitor additive) as the recall remedy.

(2)(i)(B) Reimbursement is excluded if the pre-notification remedy did not address replacement of the HECU assembly or replacement of the brake fluid with fluid containing additional corrosion inhibitor additive.

(2)(i)(C) Reimbursement is excluded if the pre-notification remedy was not reasonably necessary to correct a condition addressed by replacement of the HECU assembly or replacement of the brake fluid with fluid containing additional corrosion inhibitor additive.

(2)(ii) It is not required that the pre-notification remedy be identical to the remedy elected by Hyundai as described in this Part 573 notice to NHTSA.

(4) Reimbursement is excluded if the claimant does not submit adequate documentation to Hyundai at an address or location designated pursuant to § 573.13(f). The plan requires that the following documentation be submitted:

(i) Name and mailing address of the claimant;
(Hyundai also requests that claimants provide telephone numbers at their option.)

(ii) Identification of the product that was recalled:
Make, model, model year, vehicle identification number, and a copy of the current vehicle registration

(iii) Identification of the recall (114);

(iv) Identification of the owner or purchaser of the recalled motor vehicle at the time that the pre-notification remedy was obtained;

(v) A receipt for the pre-notification remedy, which may be an original or copy:

(A) If the reimbursement sought is for a repair, Hyundai requires that the receipt indicate that the repair addressed a condition related to the HECU assembly or replacement of the brake fluid with fluid containing additional corrosion inhibitor additive, and state the total amount paid for the repair of that condition. Itemization of a receipt of the amount for parts, labor, other costs and taxes, may not be required unless it is unclear on the face of the receipt that the repair for which reimbursement is sought addressed only the pre-notification remedy concerning a condition related to the HECU assembly or replacement of the brake fluid with fluid containing additional corrosion inhibitor additive.

(B) If the reimbursement sought is for the replacement of a vehicle part, Hyundai requires that the receipt identify the item and state the total amount paid to replace the HECU assembly or replacement of the brake fluid with fluid containing additional corrosion inhibitor additive.

(Hyundai also requests that the name, address and telephone number of the repair facility or seller of the replacement HECU assembly or replacement brake fluid containing additional corrosion inhibitor additive be provided on the receipt, and that the receipt be marked "Paid in Full" or that a cancelled check or credit card receipt be provided.)​

(vii) If the pre-notification remedy was obtained at a time when the vehicle or equipment could have been repaired or replaced at no charge under a Hyundai original or extended warranty program, documentation indicating that Hyundai's dealer or authorized facility either refused to remedy the problem addressed by the recall under the warranty or that the warranty repair did not correct the problem addressed by the recall.

573.13(e) Amount of Costs to Be Reimbursed:
(l)(i) The amount of reimbursement shall not be less than the lesser of:

(A) The amount paid by the owner for the remedy, or
(B) The cost of parts for the remedy, plus associated labor at local labor rates, miscellaneous fees such as disposal of waste, and taxes. Costs for parts may be limited to Hyundai's list retail price for authorized parts.​

(1)(ii) Any associated costs, including, but not limited to, taxes or disposal of wastes, may not be limited.

573.13(f) Address and Authorized Facility for Reimbursement Claim Submittal
ATTN: Hyundai Customer Connect Center (114)
Hyundai Motor America
PO Box 20850
Fountain Valley, CA 92728-0850​

573.13(g) Hyundai Response to Request for Reimbursement

(1) Hyundai shall act upon a claim for reimbursement within 60 days of its receipt. If Hyundai denies the claim, Hyundai must send a notice to the claimant within 60 days of receipt of the claim that includes a clear, concise statement of the reasons for the denial.
(2) If a claim for reimbursement is incomplete when originally submitted, Hyundai shall advise the claimant within 60 days of receipt of the claim of the documentation that is needed and offer an opportunity to resubmit the claim with complete documentation.

573.13(h) Reimbursement Form Reimbursement shall be in the form of a debit card.

573.13(i) Reimbursement Plan Availability to the Public
This reimbursement plan is available to the public upon request.​
573.6(c)(10)
A draft of the Technical Service Bulletin will be forwarded when available.
A draft copy of the dealer communication will be forwarded when available.

573.6(c)(ll)
A draft of the owner notification letter will be forwarded when available.

573.6(c)(12)
Hyundai has assigned "Campaign 114" as the designation for the campaign.

