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Chevrolet Recalling Sonics Over Brake Pads

  • Chevrolet is recalling 4,296 units of its new Sonic subcompact that may have been shipped without brake pads.
  • The automaker will begin informing owners of affected models on January 14.
  • Chevrolet says no known crashes or injuries have occurred as a result of the defect.

Chevrolet is recalling more than 4,000 Sonics over fears that some units of the recently released subcompact may have been shipped without brake pads.

According to the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chevrolet may have inadvertently shipped as many as 4,296 Sonics to dealerships without inner or outer front brake pads. The NHTSA says the issue could lead to a reduction in brake system performance, increasing the likelihood of an accident.

According to Chevrolet, the potentially affected units were manufactured at the automaker’s Orion Township, Michigan assembly plant from June 2, 2011 through November 21, 2011. The automaker says that no known crashes or injuries have occurred as a result of the defect, which was discovered during warranty service for a rental vehicle.

Beginning January 14, owners of Sonics included in the recall will receive letters urging them to bring their vehicles in for inspection. Chevrolet dealers will examine the vehicles for missing brake pads, and install new inner and outer pads, a new brake caliper and a new rotor at no charge if missing pads are discovered. Owners interested in more information about the recall can contact the NHTSA’s safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

Available as a sedan or five-door hatchback, the Sonic debuted in September to positive reviews and strong sales. Featuring a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine capable of up to 40 miles per gallon in highway driving, the Sonic squares off against other popular subcompacts like the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Scion xD. Chevrolet is expected to show a high-performance version of the Sonic, dubbed the RS, later this month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

What it means to you: Don’t let a recall stop you from considering one of the better small cars on the market.

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