WASHINGTON - General Motors is recalling 1,262 MY 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT, Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Silverado LD and GMC Sierra LD vehicles because of a potential defect that could impact vehicle directional control, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

The rear axle cross pins were not properly heat-treated and could fracture and become displaced within the rear axle. If the pin shifts out of position, an interference condition could result and cause the rear axle to lock. As a consequence, the driver may not be able to maintain directional control of the vehicle, NHTSA reported. 

Dealers will install a new rear axle cross pin free of charge. The safety recall is expected to get under way in January. Owners can reach Cadillac at (866) 982-2339, Chevrolet at (800) 630-2438, and GMC at (866) 996-9463.