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GM Announces Yet Another Recall—for Power Steering Issues

4 comments

General Motors (GM) recently announced that it will be recalling another 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. This is the third largest recall for the company in the last few months.

While the first recall involved vehicles with faulty ignition switches, and the second, airbag problems and brake booster issues, this one involves power steering problems in older models.

New Recall Affects Power Steering

GM states it is recalling more than 1.3 million vehicles “that may experience a sudden loss of electric power steering assist.” Though a driver could theoretically still steer, as the vehicle would revert to manual steering, it would be more difficult, and could increase risk of a crash.

Vehicles affected by this new recall include:

• Chevrolet Malibu—all 2004-2005, and some 2006, 2008-2009
• Chevrolet Malibu Maxx: all 2004-2005, and some 2006
• Chevrolet HHR (non-turbo): some 2009-2010
• Chevrolet Cobalt: some 2010
• Saturn Aura: some 2008-2009
• Saturn ION: all 2004-2007
• Pontiac G6: all 2005, and some 2006, 2008-2009

GM is offering free repair on the vehicles, which may include new power steering parts. Customers who have already paid for repairs will be reimbursed. The company is also giving lifetime warranties to other vehicles not affected by the recall, including 2003 Saturn IONs and non-turbocharged Chevy HHRs (2006-2008) for replacement of the power steering motor. They state they have recalled some of these vehicles before, but not all.

So far, there have been no reports of injuries or deaths related to these issues, though a GM representative did state there had been some crashes.

Red Flags Highlighted the Issues

According to the Detroit Free Press, GM estimates these recalls will end up costing about $750 million. CEO Mary Barra stated that this latest round “demonstrates just how serious we are about the way will do things at the new GM.”

Meanwhile, USA Today reports that the company missed several red flags concerning ignition switch problems, including the death of Amber Marie Rose, who was killed in a car accident in 2005. Federal regulators investigated, and found that the ignition switch was set to “accessory,” at the time of the crash, instead of “run.” GM was told about the report, in 2007. The family sued and settled out of court, and yet the company failed to take action concerning the problem that allegedly caused her death.

As early as 2004, GM was looking into possible solutions for keys that were jostling out of position, including making the hole in the top of the key smaller, so it would carry less weight. Dealers received communication from GM in 2005 that instructed them to offer key inserts to drivers, but any company-wide solution was forgotten.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) is also under fire, as it ordered reviews of crashes in 2004 and 2010, yet did not go any further in protecting the public, stating there was insufficient evidence for a safety investigation.

4 Comments

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  1. Quintell Thompson says:
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    Why hasnt the 2007 malibu been included?? my power steering failed on me while on the highway and i nearly crashed in to a semi truck. What changes have been made to the 2007 that it wouldnt be included in this recall, yet still has the same end result as the other year models.

  2. Mike Thompson says:
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    I have experienced the same problem with a Cadillac ATS. Many people on forums are writing about the same issue related to the Power Steering not having power and their 2013/2014 Cadillac ATS! GM should recall this vehicle before any deaths arise!

  3. phill says:
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    i have had my steering on 2007 malibu fixed 3 times???

  4. Laine says:
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    The article states that there are no reported injuries. This weekend my HHR power steering went out, and the steering was so difficult, I pulled a muscle in my arm. OK, so I won’t be going to the doctor over this, but still annoying!