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Hello everyone, <BR>I would first like to apologize to the forum. I know reading this thread is unpleasant for Reatta owners.......a real bummer.....to say the least. I read this forum at least a few times weekly, and the constant postings for brake problems used to frighten me. I did however, feel obligated to put an immediate post about my crash, for I believe you not only have a right to know, but NEED to know. We all take a certain amount of risks in our lives, I have been a motorcycle touring enthusiast for almost all my driving life, that certainley involves a certain amount of risk, but it is a level of risk I choose to take. I just felt I needed to inform you that you may actually taking a different level of risk driving a TEVES equipped vehicle than you may think. And I apologize to anyone who I have made uncomfortable.<P>I have exchanged email with many of you, and I want to once again sincerely thank everyone for their kind email concerning my health. I also again thank everyone who sent me information to present to the investigating officer.<P>Now to the officer ( I am not just typing this because he will be reading it) I feel EXTREMELY FORTUNATE to have had an officer as intelligent, articulate, dedicated, and open minded enough to have let me present my case relating to the frequency of "Reatta catastrophic brake failures." He is an accredited traffic accident reconstructionist, so I need not say more about the amount of crashes he has investigated, and he CC'd me an email he wrote to someone today that stated:<P>"Friday I investigated an unusual collision. It involved a 1988 Buick<BR>Reatta which was traveling along a busy 50 MPH highway and lost its<BR>brakes. It rear ended a full size Dodge Ram pickup truck towing a major<BR>Ditch Witch Machine on a large flat bed trailer. What made this unusual<BR>was the fact this is only the second time in 16 years a driver was<BR>truthful when he proclaimed "I lost my brakes!"<BR> (I had asked for his permission before copying any parts of his email to this forum.....I will post a few more excerpts at the bottom of this post from other email we had exchanged)<BR>I was up until 4 am saturday morning researching on my computer, and made sure to have an email waiting for him in his inbox the following morning. We've have had a dialogue of email since the accident. I stated above I felt EXTREMELY FORTUNATE to have this officer investigating, I think the forum should also. He has not made me any promises, and is not even optomistic, but has promised me he will do what he can to bring the proper attention to this problem. <BR>I have compiled alot of information over the weekend. I have filled out the NHTSA ODI report(#736580), and I intend to continue a letter campaign to whoever I can find who will listen to me. <P>The following are parts of emails that I received from the investigating officer. I have explained to him he is is free as a guest, to reply to a post, or start a new thread, if he were to want direct feedback to the forum. I am not going to post his name or email, for I believe that should be his choice.<P>"I have to tell you, your collision was the most "interesting" one I've<BR>happened across in awhile. Trust me, I happen onto the scene of quite a<BR>few collisions"<P>"Unfortunately, many drivers "claim" brake failure when they run into the<BR>back of another vehicle. You should go to work with me on the first<BR>snowy day.............<P>You crash was the unusual event . . .I've only seen once before,<BR>complete failure (what I label catastrophic) of the ability of your main<BR>braking system to slow or stop your car. Made more interesting yet, that<BR>your Buick Reatta is a bit of an unusual vehicle . . .one with a limited<BR>production run. <P>I am attempting to determine what input I can have in any effort to get<BR>the feds to scrutinize that TEVES system. I am as certain as you it will<BR>happen again to other Reatta faithful. <P>There's no doubt in my mind MANY collisions have gone undocumented;<BR>either by ignorance ( not all cops are trained to, or even want to<BR>INVESTIGATE rather than report ) or worse yet, the driver may not have<BR>survived to tell the tale. <P>I make no promises, but trust me, I will try to sound an appropriate<BR>alarm. It's clear to me others have already had a deaf ear turned, but<BR>all you can do is try."<P>"I am a 95 Impala SS nut and local cop here in South Jersey. <P>Friday I had occasion to investigate an unusual crash. A 1988 Buick Reatta ( only made four years ) sufferred a catatrophic total loss of brakes...while travling XX MPH on a four lane business laden highway. <P>The crash was spectacular. <P>Thing is the owner is a bit of a Reatta nut - not unlike your or mine infactuation with our Impala's. He belongs to an e-mail group, and several Reatta folk have been "surprised" by this same brake failure phenonomen. <P>The car uses a German TEVES system, and it is a time bomb in these aging cars. I dug up the following TSB'S. Do you know of any others?<P>Thanks,<BR>(this email was slightly edited "XX" <P>I have alot of information in the contents of the emails I sent to the officer that documents the brake failures that seem to plague the TEVES system, and even more that was sent to me by other readers of this forum. I plan to organize it, if anyone should ever want a copy (hopefully not for the same reason I have been gathering it) email me......tdc@jersey.net.....Good Luck......Drive safe......Dan<P><BR><P>------------------<BR> <A HREF="http://www.jersey.net/~tdc/Reatta1.jpg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.jersey.net/~tdc/Reatta1.jpg</A> <P><A HREF="http://www.jersey.net/~tdc/Crash4.jpg" TARGET=_blank><BR>http://www.jersey.net/~tdc/Crash4.jpg</A><P><A HREF="http://www.jersey.net/~tdc/BMWK75.jpg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.jersey.net/~tdc/BMWK75.jpg</A>