Sincerely,
<signature>
Robert Babcock
Director, HATCI Certification and Compliance Affairs

Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center Inc.
6800 Geddes Road
Superior Township, Ml 48198
TEL: 734-337-9499 FAX: 734-483-5919
www.hatci.com
 
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Mark_888

Registered Member
13,335
136
63
Genesis Model Type
1G Genesis Sedan (2009-2014)
Two main points that I take from the letter above:

  1. For anyone who has incurred out of pocket expense to fix their ABS unit (HECU or Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit) there is a reimbursement plan in place. I believe there is at least one member who had this done at his own expense after his 60 month - 60K mile warranty expired.
  2. Hyundai is suggesting that cars manufactured prior to June 01, 2010 may require additional inspection of the HECU in addition to replacing the brake fluid with DOT-4 (which also contains extra corrosion inhibitors). Those built after June 01, 2010 (up until March 28, 2012 when DOT-4 was used at the factory) will only have the brake fluid replaced without inspection.
Pursuant to item 2 above, it is not clear whether those cars which have already had the fluid replaced with DOT-4 under the original TSB and were built prior to June 01, 2010, will receive a recall notice to come in for an inspection. This is a critical point that I will pursue with the NHTSA.
 

Mark_888

Registered Member
13,335
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63
Genesis Model Type
1G Genesis Sedan (2009-2014)
I received information from the NHTSA (Friday afternoon, Nov 8, 2013) that:

[Hyundai] has not provided us with their wording on the owner notification letter that must go out to all owners [pursuant to 573.6(c)(ll) in the above letter].​

If anyone has received an official recall letter, please post the contents here.

The NHTSA has also not received a copy of the actual inspect and (if necessary) repair procedure. These items will be posted on the NHTSA website under the recall number when they are received by the NHTSA.
 

waveman

Supporting Member
SUSTAINING MEMBER
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Genesis Model Type
Genesis G90
Mark, thanks very much for posting this information.

I had the brake fluid in my Genesis replaced in June pursuant to the previous campaign. However, since my car was built in Sept. 2010, it's apparently not eligible for HECU inspection or replacement, since Hyundai says: "Hyundai has not to date received claims sufficient to indicate a need to inspect or replace the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit with regard to Equus vehicles or Genesis sedans built after June 01, 2010."

That doesn't mean that cars built after that date aren't affected, just that HMA has either not heard of any complaints or considers the number of complaints to be too low to warrant further action. It'd be interesting to know if anyone here with a vehicle built after June 1, 2010 has had a brake problem.
______________________________
 

Mark_888

Registered Member
13,335
136
63
Genesis Model Type
1G Genesis Sedan (2009-2014)
Mark, thanks very much for posting this information.

I had the brake fluid in my Genesis replaced in June pursuant to the previous campaign. However, since my car was built in Sept. 2010, it's apparently not eligible for HECU inspection or replacement, since Hyundai says: "Hyundai has not to date received claims sufficient to indicate a need to inspect or replace the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit with regard to Equus vehicles or Genesis sedans built after June 01, 2010."

That doesn't mean that cars built after that date aren't affected, just that HMA has either not heard of any complaints or considers the number of complaints to be too low to warrant further action. It'd be interesting to know if anyone here with a vehicle built after June 1, 2010 has had a brake problem.
A concern that I have is that Hyundai is claiming only a very small percent (less than 1%) of owners have filed warranty claims on this issue. But the fact is (as documented in many threads on this forum) that when most owners took their car to the dealer after a brake failure incident, they were denied any service (other than replacing brake fluid under existing TSB if not already done) if the dealer could not reproduce the problem. Since the brake problem usually starts out as occurring only intermittently, it appears that no warranty claim was ever submitted in these cases were dealer could not reproduce the problem. So how does Hyundai really know what the frequency of this problem really is?
 

Mark_888

Registered Member
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Genesis Model Type
1G Genesis Sedan (2009-2014)
Below is the text of an email I sent to Stephen McHenry, Federal Investigator, U.S. DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who is handling the Genesis brake problem investigation and recall.​

Stephen McHenry
Federal Investigator, U.S. DOT
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Defects Investigation
NVS-213 Room W48-308
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE.
Washington D.C. 20590-0001

November 12, 2013

Stephen,

Thank you for responding to my email. I have the following comments;

