Washington — General Motors Co. is recalling 221,000 new Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala cars worldwide, because of improper braking that could cause excessive heat and poor performance.

The recall covers 2013 -2015 XTS cars and 2014-2015 Impalas and was prompted by an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened in April. The recall includes 205,000 cars in the United States.

GM said the electronic parking brake’s piston actuation arm may not fully retract, which may cause the brake pads to stay partially engaged with the rotor. The light may not be on even though the parking brake is engaged, which means the vehicle doesn’t comply with federal safety requirements.

The Detroit automaker recalled cars “may experience poor vehicle acceleration, undesired deceleration, excessive brake heat, and premature wear to some brake components. If the brake drag is significant or if the vehicle is operated for an extended period of time in this condition, there is a potential for the rear brakes to generate significant heat, smoke, and sparks.”

Dealers will update the logic in the electronic parking brake software. Dealers were notified Sept. 4 and GM decided to recall the vehicles on Aug. 27, but the recall was only posted on NHTSA’s website Saturday.

GM is not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities as a result of this condition.

NHTSA’s investigation opened in April was to “investigate allegations of inappropriate autonomous braking while driving” in 2014 Impala cars.

“In response, GM reviewed its warranty records for cases of autonomous braking. This review revealed a potential condition relating to parking brake drag,” GM said.

GM asked its dealers for information on the issue in May and GM bought a defective car from one of its dealers. “After analyzing the vehicle, GM determined that the parking brake software was defective. GM continued to investigate the potential safety and compliance implications of the software defect.”

This is at least GM’s 67th record setting recall of 2014. The automaker has called back 26 million vehicles in the United States and 29.3 million worldwide.

The Justice Department is investigating GM’s handling of a delayed recall of 2.6 million vehicle older Cobalt, Ion and other cars linked to 19 deaths and 54 crashes. The Securities and Exchange Commission, 45 state attorneys general and Canadian officials are also investigating. GM paid a record setting $35 million fine to NHTSA in May.

GM initially told NHTSA the recall covered 132,000 U.S vehicles on Sept. 4 but expanded the population to 205,000 in the U.S. on Sept. 12, GM spokesman Alan Adler said.

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