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Hi Dan,<BR>Do you have the information on the April 1987 crash of my first Reatta? I believe it one of the earliest documented, though the actual accident report blames another driver for the accident (guess teh cop didn't believe my description of the brake mal-function/failure). Let me know if you want/need the info.<BR>~Brenda<BR>Reatta2go@aol.com<P>------------------<BR> <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/gohighr/reatta.html" TARGET=_blank>http://members.aol.com/gohighr/reatta.html</A>

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Hi Dan,<BR>Here is the story of my Reatta brake failure that I sent to Barney a couple of months ago. I had just bought the car. Perhaps you can add this information to your officers database.<BR> <BR>Hi Barney,<BR>I'm John Friese, the guy who picked up the 1990 Reatta in Louisville with<BR>intentions of driving it to California.<BR>After driving the car around the mid-west for about 500 miles, I had a<BR>brake boost failure with no panel warning lights. I was traveling<BR>about 65 mph along a busy freeway west of Chicago and approaching a<BR>tight cloverleaf that changed to another freeway. I pressed the brake<BR>to slow down. The pedal moved about 1/2 inch and stopped as though<BR>something was under it. I was able to stomp the pedal hard and slow<BR>the car down enough to make the turn. Afterwards the brakes again<BR>performed normally and there was no other problem for the next 50<BR>miles. When I stomped on the pedal it appeared to almost break over<BR>some hard resistance and a screech like whine came from under the hood.<BR>The road was dry and the car did not slow quickly so this noise couldn't<BR>have been from the ABS system engaging. There were no indicator lights<BR>showing on the dash at the time of this failure. A few seconds later,<BR>when I again tried the brakes, they were operating normally. When I<BR>thought about it I realized that I had gently touched the brake pedal a<BR>minute before this event and remembered that the pedal had hit this hard<BR>bottom after a half inch of travel then too. It had been a very light<BR>touch though and the car had slowed enough by normal air friction that<BR>this event had not registered in my mind as a problem until when I<BR>really needed the brakes a minute or so later. It all happened around<BR>10:30 at night and I had been watching for panel indications through the<BR>whole drive.<P>Follow up:<BR>After getting the car to California, I replaced both brake relays and the sensor switch assembly. The car is lightly driven and so far the problem has not returned. Only time will tell since nobody seems to know for sure what happens with these brakes.<P>Thanks,<BR>John

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Guest wally888

I suspect what you heard was brake fluid, pressurized at 2000+ PSI, trying to go through a very small opening in the Main Valve. Pressurized fluid passing through a small opening,screams!<BR> The main Valve is normally shut (no flow) but opens when commanded by the EBCM (black box in trunk) when the EBCM detects a wheel locking and wants antilock feature of the system to operate.<BR> As noted in another current post, either the EBCM sent a wrong signal and the Main Valve opened or cracked open a little(not enough voltage to fully open, probably has to overcome some spring pressure that keeps it closed or.....)or perhaps the seal in the Main Valve is deteriorating and pressure leaked to the back side of Master Cylinder(that will give you a hard pedal). Then the leak stopped or seal reset??? <BR> Most of this and that is guessing, but, if the Main Valve has rubber seals or O rings, they get used little(the valve just sits there , normally closed), unless antilock is iniated or you completely deplete pressure as when checking reservoir level.<BR> Really guessing-I doubt if the problem is the EBCM but is either a bad electrical connection, plug,( think this is accessable to unplug and clean)or an old Main Valve, possibly deteriorating. Somebody else needs to start guessing until we can lay our hands on some of these questionable components.<BR> I sure would see if I had any codes set by EBCM at the ALDL.<BR> These problems are going to continue and probably get more frequent as the cars get older. The next warm day I am going to flush the entire system! Wish someone would try the, use only the onboard pump , w/ both rear bleeders open at the same time method, to see if it works. <BR>

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On one hand, I am VERY glad to learn that Dan C's crash was investigated by an experienced crash reconstructionist. It is crucial to have the kind of data only these trained professionals can provide. Plus he has more credibility with NHTSA and GM than us mere "owners."<P>On the other hand, I am boiling mad that Dan C (and the others who have posted over the months) had a brake-failure-related crash at all. Dan even replaced his accumulator (prime suspect #1 for the "total" brake failures). GM and NHTSA have not yet listened to us. It is horrible. I am going to write yet another letter to NHTSA and make sure they know about Dan's case (when he gives me permission and we have the crash report in hand).<P>On other news, I tracked down one Reatta-involved fatality in FL. I'm going to order the crash report, but it appears that there was NO full Traffic Homicide Investigation. There's a chance the report just hasn't caught up with the system, but more likely the responding agency didn't do the full report. If that's true, we won't have the skid mark evidence we need. I'll keep everyone posted as to what I find out there.<P>I'm sure what the officer from NJ told Dan is true. Brake failures are SO uncommon these days, and the Reatta still looks like a new vehicle that I'm sure the average cop responding to a crash scene just doesn't buy the driver's statements.<P>I have said all along that I want to get this addressed before someone dies. I'm no longer convinced that this problem hasn't already caused a death, but time will tell as we get all the fatal crash reports. I'm just glad that Dan, and none of the others who have had recent crashes were killed. It really IS only a matter of time, IMHO.<P>Sorry to be the voice of doom and gloom. Sorry to frighten those who can still be frightened by this. I'm posting this here because I continue to hope that NHTSA and GM (who promised to visit this site) are still interested enough to come here for a peek every once in awhile.<P>Bob

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