  1. There is a question about any proposed HECU inspection process, and whether it will be effective in discovering problems with the HECU. This is based on my reading of many owner experiences who encountered brake failure with the their Hyundai Genesis as explained on http://www.genesisowners.com. Almost all of the problems started out as intermittent brake failure, and when the owners returned their car to the dealer (many times had it towed back to the dealer), the dealer could not reproduce the problem and they said the brakes checked out and no problems found. The car was almost always returned to the owner without any service being performed (except for upgrading brake fluid to DOT-4 after May 2013). This leads me to conclude that it is very difficult, or probably impossible, to visually determine whether the HECU has internal damage/corrosion that would lead to brake failure. I don&#8217;t think Hyundai dealers are going to disassemble the units to see what is happening inside. So I am hopeful that NHTSA will make sure that any inspection program put into place can reasonably be expected find any existing damage/corrosion. If is determined that it is not possible for the dealers to inspect the inside of the HECU for damage/corrosion, I would expect the NHTSA to order other remedial action (such as possibly replacing all HECU units) on Hyundai Genesis built before June 01, 2010.
  2. The other important question that needs to be answered (not clear form information that you or Hyundai have provided) is whether cars that have already had their brake fluid changed as part of the previous TSB issued in May 2013 (to replace brake fluid with DOT-4, with no inspections included) will be brought back in to have an inspection performed on HECU. I have attached a copy of the May 2013 TSB to this email (this is public information I downloaded from www.hmaservice.com, that is open to anyone who wants access to the site). There are no HECU inspection processes in the May 2013 TSB campaign, only changing brake fluid to DOT-4. So the question is: if an owner brought their car into a Hyundai dealer for service, and the May 2013 Brake Fluid TSB was done without inspection of the HECU, will Hyundai recall cars built prior to June 01, 2010 for HECU inspection, even if the brake fluid has already been changed to DOT-4. It is clear that if the original TSB has not been done, Hyundai will recall the car to do both DOT-4 upgrade and HECU inspection, but what about HECU inspections for those cars that have already had the brake fluid upgraded to DOT-4 (and were built before June 01, 2010)?

If you have any questions about what I have mentioned above, please feel free to contact me to discuss or get clarification.

Thanks,
Mark_888 (I used my full name in the email)
 

Mark_888

Registered Member
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1G Genesis Sedan (2009-2014)
Here is the reply I just received.


Mark,

Thank you for the information, we are on similar thought lines and will be paying attention to those issues.

Stephen
 
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Philth

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Your second question is the one that I'm all over. Being in the aircraft maintenance industry, call it tedious or what have you, but this is a complete bandaid fix. There is no way in hell that HMA can deem the HECU safe without tearing it down and inspecting it.

If one was corroded from the DOT 3 fluid, this is about as sufficient as the situation warrants to replace ALL of them exposed to DOT 3 fluid.
______________________________
 
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waveman

Supporting Member
SUSTAINING MEMBER
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Alabama
Genesis Model Type
Genesis G90
I wholeheartedly agree with the above comments about HMA's inability to determine if a particular HECU is affected without tearing it down.

The June 1, 2010 cut-off date also seems arbitrary to me. Perhaps HMA hasn't heard of failures in cars that had the DOT-3 fluid and were built after that date, but that doesn't mean that none were affected. Given that the corrosion and gel buildup is likely gradual, it seems that the safest approach would be for the NHTSA to require HMA to inspect and possibly replace the HECU in every car that was sold with the older fluid, unless they can reliably demonstrate that the likelihood of failure on vehicles built after June 2010 is vanishingly small. I just sent Mr. McHenry an email detailing my concern.

It's probably just my mind messing with me, but I could swear that my brake pedals felt mushier on my way home from work tonight. :)
 

Mark_888

Registered Member
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Genesis Model Type
1G Genesis Sedan (2009-2014)
Below is the text of an email I received today from Stephen McHenry, Federal Investigator, U.S. DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Defects Investigation:

Mark,

I was looking at posts in the forum you referenced and thought perhaps you could pass on this information: It is our understanding that the HECU unit built after the June 2010 cutoff date in the recall announcement were not built with a zinc coating on the critical valves and therefore were not susceptible to gel build-up from corrosion. Units built after that time period should not be experiencing the problem. This information will be verified by us but it is reason to accept the June 2010 cutoff date on HECU replacement as part of the recall. I hope this information helps calm some worries.

Stephen​
 

Philth

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That's good news to hear. I feel that this information should be stated clearly in the recall to avoid any confusion.
 

Mark_888

Registered Member
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Genesis Model Type
1G Genesis Sedan (2009-2014)
That's good news to hear. I feel that this information should be stated clearly in the recall to avoid any confusion.
Probably Hyundai does not want to admit that the HECU's installed prior to a June 01, 2010 Genesis build date have a flaw in the design and the newer ones after that date no longer have zinc coating on the critical valves (that are subject to corrosion). That would probably put them under more intense pressure to replace all the old units, since it is not simply a change to DOT-4 that fixes the problem.

I will be watching this closely, since my 2009 was obviously built before June 01, 2010. But the good news is that a replacement HECU, without the zinc coating and with DOT-4, should not have the brake failure problems that have been reported so far.
______________________________
 

Mark_888

Registered Member
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Genesis Model Type
1G Genesis Sedan (2009-2014)
This makes me wonder why cars built after June 1, 2010 were in need of a brake fluid change to the DOT 4???
Hyundai claims that the DOT-4 included some corrosion inhibitors, but as you say, probably not a critical as for those built prior to June 01, 2010. But the DOT-4 recommendation may have come from the HECU supplier (I believe it is Continental Automotive).

But I am also suspecting that Hyundai simply did not want to admit that there was a change in the HECU part itself after June 01, 2010, so they would be under less pressure to replace the old HECU's.
 

Mark_888

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Genesis Model Type
1G Genesis Sedan (2009-2014)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opens a Preliminary Evaluation to investigate allegations of long brake pedal travel and/or reduced brake performance in certain model year (MY) 2009 Hyundai Genesis vehicles manufactured by Hyundai Motor Corporation.​

Here are the first two paragraphs of a letter posted on the NHTSA public website www.safercar.gov (under investigation PE13033) informing Hyundai than an "Preliminary Evaluation" has begun:

CERTIFIED MAIL
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED


Mr. Robert Babcock, Director
Certification and Compliance Affairs
Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center Inc.
6800 Geddes Road
Superior Township, MI 48198

Dear Mr. Babcock:

This letter is to inform you that the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened Preliminary Evaluation PE13-033 to investigate allegations of long brake pedal travel and/or reduced brake performance in certain model year (MY) 2009 Hyundai Genesis vehicles manufactured by Hyundai Motor Corporation (Hyundai), and to request certain information.

This office has received 39 reports alleging long brake pedal travel, reduced brake performance and/or brake control module failure in MY 2009 Hyundai Genesis vehicles. In addition, we have received one complaint alleging similar symptoms in a MY 2010 Hyundai Genesis vehicle. A copy of each of the reports is enclosed for your information.

... the rest of the 12 page letter can be seen at the following link: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM446096/INIM-PE13033-58027.pdf[/B]
 

Mark_888

Registered Member
13,335
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63
Genesis Model Type
1G Genesis Sedan (2009-2014)
Just to clarify, my understanding is that the last letter I posted above is quite recent, and NHTSA is going to be investigating whether the Hyundai voluntary recall to change out DOT-3 with DOT-4, and do an external visual inspection of HECU, is sufficient for Genesis sedans built before June 01, 2010. Genesis sedans built after June 01, 2010 include a revised HECU without the zinc platting on internal valves that tends to corrode and cause gelling.

Probably most Genesis owners whose cars were built before June 01, 2010 would prefer that Hyundai swap out their old HECU with the new version.
 

DRS

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Below is the text of an email I received today from Stephen McHenry, Federal Investigator, U.S. DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Defects Investigation:

Mark,

I was looking at posts in the forum you referenced and thought perhaps you could pass on this information: It is our understanding that the HECU unit built after the June 2010 cutoff date in the recall announcement were not built with a zinc coating on the critical valves and therefore were not susceptible to gel build-up from corrosion. Units built after that time period should not be experiencing the problem. This information will be verified by us but it is reason to accept the June 2010 cutoff date on HECU replacement as part of the recall. I hope this information helps calm some worries.

Stephen​
I do not have time this morning from the mobile phone app to check on all the multiple brake posts and threads. HOWEVER, there are multiple posts and comments that have people and their wives with total "to the floor" brake failure on Genesis sedans that are listed as 2012 models. And others that are way past the 2010 cut off date. Stephen from NHTSA, please look for them. I am darn sure of this as I have a 2012, made in summer of 2011 that had the fluid TSB. I wanted to keep a close eye since it could happen to anyone into 2012 model year.

Someone else confirm what I recall from other posts on the brakes?

Thank you.
 

DRS

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And I seem to remember that a couple of people who had total failure happen, to them or wife, are no longer owners of a Genesis. They traded out to something else.
 
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